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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There is nothing like a blizzard, some below zero temps and the calendar flipping to January to remind most of us that whole chipper, holiday spirit nonsense is for the birds and temporary, each year, at best. At first, I thought it was the Republicans and Democrats who were the least happy.
A top ten Class 2A ranked battle was all it was proposed to be as Perham knocked off a second consecutive ranked opponent with a 64-60 victory over visiting Pequot Lakes. Perham entered play ranked number five.
Tommy Selander and Shane Novak quieted to hostile gymnasium in Frazee but the depth of the Hornets prevailed in a 49-15 victory. Selander controlled Isaac Schermerhorn at 103 pounds riding out a 7-4 first match win to put the Eagles up 3-0 early. Novak won the second match of the night at 112 pounds with a convincing 8-3 decision. But Frazee would win the next nine consecutive matches, four by fall, a 3-0 decision, one forfeit and two close matches. Seth Hofland dropped a tight 2-0 decision to Brandon Vanwatermulen and Ty Bell was bested by Nate Sandberg 4-1. Noah Pesola turned the scorin
The Eagle girls ran into a buzzsaw at Class A #8 ranked Sebeka. The Trojans held New York Mills to just 21 points in a 64-21 post-holiday victory. Sebeka was coming off a heartbreaking, four-point, overtime defeat in the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley tournament championship game to #2 ranked and undefeated Parkers Prairie. Katie Huttunen led all scorers with 22 points. Sebeka held Jackie Imsande and Ellie Rutten to six and two points respectively. Megan Cole led the Eagles with nine points. NY Mills (1-8) travels to Wadena to play the Wolverines Thursday, Jan. 6.
The Underwood Rockets hung in for a quarter of play before a swarming Yellowjacket defense and an offensive presence at the post led to a convincing, 55-39, victory to take the Pelican Rapids "Valkyrie" Tournament championship. Katrina Moenkedick led all scorers with 19 points. Lauren Guck added 12, with both post players leading the way, in spite of a half-court defensive zone designed to stop both players. "Going into this game I was interested to see how our girls would fare against a good rebounding team like Underwood," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.
The Perham girls basketball team cruised into the championship game of the Pelican Rapids Holiday Tournament with a dominating 56-36 victory over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. The win ups Perham's record to 7-0 and they will attempt to remain undefeated versus Underwood today, Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m., at the Pelican Rapids high school gymnasium. "The girls played really well in the first half on both ends of the court and got us out to a comfortable lead at 33-16," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said. Katrina Moenkedick led all scorers with 17 points seven rebounds.
Something had to give in Tuesday's matchup between the New York Mills (0-6) girls basketball team and Ulen-Hitterdal (1-5). The Eagles came out on top, 54-44, in a game they controlled throughout. It was the first home game of the season for the Eagles. "The girls were really excited to play in this game in front of family and friends," Head Coach J.J. Weller said.
The Perham and New York Mills sports programs have provided plenty of interesting, entertaining and believe me, time consuming achievements in 2010. It's quite rare to cover school districts where every sports season a team or individual competes at the state championship level. Last spring, I was in southern Minnesota watching Kaylan Huber, Dan Cavanagh and Holly Karkela compete at the state golf tournament. Also in the Twin Cities, the track teams were at state where Maddie McClellan and Elisa Moenkedick came back to Perham with titles, while the girls team finished with a top 10 finish a
The Perham wrestling team beat a testy Border West squad, 37-25, in the opening round of Frazee's Les Kertscher Dual Tournament before dropping duals to Minneota in the championship semis, 54-15, and the third place match with rival Frazee, 60-6, for a fourth place finish. Josh Werner and Brandon Lueders had their hands full against state-ranked Border West opponents Mitch Andrews and Gus McCarthy.
The Perham girls basketball team stayed true to form this past week winning two more games, remaining unbeaten and upping their record to 6-0. On Tuesday, Perham hit the road to take on West Central Area. The Yellowjackets came out with a close 69-64 victory. It was the closest game Perham has played so far this season. "It was a pretty sloppy game plagued by turnovers from both teams," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said. "We did some nice things offensively, but our defense just didn't show up tonight.