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.
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The #12A-ranked Perham girls cross-country team finished in second place at the Section 8A meet, a mere three points behind #11-A Park Rapids, both teams qualifying for the state meet next week. This will be the eighth straight state meet appearance for the Yellowjackets. Confusion early in the race may have affected the outcome, due to an incorrect lead of the four-wheeler driver who directs the runners.
In a field of 118 racers at the Section 8A cross-country meet, the #2-ranked, defending state champion Yellowjackets placed all seven runners in the top 14, including the top five scoring runners all in the top 10, to run away, quite literally, with the section title and their 10th consecutive trip to the state meet. The victory keeps an amazing span of dominance going for the Perham boys team. Pack leader Brady Speicher directed this year's section effort. "Everyone of us are leaders," Speicher said.
Three Perham first half turnovers allowed the Staples-Motley Cardinals (0-9) to hang with Perham (6-3) in the first half of the opening game of the Section 8AAA football playoffs. Perham came out ready to play in the second half and put the game away with three third quarter touchdowns en route to a 34-12 victory. The Cardinals scored a touchdown with 33 seconds remaining in the first half via a 35-yard touchdown pass from Blake Petrich to Colton Borders. Borders caught the ball at the height of his leap behind and over Gabe Pankonin.
The New York Mills Eagles, the eight seed, will host ninth-seeded Ulen-Hitterdal Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the opening round of Section 6A volleyball playoffs. The two teams met in Ulen at the Ulen-Hitterdal tournament in September. The Eagles prevailed 2-0 in a shortened three-set max match. Both sets were close (25-22, 25-21). The winner has the tall task of traveling to face top-seeded Ada-Borup (26-1) the following night in second round play. Ada-Borup received a bye in the first round.
As expected, the Perham Yellowjackets are the #3 seed in Section 8AA volleyball playoffs. They will host #6 seed Pelican Rapids Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Prairie Wind Middle School. The two teams met in Perham Oct. 11. Perham prevailed 3-0, (25-12, 25-23, 25-18). Miranda Lockhart and Katrina Moenkedick had 11 kills to lead the Yellowjackets. Brooke Mickelson added 10. Perham finished regular season play 4-2 in the Heart O' Lakes Conference and 12-14 overall.
Section 6A The path to the Fargodome and the Section 6A playoffs is stacked up to run through #2-A Mahnomen (QRF-2), the undefeated top seed. The Indians have walloped their opponents to the tune of a 45-3 average point differential. The West Central Area Knights (2-6) (QRF-51) have the unenviable task of traveling to Mahnomen Tuesday, Oct. 25. Mahnomen should prevail easily.
A high-scoring first half of three touchdowns from each team turned into a war in the trenches as the East Grand Forks Green Wave hung around before Jordan Hein put the game away for the Yellowjackets in a thrilling 35-28 victory to seal sole possession of the Heart O' Lakes-North conference title. Perham got off to a quick start jumping to leads of 14-0 and 21-7, but Green Wave junior quarterback Nick Erickson reeled off three touchdowns in the second quarter, including a five-play, 62-yard drive in the final minute, scoring from five yards out to tie the game at 21 going into halftime. Jor
The Eagles' volleyball team heads into section playoffs on a two-game winning streak after defeating Menahga on the road 3-1 (25-14, 25-17, 25-27, 25-19). New York Mills defeated Pillager 3-0 in their previous match. "(This) was a much-needed conference win," New York Mills Amy Koskela said. NY Mills got off to a quick start easily winning the first two games before the Braves came back to take the third set needing extra points to do it, 27-25.
Perham had to battle to the wire in four games but ended the regular season on a high note with a victory at Detroit lakes 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 26-24). "We knew this would be a tight one," Perham Head Coach Dan Christenson said. The Yellowjackets have become accustomed to going the distance this season with a number of five set matches. "We've been on the winning end of most of them and facing that pressure has strengthened this team," said Christenson. Perham played better and more at ease in the tightest parts of each set. "We were good up to 22 points," Laker Head Coach Jim Wood s