After three games and 139 points, Cloquet senior quarterback Tim Pokornowski isn’t satisfied.
Pokornowski led Cloquet to its third-straight blowout victory to start the season, a 42-7 win over Hibbing on Friday. Still, he said the team needs to keep improving for a chance to contend for a state title in Class AAAA.
“Late in the season it’s the little things that matter,” said Pokornowski via email. “We have to execute on every single snap, whether it’s in a game or in practice, to be successful.”
Pokornowski threw five touchdowns in the first two weeks, and then returned an interception for a score against Hibbing – a game played in wet conditions. He said the Lumberjacks are “physically beating teams”, and that the line has done a great job both run and pass blocking.
Coach Tom Lenarz said his quarterback’s decision making has also been integral to the 3-0 start.
“He has learned to be patient,” Lenarz said via email, “and understands the importance of not turning the ball over.”
As far as Pokornowski is concerned, there’s only one thing that can rival the excitement from his blistering start to the 2017 season.
Landing a big fish.
“There’s always that adrenaline rush when you hook a big one or when you’re in a competition with friends or family,” said Pokornowski via email. “It’s always a blast.”
Pokornowski hopes to turn his passion for the outdoors into a career. He said he wants to pursue a job –possibly with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — that allows him to be outside. Attending a college that provides him a path to do that, while also playing football, is a priority.
“I'm looking for a winning program that is fun to play for and that will help me grow as a person and as a player,” Pokornowski said.
Pokornowski is being recruited by a majority of schools from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and some Division III programs. He said all of them envision him staying at quarterback at the next level.
As of now, the only school he’s visited is Bemidji State.
Lenarz said Pokornowski is a great student and exceptional member of the Cloquet community off the field. On the field, he called the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder “not overly boisterous”, but rather a quiet leader who assumes responsibility for good and bad times alike.
He said he believes Pokornowski’s attitude will translate into success at the next level.
“He is a three-sport athlete who is a leader in all three sports,” Lenarz said. “He will be an exceptional college football player.”