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Bottom row L-R: Paul Swanson, Kevin Thompson, Jon Siira, Zach Langendorfer, Mark Murphy, Andrew Cullen, Curtis Swanson, Jayden Cullen, Keeghan Hurley. Top row: Troy Brown, Matt Shipman, Todd Brown, Chad Hofland, Ben Sullivan, Josh Young, Leighton Covington, Austin Gray,. Not pictured: Sam Mack, Randy Swanson, Alexander Eggert.

Yellowjacket boys swimmers ready to pop

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Both of head coach Sheri Ressler's girls and boys swimming teams have been young and have had seasons crescendo to success.

"The boys team will be just like the girls--ready to pop," Ressler said.

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A young group of sophomores, many of who made a push for state meet entries last season are fully expected to make the next step and bring home state qualifiers come section meet time.

Boys swimming is made up of only four sections, compared to eight for the girls, due to less numbers and teams. The reverse side of that is there are 13 teams in Section 3A, with Perham competing against schools like Hutchinson and Bemidji, who have significantly higher class sizes.

"We have the toughest section and send the most swimmers to state," Ressler said.

Which makes the task more difficult for the upstart Yellowjackets.

The schedule is rough for Perham, as well, as they will be on the road all season.

Their closest meet will be Thursday, Jan. 26 at Detroit Lakes. There are a number of meets in Park Rapids and Fergus Falls, but the Perham boys swimmers will get no closer to home the entire length of their schedule.

The team opens their season at Fergus Falls for an invitational with the Otters and the Lakers.

Senior Matt Shipman finished second in the 50-freestyle at the Mid-State conference meet last year and will look to improve his time.

Mark Shipman is the only diver from last year's team.

Jayden Cullen put up quick times last season in the lengthier freestyle swims.

Paul Swanson and Zach Langendorfer are names that will make runs at medals this season.

In all, 13 boys swimmers qualified for sections last season. Eight of those have returned this year: Chad Hofland, Matt Shipman, Randy Swanson, Mark Murphy, Paul Swanson, Zach Langendorfer, Leighton Covington, Jayden Cullen and Ben Sullivan.

The near future is bright for the Perham/NY Mills swim team.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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