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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After opening the season with a convincing road victory at Crookston, the Perham boys basketball team backed it up with a 10-point home victory over conference foe Pelican Rapids, 62-52. Both teams traded baskets in the first half with the Yellowjackets hanging on to a five-point advantage. Jordan Cresap hit a big three-point basket in the waning seconds to stretch the lead to eight at the half.
Perham and Staples-Motley were tight at the break before the Yellowjackets pulled away in the second half to win their season opener on the road 65-49. The Cardinals closed to within 10 midway through the second half but could not make a run and Perham finished off the game easily outscoring Staples-Motley 36-23 in the second half. The score at halftime was 29-26. "It was a back and forth game between two quick and aggressive teams," Head Coach John Gullingsrud said.
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, one of the best and my favorite, as it is all about three important things in life: food, football and thankfulness, not necessarily in that order. Being thankful is a part-time endeavor. Much of the time, thankfulness is quickly replaced with being spiteful or selfish or many of the other lesser human emotions. During my latest quest in the back rooms of the Focus, flipping through time, I wanted to find something to be thankful for, a kind of theme. The inner nature of the common Generation X-er is not always conducive to being thankful.
Here we go again. In a recent AP story, the federal government, obviously, with time on their hands when they are not bickering about the Bush tax cuts and posturing themselves to thwart the opposing parties efforts with such, have let loose on the most downtrodden, cursed and demeaned group of people in the country: The smokers. Illegal aliens take far less flak than the tokers.
Gary "Bucky" Buckmeier and his wife Loretta moved to New York Mills in 1985 and bought a farm east of town and for the next quarter-century the local deer population was safe from Bucky's gun. Upon arrival to town, the couple quickly befriended Arnie Weller and his son Doug and the rest of the family. For two years, Lyle Teberg and Don Nesges hunted the fields on the Buckmeier property. "I know each year Don shot a 10-point buck," Buckmeier said. "One day, Doug asked if I would like to join the hunting party." This is where the lessons in patience began.
Perham volleyball stars Katrina Moenkedick and Kaylan Huber will be playing in the North Central Minnesota all-star volleyball matches on Sun. Nov. 14 at Bemidji State University. The games provide an opportunity for top-level junior and senior athletes to showcase their talent.
Unlike the boys cross-country squad, the girls team fought an uphill battle most of the year, but put a strong finish to the season taking 12th place at the state championship meet. After losing their top four runners from last year's second place state team, three of whom are running college division one this year, a new group of leaders needed to emerge to make a return trip to state. The team also battled injuries this season, along with having a more youthful squad and it showed as they fought diligently to remain in contention and routinely would appear in the state rankings. Perham en
Watching the first 20 runners cross the 3,200-meter mark and the finish line at 5,000 meters, one wondered where were the Yellowjackets and then a pack of yellow swarmed to the state championship. The final meet of the season was held at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn.
A true sign of the impending winter, basketball has tipped off and it began in the gymnasium of the Heart of the Lakes Elementary school, where fourth through sixth grade boys entertained friends and family alike. The crowd ringed the two courts and attendees were privy to a range of emotions, a few missed traveling calls and one prayer come true. Youth sports are fun. Every shot chucked at the rim is met with cheers of hope from the crowd and each miss followed by communal gasps of empathy.
The Perham cross-country teams compiled another long list of accolades at the completion of section playoffs last week. The boys earned their ninth straight state meet appearance while the girls earned their eighth straight appearance winning the section 8A titles in Bagley. Unlike last year, they did not have to do it in blizzard conditions. In the final state rankings for the season, the boys team remains in the top spot, while the girls go to state ranked 11th. The teams will compete at the Class A State Championships Sat., Nov. 6, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.