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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Chalk up a decade of dominance for Head Coach Jeff Morris' boys cross-country program after Tuesday's Heart O' Lakes Conference championship meet in Hawley. The Yellowjackets ran away from the rest of their conference foes, led by conference champion Brady Speicher, to an easy victory of over 47 points. Perham set the bar low with 22 points. The remainder of the conference finished: Thief River Falls 69, Pelican Rapids 94, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 103, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 118, Roseau 157, Warroad 186, West Central Area 190. "Our guys just keep making huge jumps," Morris said.
There was no better time for New York Mills' first tennis victory of the season than the opening pigtail game of Section 8A playoffs. Friday, the Eagles avenged two losses to the Yellowjackets this season by scores of 5-2 in September and 4-3 the day prior, Thursday, Oct. 6. The Eagles returned the favor sweeping all the singles matches in windy conditions not ideal for tennis play for a 4-3 upset victory advancing to play top-rated Pequot Lakes indoors in Grand Forks, N.D., Tuesday, Oct. 11. "Our two most exciting matches of the week were back-to-back with Hwy.
Keeping Ottertail Central senior quarterback Marty Charest in check is mandatory to stay in the game with the Bulldogs. New York Mills was unable to do that as Charest ran for a score and threw three touchdown passes in OTC's 32-13 Homecoming victory in Henning Friday night. "In the first half OTC ate up the clock by running a lot of plays and keeping the ball on the ground," NY Mills Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to no first downs in the first half running 45 offensive plays to just 10 for NY Mills. After a scoreless first quarter, which included a two Eagle
The Yellowjackets finished a busy week hosting the 16-team Perham Yellowjackets Volleyball Invitational, finishing in fourth place. Sauk Centre defeated Perham 2-0 (25-20, 25-22), in the third place game. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton took the title defeating Holy Family Catholic (2-0) 25-22, 25-16) in the final. The Yellowjackets advanced out of bracket play with victories over Melrose, 2-1, (25-19, 20-25, 15-8) and Thief River Falls 2-0 (25-22, 25-18) before running into Holy Family Catholic in the placing brackets losing in three sets (20-25, 25-21, 15-9). Bracket Play:
The Perham Harrier Classic Invitational boy's race was billed as a battle of #6-ranked Class 2A Moorhead versus the hosts #2-ranked Class A Perham and that is exactly what the large crowd at Arvig Park witnessed. The Yellowjackets started strong taking their entire pack to the front of the 90+ runners and holding it to midway through 5,000 meters. "We wanted to get out and run our own race and not worry about what Moorhead was going to do," Head Coach Jeff Morris said.
If an opposing team needed a scouting report on how to stop the Perham football team it would be simple--control the Hein brothers. That is easier said than done, as the Thief River Falls Prowlers found out the hard way. Both Jesse and Jordan Hein made critical plays down the stretch in a must-win comeback victory on Parent's and Senior night, 28-27, in overtime. "Jesse and Jordan Hein are truly a gift to our community, school, and program," Head Coach Mike Jordahl said. "They each bring so much more than just athleticism. They truly are positive, fun people to be around.
The New York Mills third annual Celebrity Open tennis tournament, a fundraiser for the NY Mills Boosters Tennis Fund, was another entertaining success and not just because I won it.
In need of a win, the New York Mills football team needed a big play to spark some enthusiasm from the biggest crowd of the year on Homecoming and Parent's Night and make a statement to their opponents. "We talked all week about making big plays and we did," Head Coach Matt Radniecki said. That play came from Brandon Kupfer at the end of a scoreless first quarter and propelled the Eagles to their first victory of the season, a 20-0 shutout of West Central Area. Defense was the name of the game, as NY Mills held the Knights to just 121 yards offensively, including a third quarter where the K
Perham put the ball on the ground seven times; losing four fumbles and was victimized for the second time this season by a lofted prayer at halftime in a 25-14 defeat at Pequot Lakes. "We certainly had our chances in this game," Head Coach Mike Jordahl said. "We will do a better job of hanging onto the football in the future to put ourselves in a better position to be successful." In the waning moments of the first half only trailing by five points, 19-14, Patriots quarterback Jordan Redmond completed a 30-yard touchdown pass as time expired.
The New York Mill Girls Tennis dropped a pair of matches to Detroit Lakes, 6-1, and Pequot Lakes 7-0 last week. Abby Salo got the lone victory for the Eagles against Detroit lakes at four-singles losing the first set 6-2, before rallying for a 7-5 second set victory and sealing the match in a super-tiebreaker 11-5 over Emma Maquire. "Abby picked up a nice pressure win for us at 4th singles today," Head Coach Gary Bach said. Jenna Esala got off to a nice start winning the first set 6-1, but the Lakers' top player Katie Anderson stormed back to take sets two and three at love. The Lakers dro