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Perham tennis second at Section 8A Championships

The Perham Yellowjackets with their Section 8A runner-up trophy after taking on Thief River Falls in the championship for the second straight season. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The Perham boys tennis team continues to raise the bar for the future as they reached their second straight Section 8A Championship. However, Thief River Falls continues to be the bar that Perham wants to achieve. The fifth-ranked Prowlers captured the Section 8A title for the second consecutive year with a 6-1 victory over the Yellowjackets in Detroit Lakes.

“They are fifth in the state for a reason. I thought we battled them at spots,” Perham head coach Jameson Miller said. “They are very talented tennis players and they are kind of a rowdy bunch who tries to get in your head mentally. I thought our kids handled that part of the game very well. It just came down to making shots and Thief River Falls made a few more shots than us.”

Perham's Ryan Murphy focuses in on a return against Thief River Falls at No. 1 doubles.

The Prowlers and their enthusiastic fan base jumped out to an early lead on Perham by taking three of the first four points as all seven matches were on the courts at once. It was the doubles team of Noah Rupprecht and Dylan Hahn that secured the fourth point with a tough 7-5, 6-3 victory at No. 1 doubles over Ryan Murphy and Anthony Reese.

Miller said they put their strength at singles and were hoping for some doubles wins against the potent Thief River Falls team.

“We were close in the first set at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and if we could have got those first sets, I think it would have been a very tight match,” Miller said. “At singles, their top two players are dudes, they are pretty good. I thought we battled them. They made more shots than us there. At No. 3 and 4 singles, we were there, but we ran out of gas at the end and it’s always hard when the match is decided to keep focused. We were hoping to keep five or six matches close and see if we could steal some. My hat is off to Thief River Falls.”

Cole Gillespie defeated Carter Cresap at No.1 singles, 6-1, 6-1, while Camden Broadwell defeated Josh Peterson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. Tucker Skime defeated Gunnar Anderson 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. Jack Ohkaa defeated Drew Birkeland 6-3, 2-6, 11-9 at No. 4 singles, wrapping up the match’s final point.

Perham's Josh Peterson charges in on a shot at No. 2 singles.

Ethan Janisen and Aiden Martin defeated Dylan Fudge and Landon Stevens at No. 2 doubles 6-4, 6-1. Perham’s lone point came at No. 3 doubles when the team of Zach Peterson and Elijah Schmidt defeated Reese Janisch and Rhett Janisch 6-1, 6-0.

The Yellowjackets finished the season with a record of 13-4 overall after winning their first two matches in the Section 8A Tournament.

“Like we told our seniors, they have nothing to be ashamed of. They have accomplished more for Perham tennis than any other. I think our alumni are very proud of what they have accomplished,” Miller said. “They have nothing to hold their head against, we just lost to a better team today.”

Section 8A Championship

Thief River Falls 6, Perham 1

Singles

Cole Gillespie (TRF) def. Carter Cresap (PER) 6-1, 6-1; Camden Broadwell (TRF) def. Josh Peterson (PER) 6-1, 6-2; Tucker Skime (TRF) def. Gunnar Anderson (PER) 6-4, 6-2; Jack Ohkka (TRF) def. Drew Birkeland (PER) 6-3, 2-6, 11-9.

Doubles

Noah Rupprecht/Dylan Hahn (TRF) def. Ryan Murphy/Anthony Reese (PER) 7-5, 6-3; Ethan Janisen/Aiden Marten (TRF) def. Dylan Fudge/Landon Stevens (PER) 6-4, 6-1; Zach Peterson/Elijah Schmidt (PER) def. Reese Janisch/Rhett Janisch (TRF) 6-1, 6-0.

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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