Perham had another great boys’ basketball season last year, taking fourth place in the state in class 2A with a record 30-3, completing a perfect Heart O’ Lakes Conference season, and capturing the Section 8AA championship with a 53-47 win over Hawley in the title game. All but four of their 30 victories were by double digits.
As Head Coach Dave Cresap begins year number 35 with the Yellowjackets, two returning starters and seven letter winners from that team are set to begin defense of their Section title.
6’5 junior post player Finn Diggins and 6’1 senior guard Charlie Rasmussen (6’1) are the starters back from last season.
Seniors Gunnar Anderson (6’2, Guard), Landon Stevens (6’2, Post), Ryan Murphy (6’4, Post), Carter Aakre (6’1, Post) and Jordan Muench (5’ 10, Guard), and juniors Elijah Morris (6’1, Guard), Carson Hespe (6’7, Post), Grant McMartin (6’2, Guard), Caden Schossow (6’4, Post), Andrew Smith (5’8, Guard), Gunner Starzl (5’10, Guard) and Gabe Thompson (6’1, Post) will all be battling for varsity playing time, along with a new addition to the program, senior guard Gavin Hukkilla (5’10).
“We will be a very good defensive team this year,” reported Cresap. “We will need to find ways to score points if we want to challenge for a section championship. We will have pretty good size at every position and will look to be more of an up tempo team this season. Our ability to knock down outside shots will definitely play a role in how far we go. We have a great group of young men who have put a lot of time in during the off-season. They have really dedicated themselves this past summer to both playing and getting stronger. It will be a fun year for us, but different than in the past. We always set our goals to be in the section championship game and win the HOL Conference title. We have really bolstered out schedule this season with the addition of several more AAA teams that currently ranked in the pre-season.”
Cresap says Fergus Falls is the hands down favorite to win the section, followed by East Grand Forks, DGF and Breckenridge, with the Rebels and Cowboys the top challengers in the HOL.
“There is always a team or two who will be in the hunt in both the section and the HOL that wasn’t expected to be there,” noted Coach Cresap. “This could be as balanced a section and conference that I have seen in years from top to bottom.”
Cresap will be assisted by Brian Schwantz, Grant Dierkhising and Brent Hanson (C-Squad), with Garry Grewe, Zach Grewe and Gordy Nichols handling the junior high.