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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Staples-Motley ended the Perham tennis season with a 6-1 defeat at Staples, Monday, May 23. Dillon Shields notched a victory at three singles with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Robin Melse. "Coach Kosiak and I are very proud of how our boys finished," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. "They were playing much better tennis towards the end which shows we improved." The Yellowjackets had one match victory on the season defeating Park Rapids 4-3. They also were on the losing end of two other 4-3 decisions where the meet came down to one match.
Bailey Meyer led the way for the Perham girls track team taking two events at the Section 6A Sub-section meet in Pelican Rapids. Meyer won the discus throwing 106-feet one-inch and kept it going in the shot put outdistancing the competition with a throw of 34-feet four-inches. Amber Kalina placed fourth in the shot with a throw of 32-feet eight-inches. Miranda Lockhart placed third six inches back of Meyer's winning throw.
It was a clean sweep for the Perham Yellowjackets girls golf team as they took home another Heart O' Lakes Conference championship Tuesday, at Wildflower Golf Course, in Detroit Lakes. The win comes as no surprise as the Yellowjackets dominated conference meets this season thanks to Holly Karkela, the conference's most valuable player, and Kaylan Huber, along with three Yellowjackets underclassmen, who made big leaps and improved throughout the season. The senior duo of Karkela and Huber led the conference in scoring average.
Each Heart O' Lakes Conference golf meet is held on a different course in a different area of the region but this year, one thing has been constant. Holly Karkela is coming to that course and she is going to walk away the medalist whether her teammates or competitors like it or not. On Tuesday, she wrapped up the conference sweep by taking the Heart O' Lakes Championship meet at Wildflower shooting a 41 on the front side, which was tops of any golfer and tying for second on the back nine with a 44. "I expected to win," Karkela said.
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.