Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since April of 2010. During that time, Williams has had the privilege of covering multiple state championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, atheltic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools. For the most up to date information, more photos, and live game coverage, follow @PerhamSports on Twitter.
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The Yellowjackets swam away from Holdingford and hosts Staples-Motley at the Staples triangular. Perham totaled 157 points taking first place in 16 races combined in the varsity and junior varsity meets. Holdingford finished second with 98 points to 49 from Staples-Motley. "The girls did really well on the first meet of the season," said Head Coach Sheri Ressler. "Many started where they left off last year with their best times of the season." Kelsey Kratzke qualified for sections in the 200 I.M. and the 100 breaststroke. Natalie Murphy qualified for sections in the 50 freestyle.
Perham started off the week's play with a solid win at Detroit Lakes sweeping all three games: 25-18, 25-16 and 25-21. "This was a good section 8AA win for us," said Head Coach Dan Christenson. "The girls played well coming off of their Eden Prairie sixth place finish last weekend." Accurate serving was the key to the win at DL. "Whenever you serve 90 percent or better, you are giving yourselves a great opportunity to win the match." Brooke Mickelson had a solid night on the outside. She provided the spark offensively to put the Lakers away in three straight.
The New York Mills volleyball team just missed their first win of the season in a nail biter at Staples. The Cardinals capitalized on a few minor errors to sneak out a victory, 15-13, in game five to take the match 3-2. "It was a nail biter," said Head Coach Amy Koskela.
The Perham volleyball team lost a close season opener at Bemidji 3-2. "It came to game five and we had too many unforced errors in a game to 15," Head Coach Dan Christenson said. "It was too much to overcome." The Yellowjackets looked on the verge of being swept by Bemidji, who took game one easily 25-15 and went extra time to take game two 30-28. Perham would storm back taking games three and four 25-16 and 25-17, but errors in the fifth game would prove costly for the Yellowjackets in the shortened 15-point tiebreaker game 16-14. "Maybe it happened at the right point of the season.
Royals' running back Zach Lanners put on a show in the first quarter at New York Mills outscoring the Eagles 21-0 himself, while accumulating 100 yards on the ground in what ended as a 45-7 thumping. "We lost to a very good team tonight," said Head Coach Matt Radniecki. "We are not going to face any back better than Lanners was.
The Vikings' defense made a statement at home against the Yellowjackets, shutting down the Perham offense to the tune of under 100 total yards for the game in a 31-7 win to start the football season. "We certainly were exposed," Head Coach Mike Jordahl said. The Yellowjackets were held to 80 yards of total offense, 56 on the ground and 24 on three passing completions. Conversely, the Vikings put up 351 total yards, with a whopping 280 on the ground. Perham fumbled the ball four times only losing the pigskin once.
The Lady Eagles hung tight with a much more experienced Frazee volleyball squad in the season opener at New York Mills Tuesday night. Frazee swept the match 3-0 with victories of 25-10, 25-16 and 25-13. "Serve receive was what we struggled with the most," said Head Coach Amy Koskela. Aside from senior Megan Cole, the only returning letterman from last year, nearly all of the other Eagles were making their first starting appearances on the varsity floor. "I was surprised at how well my girls responded to being out on the court at varsity level for the first time.
Head Coach Matt Radniecki returns to the New York Mills sidelines in his third stint and 15th year coaching looking to turn around a program that has seen its share of losses the past few years. NY Mills looks to end a 26-game losing streak week one at home against Royalton, a team that finished second in the state in 2008 and stomped the Eagles 44-0 in last year's opener. "They're good and it's not going to be an easy opener," Radniecki said. "They had a good season last year with a really good running back in senior Zach Lanners.
For both Perham cross-country teams there is no place to go but up one spot to the state championship. Both the boys and girls squads have lists of accolades from last year and beyond. Winning is a tradition in this program and odds are that will continue this season. The girls are the six-time defending Heart O' Lakes Conference Champions.
It was nearing sunrise in the wee hours of Saturday morning.