An exciting year for Yellowjacket sports in 2015

Here are the top-10 stories that appeared in the Sports section of the Perham Focus during the 2015 calendar year. 1. Perham Yellowjacket girls Cross Country wins National Championship The Perham Yellowjackets added to the trophy case by becoming...

Here are the top-10 stories that appeared in the Sports section of the Perham Focus during the 2015 calendar year.

1. Perham Yellowjacket girls Cross Country wins National Championship

The Perham Yellowjackets added to the trophy case by becoming the Cross Country Coaches Youth National Small School Championship in Lexington, KY.

It was the first national championship for the girls program and it was the first time that the championships were decided on the course. In previous years, the Coaches Association used a ranking system to determine the winner.

Perham finished with 19 points, besting the four team field. Perham claimed the top three spots and had six finishers in the top-10.


Despite the hilly course, every member of the Perham team that competed recorded personal bests during the national championship event.

2. Brynnan Covington wins individual National Championship

Covington, a junior, was out in front all season long and she continued that trend at the Cross Country Coaches Youth National Small School Championships.

Covington became the individual National Champion, when she led a trio of Yellowjackets across the finish line. She finished with a personal record time of 19:14.97.

Covington was followed by teammate Jenna Wegscheid in second and sister Caitlin Covington in third place.

3. Perham girls cross country team wins first ever MSHSL Class A Championship

The Yellowjackets made it a goal at the beginning of the season to win the program’s first ever Minnesota High School League Class A Championship.

The Yellowjackets bested the 16 team field, winning the championship with 74 points. The Yellowjackets, who were ranked second all season long, surpassed top-ranked Annandale, to secure the championship.


The Yellowjackets were led by Brynnan Covington. She finished 13th overall, earning All-State honors with a time of 19:33.5.

The championship team consisted of Brynnan Covington, Caitlin Covington, Jenna Wegscheid, Hailey Wegscheid, Ashley Hokanson, Sydney Karels and Abby Tweeton.

4. Billy Beseman wins the 3200-meter crown

Beseman followed the footsteps of Perham’s Keeghan Hurley, winning the 3200-meter run.

It marked the second consecutive year that a Yellowjacket won the distance race at the Class A Championships.

Beseman finished the race with a time of 9:23.14. He pulled away from Minnehaha Academy’s Ephraim Bird and the rest of the pack with about 600 meters to go.

It capped of a strong season for Beseman. He finished third at the state cross country championships and ended his high school career with a fifth place finish in the 1600 meter run. 

5. Yellowjacket volleyball wins Section 8AA Championship


The Yellowjackets set several goals during the 2015 volleyball season, after the 2014 season came to an end in the Section 8AA Championship.

The Yellowjackets met those goals, earning the Section 8AA Championship with a victory over Roseau in the championship.

It marked the program’s first trip to state in 16 years. The Yellowjackets were defeated by Belle Plaine and Hill-Murray at the state tournament.

On their way to the state tournament, Maria Rutten and Amy Scheidecker joined prestigious clubs. Rutten recorded her 1,000th kill in their home finale, while Scheidecker eclipsed the 1,000 dig mark at home as well.

The Yellowjackets finished the 2015 campaign with a 25-5 record overall.

6. Yellowjacket wrestlers claim the Section 8AA title

The Perham Yellowjackets gained a measure of revenge by defeating the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew in the Section 8AA Championship.

The prior year, the Road Crew upset the Yellowjackets in the semifinals. The Yellowjackets made sure that no upset would happen, defeating the Road Crew, 48-17, on their way to the title.

The Yellowjackets blitzed Ottertail Central in the opener, before disposing of Detroit Lakes in the semifinals.

The Yellowjackets capped the season off on a winning note as well. They went 2-1 on their way to the MSHSL Class AA Consolation Championship.

7. Kyle Knutson named Yellowjacket head football coach

The interim tag was removed from Perham football coach Kyle Knutson. He was named the head coach at a Perham-Dent school board meeting in March.

Knutson took over the reins from former head coach Mike Jordahl, who stepped down during the 2014 football season.

Knutson became the 10th head coach in the history of the Perham football program. He led the Yellowjackets to a 3-6 record during the 2015 season.

8. Perham boys cross country team second at state

The Perham Yellowjacket boys cross country team continued its strong season with a second place finish at the MSHSL Class A championships.

The Yellowjackets were bested by the two-time state champion, Mora Mustangs. It was the sixth second place trophy for the Yellowjacket program in the last 14 years.

Hunter Kjelshus led the Yellowjackets. He earned All-State honors with an 11th place finish. He crossed the line with a time of 16:38.5.

Mora won the meet with 43 points, while Perham finished with 94. Annandale was third with 166 points.

9. Yellowjacket boys track takes section title

The Perham Yellowjacket track and field team ran away with the Section 6A championship. They finished the meet with 130 points, finishing first overall. Otter Tail Central finished second with 84 points.

The Yellowjackets qualified 14 boys to the state tournament field, competing in seven different events.

The Yellowjackets sent two relay teams, as well as individuals in the 3200-meter run, 1600-meter run, 300 hurdles, pole vault and discus.

The Yellowjackets capped off the season with a ninth place finish at the MSHSL Class A meet.

10. Strong showing for Yellowjacket track and field at state

Along with the strong performance from Beseman, the Yellowjacket boys track and field team earned four trips to the podium.

Beseman finished first in the 3200-meter run and fifth in the 1600-meter run, while Cole Schmitz earned a trip to the podium in the pole vault. Schmitz capped off his career with a fifth place finish.

William Parks finished ninth in the discus event. He overcame some early foul problems, advancing to the finals, where he finished ninth.

What To Read Next
The Perham girls basketball team extended its winning streak to 10 games after a win against East Grand Forks at home on Tuesday night.
Detroit Lakes' Caden Reep and Owen Chiodo each scored their first varsity goals against Breckenridge-Wahpeton on Tuesday. The Detroit Lakes girls suffered a home loss to a Class A juggernaut.
The Perham-New York Mills boys swimming and diving team competed against Morris Area-Chokio Alberta at Morris on Thursday.
Frazee knocked off the Perham wrestling team on Friday night at The Hive.