Olin and Her Seniors, Together from the Start

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: December 31, 2019 10:33 PM

"She makes us want to play, she motivates us in a way that no other coach can," said Jenna Zdebski.


Zdebski is a defenseman for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjacks. She's one of seven seniors on the team, who've skated under head coach Courtney Olin since the beginning.

"I think since our seniors have been with Coach Olin since she's started, we've gained our confidence and have become better and have grown on the younger girls," said Emmie Ellena, a senior defenseman for CEC.

2015 marked Olin's inaugural season as the Cloquet girls' bench boss. Her seniors this year, were in eighth grade at the time. 

"As a head coach it's been fun to work with the seniors. I've had them all through the five years," said Olin.

In their time together, they've fallen short of the state tournament. However, this season they're off to an impressive 11-2 start.

"We want to make it to the state tournament, make it to the section finals and do good this season," CEC senior forward Taylor Nelson.

"Leadership is so important and we have a great group of senior leaders who have worked extremely hard and just set the tone that we're here to compete and win. Hopefully we compete and do our job," added Olin.

Not only do the girls have deep ties, so do their coaches. Assistant coach Dave Esse is Courtney's father. 

"What he brings to the program is invaluable. I know everyone respects him, the girls respect him, and we are really fortunate to have him on staff," said Olin about her dad helping with the team.

Coming on last season, Esse has stayed as an assistant coach. While not all blood related, the Lumberjacks at Northwoods Credit Union Arena have become a true family.


Alicia Tipcke

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017

City of Duluth pushes for last minute Census responses

Duluth Council to decide future of Spirit Mountain

Duluth Firefighter remembers dad who died in the line of duty

Deadline to apply for CARES relief is September 28

Minnesota COVID-19 Update Sunday