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Kerry Collins, Published October 06 2009

Collins: Yellowjackets set sights on both girls, boys CC titles

Perham was 17 seconds from getting a pair of cross country titles last year. Not one, two.

The Yellowjackets are hoping that changes this year, and they’ve got the teams that could do it.

“If we have one girl 10 seconds faster and one guy seven seconds faster, we could’ve won both the boys and the girls titles,” Perham coach Jeff Morris said. “They were all happy with getting second place, but on the way home they were already getting ready for this season.”

And they’ve been running past everybody ever since.

The girls team is led by seniors Maddie McClellan – who won the state Class A 3,200 title in track last spring – and Abby Anderson. Both are ranked in the top five in the state poll, with McClellan holding down the top spot.

“Yeah, that girls team is loaded. It’s probably better than any team we’ve ever had,” Morris said.

After the two big guns at the top, Perham boasts seniors Holyly Sheets and Shayla Fulford, and eighth-grader Racole Karels has also stepped up.

On the boys side, Perham returns a balanced group led by senior Sam Stoll.

The dynamic of this group has been pack running. If you’re waiting for Perham’s fifth runner to finish, you won’t have to wait long after their first one crosses the line.

“It’s a very, very tight pack with them,” Morris said. “The spread between our top seven is usually less than a minute, and most teams don’t have that between their top two or three.

“Last weekend, the spread between our first and fifth runner was 30 seconds exactly.”

The guys right on Stoll’s heels have been Keith Schornack, Isaac Werner, Brandon Karels, Klaus Weber, Nick Carignan and Andrew Riestenberg.

Before finishing second last season, Perham had won the previous two state titles.

“Guys like Sam have been on teams that won titles, and he has the guys believing he can be up there again,” Morris said. “They run a tight pack, but they’re a tight group, too.”

It’s not like the Yellowjackets have been ducking tough competition, either.

At the Roy Griak in Minneapolis on Sept. 26, Perham’s girls were the top Class A team and finished 14th overall. Only six other Minnesota schools finished ahead of them. The boys were also the top Class A team, finishing 19th and eighth out of Minnesota schools.

The girls were running without Anderson that weekend.

“That was pretty good for us to do that without one of our top runners,” Morris said. “It was good for both teams. We’ve got a pretty focused group, and I think last year did a lot for driving them into this season.”

Ada-Borup runs wild

Ada-Borup’s football team had a huge day on the ground last Friday.

On the way to beating Waubun 51-0, the Cougars piled up 442 yards rushing. Bill Atwood piled up 155 yards on 21 carries, while Aaron Olson had 19 carries for 145 yards.

Ada-Borup, which made it to the 9-man semifinals last season, is cruising this year. The Cougars have allowed just 24 points through five games this year, and are outscoring opponents by an average of 51-5.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548