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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Every player and parent's nightmare came true during a Perham football game in 2008. Four broken bones, two in the tibia and a pair of fibula fractures. It was the second game of the football season versus Delano. Taylor Doll was blocking a defensive back from his wide receiver position when he shirked his man and turned to block a defender chasing running back Nate Schmitz. Doll pivoted his foot and it stuck in the ground.
Who was over for dinner last week at your house or who was visiting from out of town? You may have made mention of it on your Facebook page and now a few hundred of your friends, acquaintances and odd Internet-friends only all know about it. This type of behavior seems quite normal here in the 21st Century. But how did we disseminate all our life's minutia back in the day? Small-town news. We all remember it. Some of us miss it. Some of our younger readers are probably wondering what I'm blathering about. For instance, this week in 1970, check it out: Mr. And Mrs.
Perham high school finished third out of 310 schools in the Minnesota State High School League Class A Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup is a statewide, yearlong competition among League member schools. Points are awarded to schools based on their success in post-season tournament play. The two schools -- one Class A school and one Class AA school -- that earn the most points at the end of the year are awarded a crystal Challenge Cup.
Williams and Ree, aka "The Indian and the White Guy," will kick off the 100th East Otter Tail County Fair July 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Advanced tickets are suggested by fair organizers because Williams and Ree are one of the most popular acts to perform at the fair grounds in years.
Dent Wildcats' Pitcher Matt Richter shot off some fireworks of his own in the ninth inning belting a three-run shot over the fence to cap a late-inning come-from-behind 5-2 Wildcats win over the Perham Pirates. The loss drops the Pirates record to 4-9. Richter was in a battle with Pirates' starter Tyler Doll for seven innings. Both teams pecked away at runs. The Pirates scored one in the first. Brad Ellingson's fielder's choice scored Ryan Enger, who had reached on an error. The other Pirates run came in the third. Doll led off with a single.
The umpire received news at the end of the seventh inning that a thunderstorm that dumped over three inches of rain between Detroit Lakes and Perham was eight miles away. He called the game with the Millers down 5-1. There was just enough time for a fireworks show and that is more than can be said for the Millers' bats. Midway Snurdbirds starting pitcher Jake Lund held the Millers to two hits, one run, fanning six and walking four. Chad Keskitalo and Jarrod Norton got the only hits for the Millers.
Many holidays make one nostalgic for times gone by. As a kid growing up in Detroit Lakes, July 4 was always a holiday amongst holidays.
Head Coach Tim Kupfer had to juggle a few pitchers but the formula remained the same for the NY Mills Babe Ruth 14-15's, who outscored Menahga 16-4 in two games to remain undefeated. VFW baseball rules only allow pitchers to throw seven innings per week and having already played games, other players had to take over mound duties. Adam Patron and Daniel Kraft combined to shut down the Braves in a 3-0 game one shutout. The duo allowed only one hit, walked none and struck out two. The typically high-powered NY Mills offense was held in check by Menahga starter Shawn Roth, who threw four innin
The fireworks started early on July 3, the New York Mills day of baseball. The 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team enacted the ten-run mercy rule twice winning 14-1 and 11-1 over visiting Frazee. A 12-run first inning was enough runs for both games and then some. All but one NY Mills starter scored in game one. Zach Bauck had a big day at the plate with two base hits and four RBI. Tucker Skoblik followed suit with two singles, three runs scored, two RBI and a walk.
The New York Mills Babe Ruth 14-15's baseball team stared a first defeat in the eyes and did not even blink scoring four runs in their last at-bats to defeat Vergas 5-4. They remain undefeated at 12-0. "Sometimes good teams get lucky," the field umpire said exiting the field. Luck was certainly in NY Mills' favor. Nick Kupfer started off the rally with a lazy fly ball to left that somehow eluded the left fielder's glove. A pop to the pitcher and strikeout left Kupfer standing on second base with two out.