Weather Forecast


Perham grapplers roll in home finale

Perham's Jonathan Staebler tries to roll over Fergus Falls' Dustin Portales for the fall. Staebler eventually earned the fall win, helping Perham cruise to a 75-0 win over Fergus Falls. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham senior Gage Paurus battles for control against Fergus Falls' Matt Holding Eagle at 145. Paurus quickly got him on his back, earning the fall win. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

It was a night of celebration for the Perham Yellowjacket wrestling team. They picked up two victories, honored their seniors, honored their parents and honored the three members of the 100 win club on Feb. 7.

The Yellowjackets were perfect on the evening earning a 75-0 victory over Fergus Falls and a 72-0 victory over New York Mills. The Yellowjackets finish the 2016-17 regular season with a striking 25-1 record.

“It was wonderful. It’s great for our kids, especially our seniors. All of our seniors got a match tonight and all of them got a win,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “That’s pretty cool to end your last match at home with two shutout wins and to have everyone part of the action is kind of cool. Those kids have worked hard. We are excited to get through this regular season and for the most part we are healthy. A couple of dings here and there and we are ready to go.”

Evan Guck

It was a fitting end to the home portion of the schedule for seniors Ben Nelson, Patrick Johnson, Gage Paurus, Evan Guck, Roo Schmitz and Jonathan Staebler.

“It’s really good for them. Wrestling is such a hard grind. You come in as a seventh grader, so there is some bigger guy that’s going to work you over and you know it’s going to happen. More than anything, it’s perseverance to stick around this long,” Moser said. “In our room we have a quote that says, ‘if you stay you will be a champion.’ The fact that these guys have stuck around, they are starting to reap the rewards of their hard work. They are good kids. It’s so easy in today’s culture to quit, so for an athlete to go seven through 12 is pretty cool. It’s awesome to see them have so much success.”

Johnson and Nelson split duties at 132. Johnson earned a fall win against Fergus Falls, while Nelson picked up a decision win against New York Mills. Staebler earned back-to-back wins, earning a fall win against Fergus Falls, while picking up a decision win against New York Mills. Paurus earned a fall win against Fergus Falls and a decision win against New York Mills, while Evan Guck locked down a major decision and a fall win. Roo Schmitz earned a decision win against Fergus Falls and won by forfeit against New York Mills.

While the older members of the team had a lot of success in the triangular, some younger members showcased themselves as well. Eighth grader Noah Rooney earned a fall win, stepping in for the injured Leighton Rach. Rooney picked up the fall win at 120 against Fergus Falls. One of the keys for the Yellowjackets has been their depth across the board this season. Whenever someone has gone down to injury, there has been another teammate ready to go.

“We didn’t miss a beat. I think he is a solid kid and would be a varsity wrestler on 90 percent of the teams around here,” Moser said. “We have one guy down and another comes up. We believe in that and I think they are starting to believe in that, too. No one gets too worked up about someone being out. Kids don’t want to be out, because they know someone is nipping on their heels. I’m really proud of that and that’s what you always hope for, but in wrestling it’s so tough because you need to be spread out in weight.”

Noah Rooney

Dawson Kellogg had perhaps the match of the evening when he defeated New York Mills’ Jake Erckenbrack at 182.

“About three weeks ago, he (Kellogg) was having a good year but was flying under the radar. I don’t think he is flying under anyone’s radar now,” Moser said. “He has beaten some really solid kids. He has really improved. I think it’s a testament to how much has he worked and how much mentally he has been in the game. I’m really proud of him.”

Prior to the dual with Fergus Falls, the Yellowjackets recognized Nelson, Peterson and Dylan Fudge who joined the 100 win club during the 2015-16 season.

Eighth grader Jack Fudge earned a technical fall at 126 against Fergus Falls. Dylan Fudge earned a fall against Fergus Falls at 138. Zach Peterson grabbed a fall against New York Mills at 170. Gabe Bellefeuille was victorious by fall at 113 against Fergus Falls as well. Wyatt Guck earned a decision win against Fergus Falls at 152 as well. Ty Moser had the night off, picking up a pair of forfeit wins.

Gabe Bellefeuille

Fergus Falls 0

Perham 75

106: Owen Werner (PER) def. Caden Olsen (FF) (Fall :19)

113: Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) def. David Wahl (FF) (Fall :49)

120: Noah Rooney (PER) def. Kaden Hartwell (FF) (Fall 1:36)

126: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Justin Boyd (FF) (Tech Fall 18-2)

132: Patrick Johnson (PER) def. Jonah Sorum (FF) (Fall :51)

138: Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Cole Frohning (FF) (Fall 1:03)

145: Gage Paurus (PER) def. Mat Holding Eagle (FF) (Fall :32)

152: Wyatt Guck (PER) def. Spencer Sikkink (FF) (Dec. 9-5)

160: Evan Guck (PER) def. Aaron Billings (FF) (Maj. Dec. 18-6)

170: Zach Peterson (PER) wins by forfeit

182: Dawson Kellogg (PER) wins by forfeit

195: Ty Moser (PER) wins by forfeit

220: Roo Schmitz (PER) def. Eric Tysdal (FF) (Dec. 5-3)

285: Jonathan Staebler (PER) def. Dustin Portales (FF) (Fall 3:07)

New York Mills

Perham 72

106: Owen Werner (PER) def. Carter Haman (NYM) (Dec. 3-1 OT)

113: Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) wins by forfeit

120: Noah Rooney (PER) wins by forfeit

126: Jack Fudge (PER) wins by forfeit

132: Ben Nelson (PER) def. Matthew Frost (NYM) (Dec. 9-4)

138: Dylan Fudge (PER) wins by forfeit

145: Gage Paurus (PER) def. Dylan Fischer (NYM) (Dec. 5-0)

152: Wyatt Guck (PER) wins by forfeit

160: Evan Guck (PER) def. Danny Frost (NYM) (Fall)

170: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Johnny Flynn (NYM) (Fall)

182: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Jake Erckenbrack (NYM) (Fall)

195: Ty Moser (PER) wins by forfeit

220: Roo Schmitz (PER) wins by forfeit

285: Jonathan Staebler (PER) def. Jett Saewert (NYM) (Dec. 2-1)

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

(218) 346-5900 x223