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 Perham Babe Ruth team got off to a hot start with two wins, but met a streaking NY Mills team and a hefty-slugging Minnetonka team getting bounced out in the quarterfinals. At Krueger Field, in the opening round, Abe Bickell led off the sixth inning with a double and scored the game winner on a base hit by Adam Altstadt in the 3-2 win over Fergus Falls. Ryan DeConcini pitched a complete game for the win. He struck out five batters. "Ryan pitched his best game of the year when we needed him most," said Head Coach Tyler Soderstrom. "He threw strikes and our defense backed him up.
The semi-final matchup between New York Mills and Dassel-Cokato got off to a rough start for NY Mills. Down 5-1 in the first inning a pitching change and a welcome 45-minute rain delay changed the course of what was beginning to look like a potential blowout. Dassel-Cokato would eventually win 10-7, but not before a scare was put into the Chargers by the boys from Mills. "This year I had a team that never gave up, even when we were down by more than a run or two," said Head Coach Greg Esala.
The New York Mills 13-15 Babe Ruthers took a longer road than anticipated to the championship of District 2. They head to Fergus Falls Thursday, August 5, to begin state tournament play at 5:30 p.m. at the MSCTC College field, as the top seed from the district. "Overall we played a great tournament," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said.
People are drawn to enigmatic individuals and Tuffy Nelson was obviously that. So much so, many of the participants of the 26th annual Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic, friends or family, did not want to share stories of the man. It was almost like they wanted to hold onto those tales for themselves. Don't get me wrong, from what I heard, some of those stories were not safe to print, which is a viable excuse. Not everyone was tight-lipped and many people who were asked had a finger pointing to one guy. Buzz Nelson. Buzz had a story. "10-12 of us were up north hunting deer and I shot one.
I have covered so many baseball games the past fortnight that when I try to sleep I hear nothing but chatter in my head. "Trade places with him!" "Twist it!" "Not your pitch!" "Base hit, ball four!" It's like there are multiple teams of teenagers in my head and they are all screaming. But I love baseball. Getting paid to watch hardball games is hardly work, especially, when one gets to cover winners. Much of the credit for all those wins can be laid directly on the coaching staffs.
Of the participants of the first annual Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic, one truth was said that stands out among many of the great comments from that day, as reported by Chuck Johnson. "There wasn't a guy out there who he (Tuffy) hadn't whipped on the golf course." That was a quote from Tuffy's brother Arvid back in 1985. Another brother, Bill and Tuffy's son Kenny, did most of the recruiting of that first group of golfers. Their strategy was simple. "'You round up that that bunch of guys' and 'You round up that bunch of guys.'" 82 golfers were rounded up in 1985.
Saturday games New York Mills got down early and any attempt at a comeback fell short, as they lost 11-5 to Albany. Damon Tumberg was 2-4 at the plate and scored two runs. Albany advances to Sunday's championship game to await the winner of NY Mills' next game. They will face the winner of Saturday night's elimination game between Dassel-Cokato and Minnetonka. The semi-finals will be played on Krueger Field Sunday at 11 a.m. The championship game(s) against Albany will begin at 1:30 p.m. Albany will have to be beaten twice to lose the title.
Umpire Tom Tamlin and Pirates Manager Evan Meece are not the best of friends and it showed late Wednesday night in a 7-6 nailbiter at Russ Jacobson field in New York Mills. "You're the worst umpire ever!" said Meece and that was about as congenial as the niceties got. Tamlin did little to help his own cause and found himself on the end of two irate dugouts from calling a seemingly pliant strike zone. The fans were really on him in a rowdy late night affair that flirted with the witching hour. The Shockers took an early three-run lead in the first before Johnnie Schmitz shut down the Wadena
The New York Mills 14-15 Babe Ruth team had a battle on their hands for three innings with Vergas for the playoff crown before unloading 12 runs for a 12-4 victory. Brandon Kupfer and Austin Erickson combined for the win. "We had a little shaky defense early in the game and settled down and got a couple big hits when we needed them," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said. Erickson laced a big two out double; Nick Kupfer had three hits on the day and Adam Patron had two hits. The state tournament is supposed to begin Wednesday, July 28, in New York Mills. According to Greg Imsande, two teams from the
As expected, New York Mills and Perham met in the third round of the Babe Ruth 13 Prep tournament. Perham bested NY Mills 2-1 in a pitcher's duel. Perham coasted into the championship game to await the battle between NY Mills and Bertha-Hewitt. Mason Malikowski got Perham on the board early. The leadoff hitter singled and stole second and would eventually score on a Jesse Bucholz fielder's choice. Collin Nietzke would score the game winner in the second inning reaching on a walk and moving around the bags on two errors and a past ball. NY Mills would answer in the third.