It has been quite the unique ride for Perham’s Janie Wunderlich. The former Yellowjacket suffered a tough knee injury her first season at Northland Community College in Thief River Falls. However, she quickly recovered and was granted an extra season with the Pioneers. She turned that season into a memorable run, which was shared a couple of months ago on the pages of the Focus. Wunderlich and the Pioneers played in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III National Championship game.

While it was not a win for the Pioneers, it was an experience that Wunderlich will never forget. It started out as a normal tournament that quickly changed when it became a two-day event due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Fortunately for Wunderlich, her career will continue at the next level. The Minot State University Women’s Basketball team welcomed Wunderlich to the squad, making it official with a post on their Facebook Page.

Wunderlich said to the school’s social media that she chose Minot State because she knew she would be challenged there. “Academically, the school offers just what I was looking for as a career path and it’s really going to push me out of my comfort zone,” Wunderlich said in the release. “Athletically, I’m going to experience a whole new pace of the game and I’m stoked at the opportunity to stretch myself and challenge my ability at a whole new level. I have family around the area and that makes it so much more special to me.”

Wunderlich joins a Beaver squad that finished with a 7-20 record overall in 2019-20 and a 4-18 mark in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Beavers currently have not released their schedule for the 2020-21 season.

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Amateur baseball returns

Well, it is safe to say the first sunburn came from covering my first baseball game of the 2020 season, but it was nice to be back outside covering baseball. The Midway Snurdbirds hosted the Bluffton Braves for an exhibition game at Matt Leritz Field on June 14.

While the current executive order from Governor Tim Walz states that games can not be played, the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association gave the go-ahead as long as the municipality or school that runs the field signs off on it and a letter is sent to the MBA board.

Currently, Deer Creek, Midway and Nimrod have been approved for usage in the area, according to the MBA site on June 15. The Perham Pirates are currently working on getting approval for their fields and it seems to be the case for many of the teams in the Hi-10 and Lakes and Pine League, which make up Region 14C.

Fans and players in attendance were simply happy to be outside playing a competitive game again.

“It’s like you are a little kid again to get back on the field and do what you love doing,” Bluffton’s Dustin Geiser said. “It’s amazing how quickly it felt like a normal Sunday. Right away in the first inning, it felt like any other day of the year. It was good. Today, the outcome would have mattered absolutely zero. Getting on the field and doing what I have done for 20 years now, it was a good day.”