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Perham returns to the Section 8A Championship

Perham's Drew Birkeland follows through on his forehand return and watches it sail over the net during his straight set win in the Section 8A semifinals against Minnewaska Area. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Zach Peterson charges in on a forehand return during a doubles match at the Section 8A Championships. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

The Perham boys tennis team is back in a familiar spot after defeating Fergus Falls and Minnewaska Area in Detroit Lakes on May 20.

The Yellowjackets will take on Thief River Falls in the Section 8A Championship on May 21 at the Detroit Lakes High School and City Courts. It’s a rematch from last year’s section final and rematch from an earlier dual in which Thief River Falls won 4-3.

Landon Stevens hits a lob for a winner at No. 2 doubles.

Perham cruised in quarterfinals by defeating Fergus Falls 7-0. Josh Peterson was victorious over Noah Tarczon 6-1, 6-2. Gunnar Anderson defeated Isaac Ahlgren 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Drew Birkeland rolled in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 over Matt Niblock at No. 3 singles. Jordan Muench was victorious over Declan Young 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.

Anthony Reese and Ryan Murphy won in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 over Maverc Kalenberg and Colton Partain. Dylan Fudge and Carter Cresap defeated Joe Connelly and Connor Ackerson 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles. Landon Stevens and Elijah Schmidt picked up a 6-3, 6-3 win over Isaac Young and Kaden Peterson at No. 3 doubles.

The Yellowjackets advanced to the finals with a 5-2 victory over Minnewaska Area in the semifinals. The Yellowjackets earned three key victories in the first round of matches, before closing it out. Anderson opened with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles, which was followed by a Birkeland win at No. 4 singles when he won 6-1, 6-0. One of the key wins came from Schmidt and Zach Peterson at No. 3 doubles. After dropping the first set, 4-6, Schmidt and Peterson rallied for a 6-3 win in the second and a 6-3 win in the third set.

Perham secured the win when Landon Stevens and Dylan Fudge defeated Damon Uhde and Nathan Gallagher 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles, giving Perham the 4-0 lead. Perham’s Josh Peterson earned the fifth point when he defeated Evan Palmer 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.

Both Cresap and the doubles duo of Reese and Murphy defaulted in their match for the lone two points for Minnewaska Area.

Section 8A Semifinals

Perham 5, Minnewaska Area 2


Tate Reichmann (MW) def. Carter Cresap (PER) Default; Josh Peterson (PER) def. Evan Palmer (MW) 6-3, 6-4; Gunnar Anderson (PER) def. Sam Peters (MW) 6-0, 6-2; Drew Birkeland (PER) def. Gannon Walsh (MW) 6-1, 6-0.


Zack Evans/Calvin Hoffmann (MW) def. Anthony Reese/Ryan Murphy (PER) Default; Landon Stevens/Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Damon Uhde/Nathan Gallagher (MW) 6-1, 6-3; Zach Peterson/Elijah Schmidt (PER) def. Ethan Quelle/Nik Vandyke (MW) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Section 8A Quarterfinals

Perham 7, Fergus Falls 0


Josh Peterson (PER) def. Noah Tarczon (FF) 6-1, 6-2; Gunnar Andeson (PER) def. Isaac Ahlgren (FF) 6-3, 6-1; Drew Birkeland (PER) def. Matt Niblock (FF) 6-1, 6-1; Jordan Muench (PER) def. Declan Young (FF) 6-1, 6-2.


Anthony Reese/Ryan Murphy (PER) def. Maverc Kalenberg/Colton Partain (FF) 6-3, 7-5; Dylan Fudge/Carter Cresap (PER) def. Joe Connelly/Connor Ackerson (FF) 6-3, 6-2; Elijah Schmidt/Landon Stevens (PER) def. Isaac Young/Kaden Peterson (FF) 6-3, 6-3.

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. 

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