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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Wrestling is in the bloodline. Some people are made to grapple; most people cannot handle it. Mason Friederichs is one who was made for it. In April, Friederichs, a sixth grader from New York Mills, became a state champion at 120 pounds at the Northland Youth Wrestling Association's state tournament in Rochester, Minn., at the Auditorium of the Mayo Civic Center. In taking the title, Friederichs only gave up one point in three matches. That point was a penalty point for not having an arm in a move. Statistics don't lie. He shut out the competition.
The Perham girls track team took seventh place and New York Mills finished 12th in rotten weather, at Frazee's Daggett Invitational. The two schools combined to put three runners in the top five of the 1600m run. NY Mills' Mariah Novak finished second in 5:47.91; Perham's Mary Reistenberg was fourth at 6:00.33 and the Eagles' Brooke Hendrickx was right behind in fifth with a time of 6:02.02. In the 800m run, Perham's Racole Karels was fourth in a time of 2:43.76.
The Perham boys track team took fifth place out of a dozen teams and New York Mills finished 10th in blustery, awful weather, at Frazee's Daggett Invitational. Tyler Kuhl stayed consistent in the 300m hurdles with a second place finishing time of 42.42. The Eagles' Cole Strand was seventh in 46.34. Strand was the only runner from either school to make the top 10 in the 110m hurdles. His time of 18.18 was good for eighth. Mike Wiskow was in his usual spot cracking the top five in the 100m dash with a fifth place time of 11.96.
A rare doubleheader of golf was in store for the Perham girls golf team Monday, May 16, as travels landed the team at Tipsinah Mounds in Elbow Lake and Bois de Sioux Golf Course in Breckenridge. "Monday was the first 'nice' day to play," Head Coach Cory Solberg said. "Our team as a whole played great at both courses." Holly Karkela garnered medalist honors winning both tournaments.
The Perham boys golf team, led by Dan Cavanagh and Evan Arvig, outdistanced the field by 13 team strokes to take the Heart O' Lakes Conference meet at Barnesville. Cavanagh missed medalist honors to Frazee's top golfer, Beau Hanson, by way of a scorecard playoff, after both golfers finished with top scores of 37. Arvig placed third a stroke back at 38. With the victory, the Yellowjackets padded another point on second place Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal in the HOL conference standings. Perham sits atop the standings with nine points.
The Perham tennis team followed up on their first meet victory of the season with a third place victory at the Mid-State Conference meet in Park Rapids. Perham totaled 17 points without an individual champion in singles or a team title in doubles. "I am very proud of our boys today," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. They played some pretty tough competition but were able to keep their focus and stay determined." Chad Hofland, at four-singles, compiled four points to lead the team. "Chad played well today," Knutson said. "He was tired and sore (knees) but wanted to get the job done.
The Perham Yellowjackets softball team got the bats out hammering 31 runs in the two games played at the Frazee tournament. The tournament was reformatted and moved to Monday, May 16, after cancellations in April and over the past weekend due to inclement weather. Perham defeated Bagley 16-5 in the opener and pounded Pelican Rapids 15-4 in the second game. The Yellowjackets took advantage of timely hits in the first inning against Bagley and were aided by the ball eluding Flyer gloves on a few close plays that could have ended the inning putting up five runs early. Sophie Byer laced a doub
The formula for victory continued for the New York Mills Eagles baseball team ending in a doubleheader sweep of conference foe Parkers Prairie, 5-4 and 10-0. But the Osakis Silverstreaks snapped the Eagles win streak at seven games with a 13-7 victory at home in Osakis, Friday, May 13. The Silverstreaks are ranked 14th in the most current Minnesota Class A baseball rankings.
The East Grand Forks Green Wave baseball team snapped Perham's win streak at 11 games with a 9-4 victory over the Yellowjackets in extra innings. Perham catcher Gabe Pankonin was the silver lining in the loss picking five Green Wave runners off the base paths. Pankonin got started early. Leadoff hitter Ryan Hammargren reached on a base on balls and stole second. Between pitches, Pankonin gunned a strike to the bag to pick him off. Pankonin struck again when East Grand Forks clean-up hitter Tanner Dahlen tried to steal second.
Winners of six of their past seven games, the New York Mills Eagles have shined like recent baseball weather improving their record to 8-2 after a doubleheader sweep of Pillager, 9-0, 7-6 and an 8-2 victory over Brandon-Evansville. In their last four contests, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 33-10, following their worst loss of the season, a late April 10-0 blanking by Frazee in NY Mills. "We had a little bump in the road when we played Wadena and Frazee in back to back games," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said.