Paukert, Charlie 2005 Graduate - Athlete
Charlie graduated from Grand Forks Central in 2005 and is considered one of the best tennis players in school history. He started competing on varsity as a 7th grader and not only made it to state each year, but also placed all 6 years. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, Charlie was the East Region Singles Champion. In 2003, he was the State Singles Champion and in 2004, Charlie was the East Region Singles Champion, Undefeated North Dakota State Singles Champion, and Senior Athlete of the Year. He received the Milestone Award by earning 100 high school singles victories.
Charlie also competed in hockey and golf at Central. In his junior year, he lettered for the GFC hockey team that won the state title in 2004 and he helped the Knights to a 2nd place finish in 2005. In golf, he was recognized as Rookie of the Year in 2002 and earned all-conference recognition in 2004.
Charlie knows that there is a certain pride that you have when you go to Central. He described how he wanted to be a part of the rich tradition at a young age, just like his father, aunt and sister who are alumni. One standout memory Charlie described is finishing a match in near pitch-black conditions at University Park; the only light was from the streetlight in an alley nearby.
Charlie lives here in Grand Forks where he is a tennis teaching professional. His father, Terry, was inducted into the North Dakota Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017 and is a part of GFC’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Terry coached Charlie in tennis at GFC and continued to coach for a total of 12 years at Central. Charlie’s aunt, Mary, is also a part of GFC’s Hall of Fame and worked her entire teaching career at GF Central.