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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Sisters Missy and Stephanie Hendrickx won a tight championship match over runners-up Nikki Perala, assistant tennis coach, and Focus Sports Editor Bob Williams 4-3 in the second annual Mills Open "Celebrity" Tennis Classic Saturday in front of an amused crowd in perfect hamstring pulling 40-degree weather. "It was a great day and a lot of fun for everyone," Head Coach Gary Bach said. Proceeds from the tournament benefited the Eagles tennis team and the Wadena-Deer Creek high school athletic department. Williams had championship point on his racquet, but pure exhaustion and a glaring lack of
Sincerity and humor were shared in equal amounts from all speakers at the Perham Hall of Fame induction ceremonies held at Mulligan's Pub and Eatery Friday night after the football game. First to speak was Yellowjacket coach Larry Hauer. Hauer coached from 1959-1985. Hauer took over the football program from Perham legend Ted Meinhover.
There is no trophy in atrophy and it was proven on the tennis courts of New York Mills last Saturday. Kudos to Head Coach Gary Bach, his tennis team and the volunteers and fans, who came out to watch the second annual Mills Open "Celebrity" Tennis Classic. The NY Mills Lady Eagles Tennis team is donating $100 to Wadena-Deer Creek Athletics from fund raising at the tournament. A portion of those funds came directly out of my pocket, as I stuffed rice krispie bars, hot dogs, waters and pops down my cakehole in an effort to force my body to keep moving after the first match. It had been three
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton running back Bennett Mercil was a given for the 100 yard mark in rushing after his first two performances of the year. He nearly rushed for 200 in a 20-6 victory over Perham on Hall of Fame night Friday. Mercil's 192 yards on 25 rushes averaged 7.7 yards per carry.
The Perham volleyball team used striking offensive play to even their Heart O' Lakes conference record at 1-1 defeating Breckenridge 3-1 Thursday night. "This team is improving a little each match - hoping for it to peak at playoff time," said Head Coach Dan Christenson. The Yellowjackets had a shot at sweeping all three sets but a wild ending to the second slanted in favor of the Cowgirls 31-29. Perham had five set points but were unable to finish. That was not the case in the final set. Down 21-20, Breckenridge called timeout and the Jackets huddled up for a pep talk.
An unexpected return to a younger version of self appeared Saturday afternoon as I left Perham city limits destined for a volleyball match in Pelican Rapids. Running between New York Mills and Perham keeps me on highway 10 much of the time. It had been sometime since I had whipped through the county on Minnesota State Highway 108. Talulah, my Camry, certainly doesn't handle like the ol' 5.0 Mustang, the CRX or even my favorite, the now deceased RX-7 of days of yore, when I had more hair that was black and not gray and a testosterone-led foot.
The fat lady was warming up her voice late in the fourth quarter as Park Rapids held on to a tenuous 6-0 lead with under two minutes on the clock. Perham had trouble all night moving the ball against a stingy Panther defense and had to fight through nine penalties. "We ended up with a couple breaks and had to overcome some adversity," Head Coach Mike Jordahl said.
The elements of wind and rain did little to slow down the Ottertail Bulldogs in a 50-20 win over the New York Mills Eagles football team Friday night in Battle Lake. The Bulldogs put up 435 yards of offense scoring seven touchdowns, mostly in the first half, as the starters dominated the Eagles. Bulldog quarterback Marty Charest was 6-8 passing for 193 yards with two touchdowns. Over 100 yards came in his first two passing attempts of the game. Charest also had a couple big hits on defense. "We got beat by a very good football team.
The Perham tennis team lost a few close matches in a tight battle with West Central Area at home. The Yellowjackets dropped match to Park Rapids Monday night by the same score, 5-2. Hannah Brenk at number one singles beat Nicole Anderson two and four and the number two doubles team of Rachel Wiskow and Haley Fraki beat the West Central duo of McLaughlin and Westram 7-6, 8-6 in the tiebreak and 6-3 in the second set. "There were a lot of close matches," said Head Coach Kathy Pesch.
The Yellowjackets swam away from Holdingford and hosts Staples-Motley at the Staples triangular. Perham totaled 157 points taking first place in 16 races combined in the varsity and junior varsity meets. Holdingford finished second with 98 points to 49 from Staples-Motley. "The girls did really well on the first meet of the season," said Head Coach Sheri Ressler. "Many started where they left off last year with their best times of the season." Kelsey Kratzke qualified for sections in the 200 I.M. and the 100 breaststroke. Natalie Murphy qualified for sections in the 50 freestyle.