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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What started out as a three-man operation raising and releasing 1,200 pheasants has exploded sevenfold in three years. The combined efforts of the Perham Sportsman's Club contributed to this year's release of 8,400 birds. In 2008, Craig Swanson and two friends wanted to raise 100 birds each. Simply by word of mouth, interest spread throughout the community. "Before you knew it, we ordered 1,200 birds," Swanson said. Cal Dockter offered the use of his barns to raise the birds, while others volunteered equipment and the three-man operation was on its way.
A Bertha six-run seventh inning sunk the Pirates Friday night. Johnnie Schmitz was in command of the Blazer batters for six solid innings and held a 6-3 advantage before five base raps and two walks led to a late Bertha rally. The Blazers led 9-6 after the stretch and added an insurance run in the ninth for the 10-6 win. The Pirates gave Schmitz an early cushion in the fourth, plating four consecutive batters, Josh Hendrickx, Beau Bruhn, Schmitz and Taylor Doll.
The plot thickens around Perham this week during the 100th anniversary of the East Otter Tail County fair, but 30 years ago the plot was really thick at the Prairie Drive-In Theater. "The last few years we were open the fair just killed us," Dave Quincer said. The Quincer family owned and operated both seasonal drive-ins here in Perham and Wadena. Dave continues the family tradition running The Cozy Theater in downtown Wadena. "As a kid growing up, this is what I always wanted to do," he said.
10 years ago (2000): Marty Sazama displayed the 30-foot long dragonfly sculpture at the EOT County Fair that stands out now along Hwy 78 between Perham and Ottertail. Sazama, 17-years-old at the time, was commissioned by Tom Meinhover to build the sculpture. A black bear was sighted in the city limits of New York Mills in Dave Braukman's backyard, on the east side of town.
It was said about Louis Struett, one of the pioneer residents of the village of Perham, that he drew his vitality from some fountain of perpetual youth. He kept a youthful heart and enjoyed a good time--my kind of guy. Struett was among the first settlers of Perham and figured largely in its early history. Struett arrived in the United States, from Zell, Germany, at 18 years of age, with his mother and three sisters. They settled in St. Cloud in 1865, where he worked in tailoring for three years, before relocating to Rush Lake.
The New York Millers' slide continued last week as they take a double-digit losing streak into the playoffs, which began Wednesday, July 21. In the season finale, the Millers went to extra innings looking to break the streak before giving up six runs losing 14-8 to the Frazee Flames in 10 innings. The Detroit Lakes Angels made quick work of the Millers Wednesday. Before even recording the first out in the bottom of the first inning, the Angels had already racked up 13 runs, which ultimately led to a 24-2 pasting of the undermanned Millers. All nine batters scored in the first inning, then
It's baseball playoffs week in the area. The Hi-10 playoffs kick off Wednesday, July 21 and continue through Saturday, July 31. The Babe Ruth 13 Prep League Tournament is also underway at Smith Park in New York Mills. If the top seeds play out as expected, Perham will meet New York Mills in a heavy semi-final game Thursday, July 22, at 4 p.m. at Jacobson Field in NY Mills. The District 9 American Legion Tournament begins on July 21 in Perham. Perham's opening round game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21.
The Richville Rockets, Lakes Area Little League regular season champions, kept to their winning ways sitting atop the playoffs bracket awaiting all comers. They would win the tournament 4-0 over the Perham Twins. Teams from Dent, Wadena and New York Mills had long days ahead of them, in humid heat, if they wanted to move through the brackets to challenge the Rockets. Both the NY Mills Mets and Blue Sox advanced out of the first round taking out Dent and the Wadena Gold respectively. The Blue Sox ran into a hot hitting Perham Rockies club in the second round falling behind early and never r
The New York Mills 14 and 15's Babe Ruth team won four straight games last week to up their record to an impressive 18-0. Over the season the team has found ways to win in all styles, from mercy rule thumpings to last-out comebacks. Against Wadena, NY Mills found the going a bit more rough than normal winning a close 3-2 decision before sweeping the series 10-4 in the nightcap. "We played our poorest two games of the year," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said. "We did not do things well, so it was nice to get out of there with a couple wins." Cody Preuss was 2-2 at the dish.
The Pirates ship listed in the water taking damage from the Bluffton Braves for four innings before returning fire and sinking the Braves 7-6 with a late-game rally. Starting pitcher Tyler Doll was rocked early for four runs in the first inning and tagged in the third on a solo home run by Marc Sweere. Sweere would pull a hamstring during his home run trot and limp to the plate. The Braves would manufacture their final run in the bottom half of the fourth and looked in command up 6-0.