Elliott: Perske close to done at Sartell

Elliott: Perske close to done at Sartell

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Elliott: Perske close to done at Sartell

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SARTELL

The joke is that if the Sartell girls soccer team wants to keep Joe Perske as coach, it’ll need to have him impeached as Sartell’s mayor.

Short of that, Perske is done at the end of the season, which could be as soon as next week.

“I’ve had my plate pretty full,” he said.

The Sabres are 11-3-2 and hoping for a top seed in the South Subsection 8A playoffs, which began Thursday, continues next Saturday and concludes the following week.

Seeding takes place Tuesday and Sartell is positioned to be either first or second in the south.

St. Cloud Cathedral (11-3-1), which lost to the Sabres 1-0 during the regular season, is the other consideration.

“I think we’ve got a good chance (of getting a top seed), especially after beating (conference champion) Brainerd and Alex this week,” Perske said. “We’re playing well.”

Sartell is attempting to earn its first state tournament berth since 2007 and its third since Perske took over as head coach 10 years ago.

In that time, the Sartell physical education instructor also has won a Central Lakes Conference championship in 2005 and taken on a more prominent role in city government.

After six years on Sartell’s city council, he became mayor two years ago. He is not up for re-election this fall, still having two years remaining on his term. He likes the job.

“As long as the voters want me,” Perske said. “If the voters vote me out, I might come back to coaching.

“You might see some girls campaigning against me.”

He plans to stay active in politics, but like he said, his plate is full.

“As mayor, there are some things I’d like to make happen,” he said. “Between the teaching and the coaching and the politics, I’m stretched thin.”

He wants to see Sartell build a senior center and a library. He recognizes that will take some doing and coaching at the high school varsity level is a nearly year-round activity. There simply isn’t time to do justice to both jobs.

The Sabres had their final regular-season home match Thursday, a 4-1 win over Alexandria. Perske said he became emotional when talking about giving up coaching. He really enjoys it, though it was no secret that he was retiring.

“It’s been bittersweet,” he said.

He hopes the Sabres can make his final playoff run a memorable one.

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