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 2011 Minnesota State Class A Gymnastics meets were incredibly rewarding experiences on multiple levels for everyone involved. Over the course of two days of competition, emotions ranged from pain to ecstasy. Satera Montella tweaked an ankle on a landing, grimaced, walked it off and proceeded to the next apparatus, where any evidence of even the slightest twinge was hidden by a great performance on uneven parallel bars. Carly Petersen missed the landing on her first vault and with steely determination stormed back on her last attempt to gain her second state vault title.
The fifth time was the charm for Kelsi Vomacka.
The one weakness of the Perham gymnastics team turned into a strength, leading the Yellowjackets to their state-record eighth consecutive Minnesota Class 1A state gymnastics title Friday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. Uneven bars, the apparatus where Perham appeared mortal during the season, turned up the Perham scores and smiles, led by senior leader Kelsi Vomacka's 9.550. "Usually on bars, we don't hit so well, but we hit today," Vomacka said. Carly Petersen added a 9.050 and - combined with Satera Montella (8.775) and Alexis Peichel (8.825) - Perham's 36.2 team
The Perham girls basketball team (18-5, 11-3) dropped their third game out of the last five at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (11-11, 6-7).
The Perham boys basketball team continues to roll through opponents lifting their current winning streak to eight games and improving to 20-1 on the season. Perham put up their fourth highest point total of the year in defeating Frazee 78-33. The pace was far slower as the Yellowjackets were victorious over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton with their lowest total of the year. The final was 42-29. The loss was the sixth in a row for the Rebels who have the arduous task of facing the Yellowjackets in back-to-back games. Friday night's game will be a make-up game for the Jan.
Prior to New York Mills' semifinal section 6A wrestling match with Wadena-Deer Creek, Head Coach Eric Niemi stated the Eagles needed to come out and get off to a good start. They did, jumping out to a 15-0 lead thanks to pins from Andrew Perala and Shane Novak.
Making nine straight trips to the state championship gymnastics meet demands goals that become loftier with time. One of those goals for the team this year has been to score 150 points. Perham was just a bit shy of that goal as they won the Section 8-1A title with a 148.688 score Saturday inside Ralph Anderson Gym, in Detroit Lakes. Perhaps, they are saving it for the state title. The Class A individual state meet will be held inside the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion Saturday, Feb. 26, while the team state meet is Friday, Feb. 25. There is no easy way to get to such heights.
What happened to that day the temperature was in the forties? Of all the weeks to drop four quarts of oil in my driveway, why did my Camry pick this one? I could go on and on about the recent past and the present. If I had my way, I would be far more comfortable sleeping the day away and staying up all night with little to no responsibility and what comes with such, little to no pride. It's happened before, this seasonal affective disorder and I don't even believe in it. It seems these days anytime there is something wrong with a person it's lobbed into the swampy regions of some kind of
The New York Mills girls basketball team dropped two games, one to conference opponent Pillager, 55-33, and to section rival Norman County East 57-36. The losses keep the Eagles winless in the Park Region Conference standings at 0-12. The Eagles are 3-7 in section play with victories over Ashby, Ulen-Hitterdal and Park Christian. The Eagles, however, are above four teams in Section 6A North standings. Ulen-Hitterdal has four more losses at 3-11.
The number three seeded Thief River Falls/Goodridge Prowlers ended any chance the Perham Yellowjacket wrestling team had of making an unexpected trip to the state tournament in the section semifinals at Thief River Falls, 38-16. Entering the Section 8AA-wrestling tournament as the number two and three seeds, meant both teams had byes in the opening rounds. Both teams had no trouble advancing out of the quarterfinals. Perham defeated Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena/Indus, 66-6.