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 dozen seniors from last year's 23-4 Section finalist Staples-Motley Cardinals baseball team departed via graduation. The Cardinals are not the same team and the Perham Yellowjackets gave them a stiff reminder sweeping a doubleheader at Krueger field 13-0 and 4-1. The same match-up occurred last May with the Cardinals sweeping Perham 6-3 and 13-9 in far sunnier conditions at Krueger. Adding a little mustard to this series' Yellowjacet sting was David Altstadt's no-hitter in game one. Altstadt fanned seven and walked six in the minimum five innings of play.
The Perham girls golf team is working out the spring kinks, but Holly Karkela is back on top of her game early. Karkela shot an 85, good for fifth place overall, leading the Yellowjackets, who shot 381, as a team, which was seventh overall out of 12 teams. Other Perham scores: Kaylan Huber 96, Rachel Nelson 89, Hope Huus 111, Destiny Mitchell 111, Tina Scheidecker 126. Detroit Lakes won the event with a total team score of 346. Medalist honors on the day went to Tabitha Kunst from Duluth, who shot a 73. The meet consisted of mostly teams a class above Perham making Karkela's score all the
The Perham softball team heads into conference play losers of three straight after a 9-6 defeat at home to Dilworth-Glyndon Felton. The Yellowjackets have been in each of their three contests but have yet to put together a complete game for victory. The Rebels scored in five of seven innings while holding the Yellowjackets off the scoreboard until the fifth. Down 6-0, Perham rallied for three runs in the fifth, highlighted by an Etta Scheidecker triple that scored Steph Miller and Natalie Wierbos.
The Perham boys golf team is off to a hot start and after coming in victorious at the Heart O' Lakes Conference meet at Balmoral, Monday, sit atop the conference standings as the early team to beat this year. The Yellowjackets were led by Kyle Dykhoff's 37, good for a second place finish behind last year's 1A state champion medalist Beau Hanson, of Frazee. Hanson shot 34, two under par. Cody Cook, of Hawley, Boon Mahar, of Barnesville and Jordan Johnson, of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton rounded out the top five.
Both the boys and girls track teams put up numbers for third place finishes at the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Invitational in what Head Coach Mike Peterson called, "horrible conditions." The girls 107 points was bested only by meet winners Breckenridge's 134 and the host Rebels' 116. The boys' 91 points was third to Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal's 93 and the host DGF's 164. Mike Wiskow continues to impress in sprints finishing second in the 200m dash in a time of 24.99.
After a rough sweep at Menahga to start the season where the Braves outscored the Eagles 25-5 in both games, New York Mills has evened their record at 3-3 taking three of the past four games. The Eagles pounded out a 19-3 victory at Parkers Prairie before earning a split at Sebeka taking the first game 8-6 and dropping the nightcap 16-10. Finally returning home, the Eagles faced Wadena-Deer Creek looking to even their record at three wins and losses. The Wolverines got up early scoring in the first three innings for a 6-0 lead. The Eagles answered with four in the bottom half of the third
The New York Mills baseball team needed 10 innings to beat Wadena-Deer Creek 14-12 and was 10-runned by Frazee, 10-0, in chilly conditions. Wadena-Deer Creek jumped ahead early by scoring nine runs in four innings highlighted by a six-run third. Down 9-4 in the top of the fifth, the Eagles answered with their own six-run inning to take the lead 10-9 but the Wolverines would answer in the bottom half with three runs to jump ahead 12-10. Both teams remained scoreless until last at-bats in the seventh. NY Mills scored a pair to tie the game and send it to extra innings. The game remained sco
The New York Mills wrestling team handed out season ending awards, including the announcement the team was named the Minnesota Class A Academic State Champions. As a whole, the team earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.72. "This award is a deserving compliment to a hard working group of athletes who had a very strong season," Head Coach Eric Niemi said. "A 3.72 team GPA really reflects what a great place the wrestling room is and the dedication of the New York Mills school system to its students." Other awards given out were: Outstanding wrestler: Shane Novak.
The New York Mills Eagles got off to a lengthy and exciting start to the season sweeping a doubleheader from conference foe Menahga. The two games were polar opposites as it took the Eagles 10 innings of seesaw baseball to squeeze out a 6-5 victory in the opener. The nightcap started with a bang, as the Eagles put up a dozen runs in the first inning on way to a 23-1 game two thumping. In game one, both teams had chances at winning the game loading the bases in extra innings. "It was nice to get that first win," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said.
Fergus Falls' starting pitcher Zach Rengel single-handedly took apart the Perham Yellowjackets in a 10-4 season opening victory for the Otters in Perham pitching a gem on the mound and leading the Otters at the plate. Rengel had two doubles, a home run and scored three times for Fergus Falls at the plate. On the mound, he held Perham scoreless allowing only one hit over five innings. The Yellowjackets rallied in the final two innings for four runs. Jake Still hit a two RBI double. Mac Link, Jordan Hein, Jesse Hein and Richard Hoffman all scored for the Jackets.