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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A rare doubleheader of golf was in store for the Perham girls golf team Monday, May 16, as travels landed the team at Tipsinah Mounds in Elbow Lake and Bois de Sioux Golf Course in Breckenridge. "Monday was the first 'nice' day to play," Head Coach Cory Solberg said. "Our team as a whole played great at both courses." Holly Karkela garnered medalist honors winning both tournaments.
The Perham boys golf team, led by Dan Cavanagh and Evan Arvig, outdistanced the field by 13 team strokes to take the Heart O' Lakes Conference meet at Barnesville. Cavanagh missed medalist honors to Frazee's top golfer, Beau Hanson, by way of a scorecard playoff, after both golfers finished with top scores of 37. Arvig placed third a stroke back at 38. With the victory, the Yellowjackets padded another point on second place Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal in the HOL conference standings. Perham sits atop the standings with nine points.
The Perham tennis team followed up on their first meet victory of the season with a third place victory at the Mid-State Conference meet in Park Rapids. Perham totaled 17 points without an individual champion in singles or a team title in doubles. "I am very proud of our boys today," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. They played some pretty tough competition but were able to keep their focus and stay determined." Chad Hofland, at four-singles, compiled four points to lead the team. "Chad played well today," Knutson said. "He was tired and sore (knees) but wanted to get the job done.
The Perham Yellowjackets softball team got the bats out hammering 31 runs in the two games played at the Frazee tournament. The tournament was reformatted and moved to Monday, May 16, after cancellations in April and over the past weekend due to inclement weather. Perham defeated Bagley 16-5 in the opener and pounded Pelican Rapids 15-4 in the second game. The Yellowjackets took advantage of timely hits in the first inning against Bagley and were aided by the ball eluding Flyer gloves on a few close plays that could have ended the inning putting up five runs early. Sophie Byer laced a doub
The formula for victory continued for the New York Mills Eagles baseball team ending in a doubleheader sweep of conference foe Parkers Prairie, 5-4 and 10-0. But the Osakis Silverstreaks snapped the Eagles win streak at seven games with a 13-7 victory at home in Osakis, Friday, May 13. The Silverstreaks are ranked 14th in the most current Minnesota Class A baseball rankings.
The East Grand Forks Green Wave baseball team snapped Perham's win streak at 11 games with a 9-4 victory over the Yellowjackets in extra innings. Perham catcher Gabe Pankonin was the silver lining in the loss picking five Green Wave runners off the base paths. Pankonin got started early. Leadoff hitter Ryan Hammargren reached on a base on balls and stole second. Between pitches, Pankonin gunned a strike to the bag to pick him off. Pankonin struck again when East Grand Forks clean-up hitter Tanner Dahlen tried to steal second.
Winners of six of their past seven games, the New York Mills Eagles have shined like recent baseball weather improving their record to 8-2 after a doubleheader sweep of Pillager, 9-0, 7-6 and an 8-2 victory over Brandon-Evansville. In their last four contests, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 33-10, following their worst loss of the season, a late April 10-0 blanking by Frazee in NY Mills. "We had a little bump in the road when we played Wadena and Frazee in back to back games," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said.
The Perham boys' golf team tested out the course for the Section 8-2A meet last week, as Perham's Dan Cavanagh shot a two-under par 70 for medalist laurels at the Longbow Golf Course in Walker. Detroit Lakes hosted the meet, winning the team title with a score of 304. The Yellowjackets tied for fourth with Crookston shooting a 319. Perham and Detroit lakes squared off again over the weekend at the Fargo North Invitational at Village Green Golf Course in Fargo, N.D. Cavanagh tied Tanner Lane of Detroit Lakes for a share of 12th place carding a 150.
Holly Karkela and Kaylan Huber continue to lead the Yellowjackets to conference golf tournament titles, this time at Frazee Tuesday afternoon. Karkela's medalist 42 was one stroke better than teammate Huber's 43. Hawley finished two strokes behind Perham, as a team, shooting 184 to the Yellowjackets' 182. Karkela and Huber's scores were the same from the meet they recently won in Hawley, keeping their stroke averages right at 42 and 43. Ali Smith finished Frazee in 48 strokes; Rachel Nelson shot a 49. Both sophomores are in the top 10 in conference stroke average after two meets.
The Perham boys track team took third place at the Hawley Booster track meet. Hawley-Ulen Hitterdal were victors with 127 points outdistancing Fargo North by a deuce, 125. Perham's 92 was a solid third place in front of Barnesville at 83. Tyler Kuhl was Perham's only event winner. He finished the 300m hurdles in 43.21. Matt Shipman took fourth in 44.57. Shipman was also fifth in the 110m hurdles, 18.97. The 4x800m relay team was second to Fargo North in a time of 8:49.87.