Robert is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14.
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Having a potential division recruit on a team can be both beneficial and rewarding to a coach. Imagine having four. That is the pleasant dilemma Cross Country and Track Distance Coach Jeff Morris and Varsity Track Head Coach Mike Peterson have had to belabor with seniors Abby Anderson, Shayla Fulford, Maddie McClellan and Holly Sheets. "I have been coaching all four in cross country and track since 7th grade and also had them in 5th and 6th grade," Morris said.
The Perham tennis team knew wins would not be easy this season. The Jackets just missed their first meet win of the season against Wadena-Deer Creek losing 4-3 Monday. The Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thunder beat the Jackets at home 6-1, Tuesday. "Wadena-Deer Creek could have gone another way easily," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. "The kids are playing good and continue to improve.
The Perham boys golf team finished fourth Monday at Forest Hills in a week that saw five meets on the schedule. Barnesville won the meet shooting 141; Hawley was second at 150; Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton took third at 158; Perham shot 166. Medalist was Brady Solum from Barnesville with a 34; Connor Paul from Barnesville had a 35; Ryan Lenoue, of Barnesville, Beau Hanson from Frazee, and Brandon Slettmoe, Hawley, all tied for third with 36. Perham scores: Evan Arvig--41; Nic Smith--41; Kyle Dykhoff--41; Cory Dykhoff--43; Dan Cavanagh--44; Alex Phelps--DNF.
The Perham girls golf team took the top spot at Willow Creek Golf Course in Barnesville. The Yellowjackets took the Heart O' Lakes Conference meet with a total score of 178 strokes. Pelican Rapids finished 15 strokes back for second with 193, followed by: Hawley-Ulen-Hitterdal--199; Barnesville--200; West Central Area--214; Lake Parke-Audubon--241, and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton--249.
Getting simple things like a complete roster and time for practice with all the rain had Head Coach Evan Meece busy preparing the Perham Pirates for the upcoming baseball season. "I hope to get this done before Sunday's game," Meece said. Sunday's opener was in Fergus Falls against the Hurricanes at 1:45 p.m. Final practices were scheduled for Friday and Saturday leading up to the opener. Meece planned to hammer out team details then. "Our starting rotation took some hits with losses of two pitchers who called it quits after last season," he said.
Both the boys and girls track teams sprinted away from competition at the Hawley Booster Invitational. Combined, the teams took first place in 10 events and both team titles. Maddie McClellan set a new meet record in the 1600m run. The boys' team score of 151 was 21 points better than second place Hawley-Ulen-Hitterdal.
The Perham softball team blanked Park Rapids in the second game of a doubleheader 2-0 behind the arm of Krista Januszewski. Januszewski struck out six Panthers walking only one. "We have to make sure to get our mindsets on target from the first pitch," Head Coach Jill Walter said. "We did that in game two and were able to get a couple of runs. We need to continue to capitalize with base runners on and come up with some timely hits." Park Rapids won a close game 5-4 in the opener. "We knew that Park Rapids was going to be a good team," Walter said.
A six-run rally in the home half of the sixth inning erased a 6-4 Perham advantage leading to a 10-9 loss in the opener of a doubleheader at Park Rapids. The Yellowjackets would pound out 14 hits in the nightcap on way to a 10-8 victory. "We didn't play very well defensively," Head Coach Hans Hanson said. "Too many unearned runs." Between the two games the Jackets committed 13 errors in the field. "We will need to improve in that area if we expect to beat good teams.
The New York Mills Eagles used big sticks to clear the bases, scoring double-digits in both games, in a sweep of conference rival Verndale Tuesday, winning 10-3 and 12-3. Eric Wallgren crushed a first inning grand slam to get the twin bill started and Taylor Perala knocked in three runs, with a triple to the gap in game two, creating a gap on the scoreboard. "I've seen a lot of homeruns hit by high school ball players," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said.
The Perham tennis team took two matches from Section 8A rival Park Rapids before being swept by Crookston at the Park Rapids Traingular. Jordan Cresap got a win in the number four singles position beating Jonah Pearson of Park Rapids one and two. Cresap was also the lone Yellowjacket singles player to take a match at the Bemidji meet earlier in April. "He plays very consistent tennis," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. "When he trusts his stroke and hits hard he can be very effective.