by Dennis Dalman
Although he just graduated and will leave high school forever, Jacob Clafton will carry many good memories with him, including the fun he had as a player on the Stormin’ Sabres boys’ lacrosse team.
“I remember so well playing in the Grand Rapids tournament when we were just a club team,” Clafton said. “And I’ll always remember all those bus trips, our team bonding and all the fun we had.”
But lacrosse wasn’t all fun; it wasn’t all hijinx and horseplay. It was loads of work, lots of discipline and at times exhausting. But that’s another thing Clafton loves about lacrosse; it’s not easy.
“There’s a lot of physicality in lacrosse,” he said. “It’s a highly intense sport. A high-speed game. Very competitive.”
The son of Mindy and Gary Clafton of Sauk Rapids, Clafton is a senior at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. He plays defense and is one of the captains for the Stormin’ Sabres’ lacrosse team, which is a co-op team combining players from Sartell and Sauk Rapids-Rice and coached by Nicholas Kirick of Sartell.
Clafton has been playing lacrosse ever since he was in seventh grade. He also likes to play hockey, which he said is similar in some ways to lacrosse and yet very different in other ways. And some of the offensive maneuvers of lacrosse are similar to those in the game of soccer, he added.
As of May 30, the time of Clafton’s interview with the Newsleader, the Stormin’ Sabres had six wins, seven losses for the season. The team won games against Becker twice, Hutchinson High School/New Century Academy, Buffalo, St. Cloud and Monticello. Their losses were to Duluth, one of two games against Monticello, Rogers, Cold Spring Rocori, Delano-Rockford, and one of two games against St. Cloud and St. Michael-Albertville High School.
As of press time May 31, the team was preparing to leave for that evening’s playoff game in Osseo.
“If we win that, we’ll move on to play Maple Grove,” he noted.
Clafton has two brothers – Aaron, 24; and Nathan, 21. They both played hockey, and Nathan played football, as well. Their father was a high-school hockey player in Grand Rapids, his hometown.
After graduation, Clafton will begin an apprenticeship with J-Berd Mechanical in St. Augusta, a company that does work that includes electrical, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing.
The members of the 2017 Stormin’ Sabres boys’ lacrosse team are as follows:
Jacob Ackerman, Johnathan Bates, Cody Borgert, James Buchnowski, Clafton, Connor Cariveau, Lars Claypool, Trevor Dummer, Nevin Friesz, Cameron Hallonquist, Bryant Hannah, Cole Jurek, Austin Kuklok, Thomas Magarian, Kaleb Myhrwold, Cole Nelson, Trystan Pickner, Drake Raduns-Parsley, Michael Ramseth, Gavin Reitz, Justin Scherer, Carter Schumacher, Noah Swenson and Griffen Trondson.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.