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 New York Mills Eagles softball team advanced to the second round of the Section 6A playoffs with a 6-3 defeat against a cagey team from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. The Comets defeated Parkers Prairie in the opening Pigtail Round 11-3 to advance to face the Eagles. It was Hillcrest Academy's first win of the season as they came into the game with an overall record of 0-9. "They're definitely better than their record indicates," NY Mills Assistant Coach Greg Esala said. The Eagles used the double play to stave off trouble in multiple innings, including the seventh. Up 6-2 with one away,
A split with Detroit Lakes secured the Mid-State Conference title for the Perham Yellowjackets. The Lakers took the opening game of the doubleheader 8-3, but Perham, behind Jesse Hein on the mound, roared back to clinch the title with an 11-1 victory. "It was exciting for the kids to win the Mid-State Conference," Head Coach Hans Hanson said. "That was one or our goals going into the season." Perham was up early in the opener as David Altstadt reached first on a fielder's choice and worked his way around the bases to give Perham a 1-0 lead.
Adam Snelgrove pitched a complete game surrendering only two hits in a split with Ottertail Central that clinched the Park Region Conference title for the New York Mills Eagles baseball team. The title is the first for NY Mills baseball in over 20 years. NY Mills blanked the Bulldogs 11-0 in the opener and Ottertail Central returned the favor with a 5-0 shutout victory of their own in the nightcap. Snelgrove pitched six innings, facing 23 batters, walking three and striking out nine. "Solid pitching and strong defense is what did it for us," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said. Eight Eagle ba
Wrestling is in the bloodline. Some people are made to grapple; most people cannot handle it. Mason Friederichs is one who was made for it. In April, Friederichs, a sixth grader from New York Mills, became a state champion at 120 pounds at the Northland Youth Wrestling Association's state tournament in Rochester, Minn., at the Auditorium of the Mayo Civic Center. In taking the title, Friederichs only gave up one point in three matches. That point was a penalty point for not having an arm in a move. Statistics don't lie. He shut out the competition.
The Perham girls track team took seventh place and New York Mills finished 12th in rotten weather, at Frazee's Daggett Invitational. The two schools combined to put three runners in the top five of the 1600m run. NY Mills' Mariah Novak finished second in 5:47.91; Perham's Mary Reistenberg was fourth at 6:00.33 and the Eagles' Brooke Hendrickx was right behind in fifth with a time of 6:02.02. In the 800m run, Perham's Racole Karels was fourth in a time of 2:43.76.
The Perham boys track team took fifth place out of a dozen teams and New York Mills finished 10th in blustery, awful weather, at Frazee's Daggett Invitational. Tyler Kuhl stayed consistent in the 300m hurdles with a second place finishing time of 42.42. The Eagles' Cole Strand was seventh in 46.34. Strand was the only runner from either school to make the top 10 in the 110m hurdles. His time of 18.18 was good for eighth. Mike Wiskow was in his usual spot cracking the top five in the 100m dash with a fifth place time of 11.96.
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