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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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.
DETROIT LAKES -- Perham's Rachel Nelson earned Heart O' Lakes Conference Individual Champion honors at the Heart O' Lakes Conference Tournament Tuesday at Wildflower Golf Course shooting an 83 (42-41). Nelson, a junior, was the only Yellowjacket to crack the top six on the front nine, compared to three golfers from HOL Team Champion Pelican Rapids. Pelican Rapids won the tournament title by seven strokes over Perham 173-180. Barnesville finished third with 208. The Vikings also won the HOL Team Championship, as the Vikings swept all HOL meets this season.
PELICAN RAPIDS -- Perham and the host Vikings continued their season-long shootout with the Vikings winning another meet by only five strokes over the Yellowjackets. Senior Mackenzie Strand, of Pelican Rapids, was the medalist on her home course shooting a low round of 38. Rebecca Huus, an eighth-grader and junior Rachel Nelson, of Perham, were right behind Strand. Huus carded a 40; Nelson scored a 41. Paige Mattfeld, a freshman from Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal, was the only golfer not from Perham or Pelican Rapids to crack the top five.
BARNESVILLE -- Senior Toby Curtis finished runner-up to Frazee star Beau Hanson at the Heart O' Lakes Conference Meet at Willow Creek in Barnesville leading Perham to the team victory and a comfortable nine-point lead over Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal in the conference standings. Fellow senior Dan Cavanagh shot a 36, good for a fourth place finish. Hanson carded a 34, one stroke better than Curtis' 35. Perham's team score of eight is indicative of winning each of the eight conference meets this season.
PERHAM -- Meinhover Field played kindly to the host Yellowjackets girls track team as Perham took five conference championships and the team title at the Heart O' Lakes Track Championships. Senior Kelsey Kratzke led the way with two conference titles. Kratzke led a pack of three Yellowjackets to the finish line taking the 800-meter title in 2:33.07. Cassie Beseman finished second, followed by Lizzie Fudge in fourth. In the 1600m run, it was Kratzke again leading Fudge and Brynnan Covington to the line.