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, athletic 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 New York Mills baseball team needed 10 innings to beat Wadena-Deer Creek 14-12 and was 10-runned by Frazee, 10-0, in chilly conditions. Wadena-Deer Creek jumped ahead early by scoring nine runs in four innings highlighted by a six-run third. Down 9-4 in the top of the fifth, the Eagles answered with their own six-run inning to take the lead 10-9 but the Wolverines would answer in the bottom half with three runs to jump ahead 12-10. Both teams remained scoreless until last at-bats in the seventh. NY Mills scored a pair to tie the game and send it to extra innings. The game remained sco
The New York Mills wrestling team handed out season ending awards, including the announcement the team was named the Minnesota Class A Academic State Champions. As a whole, the team earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.72. "This award is a deserving compliment to a hard working group of athletes who had a very strong season," Head Coach Eric Niemi said. "A 3.72 team GPA really reflects what a great place the wrestling room is and the dedication of the New York Mills school system to its students." Other awards given out were: Outstanding wrestler: Shane Novak.
The New York Mills Eagles got off to a lengthy and exciting start to the season sweeping a doubleheader from conference foe Menahga. The two games were polar opposites as it took the Eagles 10 innings of seesaw baseball to squeeze out a 6-5 victory in the opener. The nightcap started with a bang, as the Eagles put up a dozen runs in the first inning on way to a 23-1 game two thumping. In game one, both teams had chances at winning the game loading the bases in extra innings. "It was nice to get that first win," Head Coach Chris Bushinger said.
Fergus Falls' starting pitcher Zach Rengel single-handedly took apart the Perham Yellowjackets in a 10-4 season opening victory for the Otters in Perham pitching a gem on the mound and leading the Otters at the plate. Rengel had two doubles, a home run and scored three times for Fergus Falls at the plate. On the mound, he held Perham scoreless allowing only one hit over five innings. The Yellowjackets rallied in the final two innings for four runs. Jake Still hit a two RBI double. Mac Link, Jordan Hein, Jesse Hein and Richard Hoffman all scored for the Jackets.
Frazee's senior pitcher Emma Buhr got off to a rough start as Perham put up three quick runs in the first inning. Buhr settled down and shut out the Yellowjackets the rest of the way getting help from her offense as Frazee downed Perham 5-3 in the season opener for both clubs. Natalie Wierbos, Etta Scheidecker and Steph Miller, the top three in Perham's order, all came around to score in the first. Scheidecker knocked in Wierbos with a base hit before scoring on a past ball.
Dust off that driver and brace for the early season slice. Golf courses across Minnesota are in the process of opening. Locally, Lakeside Golf Club, in Perham, will open the driving range Thurs., April 14 and the golf course Fri., April 15. Adult golf lessons will begin on Wed., May 4 at Perham Lakeside Golf Club. Lessons will be taught by PGA instructor Nick Anderson and run for four consecutive Wednesdays. Price is $50 and is open to beginners and intermediate adults.
Greatness lies not in trying to be somebody but in trying to help somebody and Perham Gymnastics Head Coach Charlie Fleck has been doing just that since 1973. "I credit the kids for their hard work," Fleck said. "Without the kids there wouldn't be a program." Perham's gymnastics program started from humble beginnings at the grassroots level and has burgeoned into the epitome of championship level success. At the culmination of this season, Fleck recorded his eighth consecutive Minnesota state class A gymnastics championship.
The Perham girls basketball team dished out their end of season awards at a banquet held last week. The Yellowjackets finished with an overall record of 18-6. Perham started the season with nine consecutive victories.
Anyone who has spent a significant number of years in small towns remembers the big fires. Even a familiarity with a small town, post-fire, will pique interest, as more often than not, a small-town fire takes away one of the major staples of town and leaves a big hole in the business district. I was eating up a row of seats and what would now be considered a small bucket of popcorn at the Oakes, N.D.
Perham's Phil Moenkedick recently became the first Concordia Cobber to win back-to-back wrestling national championships. For Moenkedick, wrestling is a family tradition that dates back to his youth in Perham. "My first wrestling memory outside of just rolling around with my brother and dad at home would be the Perham elementary tournament when my older brother, Kenny, was in kindergarten," Moenkedick said.