No matter how old or how young they were they all wanted to give the new Home of the Yellowjackets the green light.
A Thursday night volleyball match between Wadena-Deer Creek and Perham brought fans of all ages to the gymnasium of the new $30 million senior high. Bleachers were pulled out on three of the four sides of the gym. The school colors of yellow and black were accented by a medium gray.
Easton Kennedy and his buddies were courtside as the varsity volleyball teams took turns bumping, setting and spiking. Kennedy, who is a fifth grader at Prairie Wind Middle School, plays basketball and he is already gearing up for his first chance to try out the court.
“It’s pretty cool,” Kennedy said. “It’s kind of like a college. It’s got a track and you can walk around it.”
On the top row of the stands was a 1954 graduate of Perham High School - Jeanette Rosenow. She rested her back against a bright yellow wall as she watched the action.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Rosenow, who only played volleyball and basketball during physical education class. “They didn’t have girls’ (varsity) sports when I went but I guess I never really thought about it.”
The low steps on the bleachers were very much to Rosenow’s liking.
“One of the things I like about it is that I can walk on these steps,” she laughed.
Rosenow’s daughter, Lynn Johnson, who was has a daughter, Katie, on the JV team, had nothing but good things to say about the PHS gym.
“I think it’s awesome,” Johnson said. “It’s very impressive. I like everything about it. It’s like a collegiate atmosphere.”
Another adult who gave the gym a thumbs up was Lance Schultz.
“It’s awesome,” Schultz said. “It’s the best high school gym I’ve ever been in.”
Perham eighth-grader Daisy Larson and her teammates and friends watched the volleyball action on the long end of the court. She is looking forward to taking the varsity court someday but right now she is sidelined with a knee injury which she suffered while downhill skiing a Detroit Mountain.
Larson feels the senior high court is a step up the Prairie Wind Middle School court where the Yellowjackets have been playing their volleyball matches.
“It has a nice floor and it has a lot of space,” Larson said.
Larson’s friend, Danial Van Watermulen, liked workout room above the court.
“You can work out and watch the game at the same time.” Van Watermulen said.
Senior Dawson Stevens was in a big group of black-clad Perham boys. Stevens is out for football this fall but and he’s looking forward to getting his chance to use the new court.
“I’m on the basketball team too so it’s pretty cool,” Stevens said. “It has a lot of room.”
Aaron Shippee was looking for a Perham victory in the inaugural varsity match.
“We gotta set the standard,” Shippee said.
Why has Perham done so well in athletics? For Shippee’s money, it is all about the great youth programs that Perham can boast.
“When I played here I played basketball and all we did was play at halftime of the varsity game,” Shippee said.
The new gym even has fans from Wadena-Deer Creek.
“It’s bright and it looks like a hornet’s nest,” Pete Phillips said as he looked around the gym and listened to the noisy excitement of Perham’s first varsity match. “It’s loud.”