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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PARK RAPIDS -- One stroke can make all the difference in golf and one stroke is the reason the Perham girls golf team is advancing to sections. The Perham golfers finished third at the Section 8AA south sub-section golf meet at Headwaters Golf Course in Park Rapids Wednesday. Their combined team score of 391 was one stroke better than Fergus Falls and Wadena-Deer Creek, both turned in cards totaling 392. The finish qualifies the Yellowjackets for the Section 8AA Championship meet at Longbow Golf Course in Walker, Monday, June 4.
SEBEKA -- New York Mills' starting pitcher Adam Snelgrove two-hit Sebeka and the Eagle offense scored 10 runs in five innings to eliminate the Trojans. The Eagles advance to the Minnesota Section 6A double elimination round, which begins later tonight. "Coming into today's game we knew it would be a dogfight early on," NY Mills Head Coach Chris Bushinger said. "We thought with Snelgrove in, if we got a couple runs in, it would be enough to hold up." NY Mills scored a run in each of the first three innings using small ball.
BARNESVILLE -- Seventh-grader Lydia Rutten qualified for sections in three events to lead the New York Mills girls track team to a fifth place finish. Rutten, who broke a school record in the 400m dash last week, did so again this week with a new time of 59.42. She was the only racer to finish under the one-minute mark. Rutten also qualified for sections in the high jump, clearing four-feet, eight-inches, good for third place; she also placed third in the 200m dash in a time of 26.67. Kristy Koljonen won the 300m hurdles to advance to sections.
BARNESVILLE -- The Perham girls track team qualified for sections 18 times at the sub-section meet in Barnesville and the Yellowjackets won the team competition. "We had an outstanding day," Head Coach Mike Peterson said. The three distance races provided nearly half of Perham's section qualifying times. Lizzie Fudge, Cassie Beseman and Mary Riestenberg swept the top three 3200m spots. Kelsey Kratzke, Racole Karels finished one-two in the 1600m run.
BARNESVILLE -- The Perham boys track team finished runners-up to Ottertail Central in the eight-team subsection meet Thursday. The Bulldogs tallied 180.5 points to the Yellowjackets 101. Perham continued their impressive showings in distance runs. Brady Speicher, Jayden Cullen and Chris Knutson finished first, second and fourth, respectively, in the 1600m run. Speicher won the 3200m, as well. Teammate Billy Beseman was second; Ben Sullivan was the third scoring Yellowjacket finishing in fifth. Three more Jackets finished top-six in the 800m run.
The New York Mills Eagles ended the regular season as they began it -- on a tear. The Eagles defeated Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale (4-13) by a robust score of 20-0 in NY Mills. They capped the season with a 7-2 win at Parkers Prairie (6-11). Both wins over the Panthers and Raiders assured a perfect Park Region Conference season with a 12-0 record. The Eagles finished with a five-game conference lead over second place Sebeka (7-5). The Park Region crown is the second consecutive title for NY Mills.
DENT -- No. 11-2A and reigning Mid-State Conference Champions Perham improved to 17-3 overall and closed out regular season play with a 3-1 victory over the Rebels. Eric Brauch dueled Ryan Hamernick for six innings on the mound. Brauch fanned a dozen Rebel batters while walking none to gain the victory. Hamernick pitched a complete game. Mark Schumacher pitched the seventh to get the save for the Yellowjackets. Catcher Gabe Pankonin led the way at the plate with a solo home run. J.T.
MENAHGA -- The New York Mills softball team advanced to the final four in Section 6A softball, but not without a late-inning scare from Lake Park-Audubon.
The second round of Section 6A-North softball playoffs continue today, Thursday, May 24, in Menahga. The opening game pits No. 1 seed Sebeka versus No. 4 Frazee at 2 p.m. No. 2 NY Mills will play in the later game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. against No. 3 seed Lake Park-Audubon. The winners will face off in a 6 p.m. match-up. Neither match-up occurred in the regular season and will provide a first look for all four teams at their opponent. Sebeka holds the top spot in the sub-section with a regular season record of 17-4. The Trojans are 13-1 in Section 6 play.
DETROIT LAKES -- Perham's boys golf team ran away with the Heart O' Lakes Conference all year and continued their dominance at Wildflower Golf Course in Detroit Lakes capturing the Conference Championship by 27 strokes over Frazee. The revolving door of which Perham golfer will shoot low continued as Nick Kalina paced the Yellowjackets with a 73, good for runner-up honors to Frazee's defending champion Beau Hanson.