Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years.
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Owen Werner, Leighton Rach, Jack Fudge, Matthew Bush, Dawson Kellogg, Zach Peterson and Ty Moser will wrestle for a Section 8AA Individual Championship after a strong showing in day one of the championships in Hawley on Feb. 23. It was a strong opening day for the Yellowjackets, every wrestler is still alive in the tournament, which continues with wrestlebacks at 11 a.m. in Hawley.
The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels used an early second half run, which allowed them to pull away from the Perham Yellowjackets and close the season with a 68-54 victory on Feb. 22 in Perham. While the loss was the fifth straight for the Yellowjackets, they came away with several positives getting ready for the Section 8AA playoffs.
The Perham Yellowjackets are no strangers to the mats at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Either are their opponents. For the third straight year, the Yellowjackets will open the Class AA Team Tournament against the Foley Falcons when they kick off the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 1. The Falcons advanced with a 29-26 victory over Litchfield in the Section 6AA Championship on Feb. 17.
A second half run by the Perham Yellowjackets was not enough as the Pelican Rapids Vikings earned a 73-59 Heart O’Lakes Conference girls basketball victory on Feb. 20 in Pelican Rapids. The two teams split the season series and the loss extended Perham’s losing streak to five straight games.
The Perham Yellowjacket gymnastic team rose to the occasion, posting its best score of the season during the Section 8A Championships on Feb. 16 at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium in Perham. Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, they are in the same section as the defending state champion and No. 1 ranked Detroit Lakes Lakers. The Lakers posted a section record and season best 152.375, capturing the title. The Yellowjackets finished second with a 145.875, which was 8.25 points better than third place Alexandria. Fergus Falls was fourth.
“It was amazing,” Perham’s Jose Lopez said after he helped the Perham Yellowjacket secure a 32-27 victory over Detroit Lakes on Feb. 17 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls, Minn. The win gave the Yellowjackets their fourth consecutive Section 8AA Championship, and second straight championship victory over Detroit Lakes.
The Perham Yellowjackets took control of the game early and never looked back, cruising to their 23rd straight win with a 66-25 victory over Thief River Falls in Perham on Feb. 15. Three players finished in double figures for Perham with 11 players recording points in the dominant win. Martin LaFond led the way with 16 points. Josh Jeziorski finished with 13 points, while the new all-time leading scorer in Perham history, Jenson Beachy, finished with 11 points.
Carter Cresap finished the game with two points, but it was the biggest two points as Perham held off Hawley 49-48 to remain undefeated on Feb. 13 in Hawley. Cresap took a feed from Jenson Beachy and hit the layup with 25 seconds remaining in the second half, giving Perham the one-point lead. The Yellowjackets’ defense rose to the occasion in the final seconds when Finn Diggins blocked a last second shot attempt, securing their 22nd straight win.
The Perham/New York Mills boys swimming team wrapped up the regular season portion of its schedule with the annual Mid-State Conference Championships on Feb. 9 in Park Rapids, Minn. The Yellowjackets finished with 307 points for third place. Park Rapids claimed the title with 713 points, while Detroit Lakes came in second with 591 points.
The perfect season is still alive for the Menahga Braves girls basketball team when they defeated Perham 59-46 in a non-conference clash in Menahga on Feb. 12. The leaders of the Park Region Conference picked up their 21st straight victory with the win. The Braves have dominated the competition during the season with their closest game being a nine-point victory over New York Mills earlier in the season. The 13-point loss for the Yellowjackets is the third closest game Menahga has played all season long.