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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It may not have been the style of win the Yellowjackets were hoping for, but it was the type of game they needed when they defeated the Detroit Lakes 53-45 in a non-conference boys basketball clash on Jan. 11 at the Prairie Wind Middle School. The Lakers used their height and physicality to stick with the Yellowjackets, putting forth one of their best efforts of the season, hoping to knock off the state-ranked Yellowjackets. However, Perham gritted it out, earning the eight-point home win.
Two of the top-ranked teams in the state of Minnesota met at the Hauer Gymnasium on Jan. 9 when the Willmar Cardinals invaded Perham to take on the Yellowjackets in a gymnastics dual. The Cardinals entered the contest ranked second in the state for Class A teams, while the Yellowjackets came in ranked seventh in the state for Class A.
The Perham Yellowjackets cruised to a 64-24 victory over the Park Rapids Panthers on Jan. 9 at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium in non-conference boys basketball. Carter Cresap and Josh Jeziorski paced the Yellowjackets with 12 points each, while Jenson Beachy added 11 points.
The fifth-ranked Perham wrestling team went wire-to-wire in capturing the Rick Lee Duals Championship on Jan. 5 and 6 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. The Yellowjackets captured the title with a 32-28 victory over Frazee in the final match of the tournament. They earned a championship round win over Litchfield, 39-31, and the host Lumberjacks, 44-12. The perfect tournament improves the Yellowjackets to 18-0 in dual meets this year.
The Perham/New York Mills boys swimming team returned to action with a dual against Moorhead on Jan. 4 in Moorhead. The Spuds came away with a 116-60 victory over the Yellowjackets. According to head coach Trent Swanson, the Yellowjackets had a good night in Moorhead. The team continues to grow, adding three new members, bringing their total up to 16.
The Perham gymnastics team continues to improve, posting their highest score of the season when they captured the Clemensen Invitational in Princeton Jan. 6. The Yellowjackets finished first in the 10 team event, posting a 142.95. One of the keys to the surge was their success on the beam. The Yellowjackets stuck the beam, finishing with a score of 35.35. It was the second highest score on that apparatus and the highest the Yellowjackets have posted for the season.
The game’s biggest run came late and helped the Perham Yellowjackets pull away for a hard-fought 80-69 victory over the Hawley Nuggets in a Heart O’Lakes Conference boys basketball game in Perham on Jan. 5.
It was a tale of two halves for the Perham girls basketball team when they knocked off New York Mills 56-42 in a non-conference girls basketball game on Jan. 8 in New York Mills. The Yellowjackets labored through a plodding first half. The Yellowjackets trailed by two points and were fortunate to be down by just two if it wasn’t for five first half 3-pointers.
The Perham Yellowjackets took command in the first half and cruised to a 63-30 victory over the Thief River Falls Prowlers in a non-conference boys basketball game in Thief River Falls on Jan. 4. Martin LaFond led a trio of Yellowjackets in double figures with 14 points. Jenson Beachy finished with 13 points, while Josh Jeziorski added 10 points in the win. Carter Cresap and Logan Richter ended with nine points each.
Thief River Falls used a late rally, knocking off the Perham Yellowjackets 50-45 in a non-conference girls basketball game in Thief River Falls on Jan. 4. The Yellowjackets led by 10 with five minutes and 37 seconds left in the game, but Thief River Falls caught fire from beyond the arc in the closing minutes, erasing the deficit and sending the game into overtime.