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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It was April of 2009 and that first day of the year above 80 degrees. The sun was shining. It was the perfect day for lunch outdoors...and drinks. A few friends joined me at a patio bar in Fargo, my home at the time, and cocktails were had.
The season came to an end for the New York Mills volleyball team, a season that provided a lot of experience, but unfortunately, zero wins. Norman County West was victorious in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-18 and 25-14. Taylor Plautz led the Eagles with 10 blocks. Jackie Imsande had eight. Offensively, Imsande had nine kills. Megan Cole had four and Lexi Rankka had seven assists. The loss drops the Eagles final record to 0-26.
A rematch with undefeated and #2 ranked Wadena-Deer Creek ended the Yellowjacket volleyball season. The two teams met earlier in the season to a similar fate. The Wolverines defeated Perham 3-0, by scores of 25-16, 25-17, and 25-15. "I was proud of our front row defense tonight-something that has plagued this team all year long.
Perham defeated Breckenridge, 3-0, by scores of 25-13, 25-18 and 25-23 in the opening round of Section 8AA volleyball play.
Over 1,000 people attended the benefit for Nathan Johnson on Sunday, Oct. 24. The community effort raised $25,000 in support of the Johnson family. Nathan, 9, is awaiting his second heart transplant. The Perham boy is listed as 1A status in the region, meaning he'll get the first heart available. "It was a wonderful outpouring of support and we couldn't be more pleased with this community," Organizer Pastor Phil Booe of St.
In a game of inches, the Yellowjackets were one foot away from tying the score with under two minutes to play.
As one of the more athletically successful small towns in the state of Minnesota, Perham is missing one thing. The sport of the state: hockey. Trent Swanson and the Perham Area Youth Hockey Association (PAYHA) are out to change that from the ground up. In hockey, the ground up starts with the mites and squirts: the little guys and girls. "If you give kids another outlet to do something, it's better for the community," Swanson said. PAYHA is in its fifth year of instructing kids ages 4-9 in the fundamentals of hockey. Indoor practices are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 6-7 p.m.
The New York Mills Eagles got off to a quick start at home versus Pillager in the final game of the season but a quick momentum change led to a 36-14 loss to end the Eagles' season. "We lost a tough game tonight. We came out and put together a great drive to score to go up 7-0 only to see Pillager come back with a kick return to take the momentum back," Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. Tanner Wegscheid, returning at quarterback after missing nearly three games with a broken nose, scored from three yards out.
The Yellowjackets and East Grand Forks played to a 14-all stalemate at halftime, but two third quarter Green Wave touchdowns ended regular season play for Perham with a 28-14 loss. Jordan Hein hit Chris Ruther from seven yards out and Eric Brauch from 24 yards for the two Perham scores. Both Jesse Hein extra point kicks were good. Turnovers and missed tackles played a major role in the final score. "Those are areas we can fix by focusing more," said Head Coach Mike Jordahl. Jordon Hein was picked off five times.
In a tune-up race for the upcoming section meet in Bagley, both cross-country teams ran away from competition in the season finale at Park Rapids. "This was a great tune-up for sections, because we saw basically every team in the section today minus one or two," Head Coach Jeff Morris said. "All the teams we know are going to be a factor for the team titles were there." The varsity squads ran a practice round at Bagley earlier in the season during an underclassmen race and are familiar with the course. "Bagley is a course we know pretty well.