Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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With two matches of the Middle Border Conference girls golf circuit completed, the Ellsworth squad has implanted itself firmly in second place in the MBC standings. This is familiar territory for the Panthers. Ellsworth finished second to New Richmond in the MBC standings in 2016 and the Panthers are hoping to put more pressure on New Richmond this season. "I'd like to take a few wins away from them this year. I think we can do that," Ellsworth coach Carson Huppert said.
The strong non-conference schedule played by the New Richmond girls tennis team is beginning to pay off. The Tigers had one of their best finishes ever in the annual Eau Claire Memorial tournament held over the weekend. The Tigers brought home medals earned with their third place performance in the tournament played Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26.
Runners of all ages are going to make an impact for the New Richmond cross country teams this fall. The New Richmond girls had five freshmen in the varsity lineup in the season-opening meet on Saturday, Aug. 26 in Eau Claire and that young group did extremely well. The Tiger boys had at least one runner from all four classes competing in the varsity lineup on Saturday and the Tiger boys also gave a solid performance.
The Somerset boys soccer team is learning on the fly with an extremely young team. The Spartans were able to win one of their four games in the opening week of the season, topping Arcadia 3-1 in the Somerset quad meet on Saturday, Aug. 26. Somerset's season opened last Tuesday with a 3-0 loss at Menomonie. That was followed by a non-conference 3-0 loss at Hayward on Thursday. Somerset got its win in the opening round of Saturday's quad, before losing 4-1 in the second round against Medford.
In recent seasons, low numbers have forced the Somerset cross country teams to concentrate on individual goals. But with their numbers up, and many of their top runners returning, this is a season the Somerset runners can focus as much on their team goals as their individual goals. The Spartans did find success individually last year, particularly Anya Swanson. Swanson is the reigning Middle Border Conference girls champion. She placed second in 2015 behind Amery's Alicia Monson, who went on to win the WIAA Division 2 state championship.
Nobody said it would be easy for the New Richmond boys soccer team to repeat as sectional champions. The Tigers played their first game as defending sectional champions last Tuesday, Aug. 22 and the tournament proved to be tough on the Tigers' bodies and on their psyche. The Tigers lost both of their games in the tournament at D.C. Everest and the Tigers lost two of their top returning players to injuries. In the opening game, the Tigers lost to D.C. Everest, 3-1. That was followed by a 4-1 defeat to Wausau West.
The New Richmond school administration took the rare step last Friday, Aug. 25 of deciding to forfeit that night's football game at Rice Lake because a large number of the Tiger players had fallen ill in the previous 24 hours. New Richmond football coach Keith Badger said there has not been a conclusion made on the cause of the illness and the school district is working with the Department of Health on the subject.
There are five number two runners on the St. Croix Central girls cross country team. That's a sign of the competitiveness and the hunger within the Panthers after they reached the WIAA state championships for the first time in 2016. The Panthers reached the WIAA Division 2 state championships, where they placed 14th in their maiden voyage to the state meet course in Wisconsin Rapids. With many of those girls back, plus reinforcements, the Panthers are serious threats to earn a return trip to the state meet.
The resignation of Cory Lindenberg as the Somerset varsity softball coach was accepted at the August meeting of the Somerset Board of Education. Lindenberg has coached the Spartan varsity softball team the past seven years. He will continue to teach at Somerset High School and serve as the Somerset varsity girls basketball coach. Lindenberg said he based the decision on cutting back to coaching one varsity sport to spend more time with his wife and 1-year-old son.
Justin Rivard saw a need during an ALICE Training session at Somerset High School last year. He saw that intruders were able to push their way through in-swinging doors during the training on how emergencies are to be handled. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, which is done for active shooter response training in schools.