All-Region Women’s Soccer Player of the Year: Katie Turner of Cloquet-Carlton “never puts 100% in soccer”
The elder Cloquet takes care of just about everything. She is active with the Student Council, the National Honor Society, the Senior Executive Committee, Junior Rotarians and the Yearbook Editor for Cloquet High School.
Throughout October, she also rehearsed for the CHS fall musical – a production of “Beauty and the Beast” – and attended open gyms to prepare for basketball season.
Throughout October, as Cloquet-Carlton qualified for the Minnesota Class AA semifinals, several team members were also rehearsing for the fall musical “Beauty and the Beast”. Pictured: (front row, from left) Sarah Turner, Olivia Macaulay, Makena Smith and Ilei Benson; and (back row) Olivia Jameson, Caley Kruse, Katie Turner and Macava Smith. Photo courtesy of Bobbie Turner
And there is another little thing. Katie was captain of the Cloquet-Carlton soccer team that made it to the state semifinals for the first time since 2009, and she scored the game-winning goal against St. Francis in the quarterfinal game. Lumberjacks.
The two-time selection of the State First Team is now the Duluth News Tribune Player of the Year. Katie led the Lumberjacks in points with 20 (11 goals, nine assists) and was a key to Cloquet-Carlton’s three-game winning streak.
In the final month of the 2021 season, Turner would wake up around 7.15am, getting ready for school, with soccer practice immediately following. After soccer practice, she would clean up and go to rehearsals for sometimes 3 to 4 hours, arriving home around 11 p.m. to finish her homework.
“I can’t really figure out his schedule,” said friend and teammate Sadie Senich. “I just remember coming to workout every day and seeing Katie doing her homework in the parking lot or stressing out about something because she has so much to do.”
Although Turner’s schedule is busy, she appreciates the variety of activities she participates in and the opportunities that each bring.
âI love to feel accomplished and being a part of anything that I can be a part of just makes me feel good,â said Katie. âI would just be bored if I came home every day after school, did my homework, and sat doing nothing. I really enjoy being a part of as many things as I do because I meet a lot of different people.
Katie’s mother and Lumberjacks assistant coach Bobbie Turner said she has a very busy schedule herself.
âI’m a bit of an over-carpenter – I tend to volunteer too much for this board or this committee or whatever,â Bobbie said. âI think I thrive in chaos and I feel like Katie is kind of like that too, but in terms of time management, that’s all her. She kind of keeps a pretty diligent schedule. She wrote it all down, when she takes the time to study, tonight is going to be for that class, and so on.
“The job I thought my team deserved”
Despite all the different activities – which also include the running track in the spring – Katie has always kept football high on her priority list.
âI remember Katie was always stressed out,â Senich said. âBut she never got into football 100%. She always made sure she was at soccer and homework and everything else was put away.
Cloquet-Carlton’s Katie Turner chases the ball in a September 2020 game. Turner was named Player of the Year by the News Tribune after the Lumberjacks advanced to the Minnesota Class AA semifinal. (File / News Tribune)
Football has been a part of Katie’s life ever since Bobbie took Katie to her sister Erin’s soccer practice when she was a little girl.
âMy mom kicked me a soccer ball ever since I could walk,â Katie said.
Instead of being a burden, football has become what Katie does to relax and escape all the other demands of her time.
âI can’t wait to go to soccer every day,â Katie said. “It doesn’t matter how many things I have to do or how stressed I feel … it’s not something that makes me say ‘Oh damn I have to go to football practice tonight right after. school. ‘ It really gets rid of a lot of my stress.
Cloquet-Carlton coach Dustin Randall has been coaching Katie since her first year and has said she is “ready to do anything” during training. He originally envisioned him as a center-back or midfielder, but Katie had different ideas.
“At first I wanted her in midfield, but she ended up playing the striker role to bring her in,” said Randall. âShe just kept scoring big goals so she always stayed there. In training, however, she’ll jump and play defense or she’ll even jump into the net and play goalie – she really enjoys playing football.
Randall, Senich and even Bobbie have all said that one of the things that sets Katie apart from other players is her work ethic and dedication to football.
âI grew up with these girls, each of them is like my sister,â Katie said. âEvery day I did the job I thought my team deserved and that’s what I bring to this team. I think I have a very high work ethic. The last four seasons that I’ve been in college, I think I’ve pushed everyone to their full potential and I think that’s what I’ve brought to the team.
“My home away from home”
After her high school football career is over, Katie will travel to the University of Northern Michigan in Marquette next fall to play football for the Wildcats.
She looked to other schools, even some in warmer climates, but NMU seemed like the right fit for her plans, which also include pursuing a career as an anesthesiologist.
âIt was like driving in Duluth,â Katie said. âIt was far enough away where I thought I could be a new person and start a new life, but close enough where I could come home in an emergency. I just felt like it was my home away from home – it was so much like Duluth, you have the lake and I thought anywhere there was football couldn’t be bad.
Bobbie said after Katie’s phone call with coach Jon Sandoval she “got a good feeling,” but the visit really made a difference.
âShe tried to keep her enthusiasm tempered on this first day of the visit,â said Bobbie. “But at the end of the second day, she was like, ‘I think this is my school. “”
As Katie leaves the Lumberjacks behind this spring, she hopes she and the other architects of Cloquet-Carlton success – including former All-Area Player of the Year Kendra Kelley and Kiana Bender – will continue long after her career. departure.
âI feel very lucky to have done it three years in a row, but I don’t want it to be enough,â Katie said. “I want them to stay hungry and I want them to continue to be successful every year, to go further and further and to keep improving as a team.”