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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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.
The New York Mills boys basketball team improved to 7-2 in Section 6A North play and 14-5 overall after a convincing victory at Lake Park-Audubon. The Eagles got up early and cruised to a 66-46 win. When Adam Snelgrove is hot shooting the Eagles can be very difficult to match up against. Snelgrove can light a team up from beyond the arc and he demoralized the Raiders early with three quick bombs and 15 first half points. He would sit most of the second half, along with most of the other starters.
The Perham girls basketball team bounced back from last week's home conference loss to Hawley with two victories. Perham defeated Frazee 58-35 and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 51-43. Before the Hawley game, control of the conference was in Jacket hands but the subsequent loss to the Nuggets has hopes for a conference title in the hands of the Heart O' Lakes cellar dwellers. Hawley has games at Frazee and home versus Breckenridge. The Hornets and Cowgirls have a combined conference record of 3-21. A loss to either team seems unlikely. Hawley is 11-1 in Heart O' Lakes play.
The New York Mills Eagles wrestlers were less than gracious hosts taking their final home triangular, 59-15, over Browerville-Eagle Valley and, 45-11, over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley-Nevis. Tommy Selander and Shane Novak, fresh off his 100th career victory, amazingly, as a sophomore, got the Eagles up early against United North Central. Selander pinned Tommy Tellers at 3:04.
The Perham wrestling team was awarded the second seed in section 8-2A after recent victories over section foes Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls. "DL was one of our better performances of the year," Head Coach Robb Moser said. "Anytime you can go get wins against section teams without all your top wrestlers that's a real plus." Perham defeated DL 42-25, Saturday, Feb.
The New York Mills girls basketball team picked up its third victory of the season, first on the road, in overtime over Park Christian, 71-68. "This was a very hard fought game throughout," Head Coach J.J. Weller said. "Both teams made runs in the game where it looked like they were going to take control and win the game, and both teams came back from those same deficits to tie it up and make it a nail-biter." The Eagles came out hot getting good looks against a 2-3 zone converting on shot attempts while slowing the Falcons down defensively with a similar defensive zone.