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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Facing a methodical offense, the Perham Yellowjackets wanted to strike early and often. They accomplished that feat when they went 66 yards on the game’s opening play and never looked back when they defeated the Two Harbors Agates 48-17 in the Class AAA quarterfinal at Don Adamson Field in Brainerd on Nov. 10. “We can score very fast and methodically down the field,” Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said. “I thought it was really good and impressive of the kids. I’m just so proud of them.”
The Perham football team was outside, embracing the cold at the start of the week for the first time in six years. The Yellowjackets advanced to the Class AAA Tournament with a 42-28 victory over East Grand Forks and will square off with Two Harbors, who defeated Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 26-18, in the Section 7AAA Championship.
The Perham boys cross country team held the No.1 ranking all season long and the Class A Championships on Nov. 3 was their crowning moment. The Yellowjackets shouldered the expectations like it was any race and had a mic drop moment as described by Perham head coach Jeff Morris when they ran away with their seventh overall title and second consecutive championship at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
The Perham girls cross country team talked all season about touching a teammate. It was that mentality that helped the Yellowjackets make history by winning their second consecutive, third overall, Class A Championship at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., on Nov. 3. The Yellowjackets won the team title with 94 points, while Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted finished second with 99 points. Winona Cotter was third with 140 points, followed by Luverne and Staples-Motley to round out the top five.
There are not too many first for a program that has won multiple team and individual championships, but the Perham cross country program added another on Nov. 3. The Perham boys and girls teams swept the Class A Championships for the second straight year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., on Nov. 3 becoming the first program in Minnesota history to accomplish the feat.
The Perham Yellowjackets are no stranger to running with a statewide target on their back. The defending Class A Champions ran out in front during the Section 8A Championships and after a strong week of practice are hoping to become the first school in Class A history to repeat the sweep. They became the fourth school in Class A history to sweep both the boys and the girls titles when the boys won convincingly in 2017 and the girls won by the narrowest of margins.
The last time the Perham Yellowjackets stepped on the Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, they left with an empty feeling, falling 58-22 to Pequot Lakes. The senior crew remembered that feeling throughout the season and ensured it wouldn’t happen again when they defeated East Grand Forks 42-28 in the Section 8AAA Championship on Nov. 1.
The Perham Yellowjackets find themselves in a spot that has grown familiar to them the last two seasons, one win from the Class AAA State tournament. This year, the Yellowjackets hope for a different result than last year’s 56-22 defeat to Pequot Lakes. The Yellowjackets exacted a measure of revenge from that game on their way to the championship with a 54-33 victory over the Patriots on Oct. 27. Perham head coach Kyle Knutson said it feels good to be back in the Section 8AAA Championship game.
Perham quarterback Jenson Beachy said to the team before the game started, “they ended our season boys and let’s leave it at that.” The team received the message loud and clear as the Yellowjackets returned the favor to Pequot Lakes with a 54-33 victory in the Section 8AAA semifinals at the Ted Meinhover Field in Perham on Oct. 27.
The Perham girls cross country team has a unique dynamic up at the front. They are led by an eighth grader, Liz Birkeland, and a senior, Caitlin Covington. Those two found themselves side-by-side for most of the Section 8A Championships and helped Perham to the title with a second and third place finish, respectively, at the Twin Pines Golf Course in Bagley, Minn., on Oct. 26.