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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Amy Koskela's New York Mills varsity volleyball team will rely on youth and an upbeat attitude to contend in the Park Region Conference and Section 6A play this year. Koskela, 61-61-4, overall, and the team, come off a 10-12 overall record going 3-3 in the conference last year and finishing in a tough five game match in the first round of the playoffs to Norman County West. "This year's squad is very young but upbeat," said Koskela. "Megan Cole is our only senior and she's an outstanding leader for the younger girls in our program.
Perham Head Football Coach Mike Jordahl wants his players to be active on the field, but he also stresses the need to be great off the field, as well. "Unconditional, that is the word we used to describe our attitude as we prepared to be part of a wonderful community effort to feed our local families in need," he said. The Perham football players described the event as "awesome" and "fun." According to Jordahl, contributing to a much larger vision was a special time for the players and coaches as they helped families fill bags, boxes, and grocery carts and haul the food items to their veh
Head Coach Kathy Pesch, in her fourth year, has a young but hard-working tennis team. Ideal weather conditions have made for good practice time on the courts, quite unlike the end to last year's season. Early blizzards forced the team off the court in the midst of playoffs and the lay-off showed in a 7-0 defeat to number two-seeded Crookston in the first round of Section 8A playoffs.
The Prairie Conference returns with girls tennis this season, adding new teams West Central and Belgrade-Brooton-Elrosa (BBE) to long time members New York Mills, Osakis, and Parkers Prairie. There was no official conference tournament last year as the conference dwindled to four teams. The newcomers will bring back that competition. St. John's Prep will not field a varsity squad this season. New York Mills Head Coach Gary Bach, in his 10th year, has a seasoned squad to take the court. The Lady Eagles come off a 6-8 overall record last year, 5-2 in dual matches.
When it comes to life, love and sport, Kay Morris has a knack for running into relationships. Morris places those relationships above winning and was awarded the State cross-country Assistant Coach of the Year honors for both. "The relationships that I've built are my favorite part of coaching," she said. "That's what I like more than the winning." Morris was named Coach of the Year at the summer annual cross-country coaches clinic held in the Twin Cities.
Forty-two participants took to the road on bikes in the 15th annual Cal Miller Memorial Bike Race Sunday. Brian Sprague, 22, of Horace, N.D., was the over all champion finishing in a time of 1:32:58. Angie Johnson, 28, of Alexandria, took the top female spot with a time of 1:38:33. "The race has become more of a quality than a quantity race," said organizer Pat Puetz. "Most of the racers are repeaters and they enjoy the course, the camaraderie and the excellent talent of their fellow racers.
Another year of men's softball play is in the books ending with another championship for the Silver Moon/Joe's Backhoe softball team, after a 22-8 blowout in the championship game over Team Budweiser. The win is the fifth straight title for the team. The last time another team won was in 2005 by then champs Mich Golden. "We have just enough youth and speed to help out the majority of us with age amd experience," said Manager Ed Weller.
As a young man, I suffered the delusion that some day, by an improbable circumstance, I would marry. The idea of the ideal Mrs. Right came in many forms. First, she'd be French! French Canadian? No, she'd be a local, Scandinavian blonde. That seems almost too probable around here. Then again, look at the potential groom. It was then I met my first fiancé, a Zorbaz barstool.
Call it weird timing but I took the afternoon off and went home. I flipped on the beast desktop and cruised the web for fun. Huh, I wonder what's going on at the purported official Brett Favre's site? "(The site) is currently experiencing high traffic volume. During this time only this slimmed down home page will be available. You will be able to access the rest of the site once traffic volumes decrease.
The Perham area's Lake Country Mountaineers will host their 30th annual Black Powder Shoot this weekend Friday through Sunday, August 20-22 at Pioneer Village. The event brings history to life with black powder enthusiasts from throughout the region traveling to Pioneer Village to attend the kid friendly rendezvous. "We want kids to learn about history and see what life was like before 1840 and during the fur trade era," said Sherry Marquardt. Festivities will get off with a bang Saturday morning with the firing of an authentic civil war cannon. Jody Marquardt restored the cannon.