Northern Star: Markus Pokornowski

The junior running back helped lead the Lumberjacks to the Section 7AAAA Championship.

CLOQUET, Minn. – If you’ve attended a Cloquet football game at all this season, you’ve definitely heard the name Markus Pokornowski blare over the stadium speakers.

His success on the field goes beyond natural athleticism.

“Obviously he’s a good athlete but he’s really coach-able. He’s worked hard to get better at things when he doesn’t have the football. He’s a great teammate, he blocks, he catches, and he’s a leader in the weight he’s really worked hard to become a pretty complete football player and obviously one of our leaders on the field and off,” Cloquet football head coach Tom Lenarz said.

This sense of leadership is something Pokornowski learned from his older brother, Tim, who was starting quarterback for the Lumberjacks and now plays for the UMD Bulldogs.

“I’ve learned how to be leader and how to stay strong towards the end of the game. Not let anything get in your head,” Pokornowski said.

Pokornowski not only stays strong on the field, but through life in general.

“He’s overcome a lot of adversity in life and people would never know it because he’s a pretty happy go lucky guy. He’s serious on the field and he’s a competitor but he’s a guy that gets along well with his teammates and they respect him and love having him around because he’s a fun person. So I think overall you can’t say enough good things about him,” Lenarz said.

And Pokornowski can’t say enough good things about his team.

“This team is like a second family to me. Every day we’re just coming in, talking, goofing around in practice and it’s awesome. Just working and getting better and just hopefully make it further.”

The Lumberjacks are making it further as they defeated Duluth Denfeld on Saturday in the semi-finals. The Lumberjacks are now headed to the Section 7AAAA Championship, and Pokornowski plans to continue putting everything he has into a game that has given him so much.

“It’s done a lot. I love the game of football and I would hope to go play it in college,” Pokornowski said.

Pokornowski and the top seed Lumberjacks will play for the section 7AAAA title on Friday as they face Hermantown.

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