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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St. Croix Central students Gavin Hessler and Tucker Nauss competed for the second straight year at the Bassmaster High School National Championships June 22-24 at Kentucky Lake in Tennessee. Last year, Nauss and Hessler placed 26th out of 178 teams finishing at the tournament. This year, there were 231 teams and the St. Croix Central duo place 36th.
Former St. Croix Central football standout Kevin Bloom has been honored for his achievements on the college football field. Bloom, a 1989 SCC graduate, attended North Dakota State University in Fargo. He was a standout in football and wrestling at Central, but focused his energies on football at NDSU.
The New Richmond Millers showed at the 2017 St. Croix Valley League All-Star Game on Saturday that they have some young players who are ready to make an impact in the league. New Richmond’s Nate Olin and Caleb Manecke both had two hits and were key components in the scoring rallies that carried the North team to a 7-1 victory at First National Bank of River Falls Field in River Falls.
Somerset has had considerable success with its youth softball teams this season. The Somerset U12 Black team will play in the USA Northern Nationals Aug. 2-6 at Eau Claire. The team won two NAFA qualifying tournaments to reach nationals. The U12 Black team won the Chisago Lakes Challenge on May 13-14. Somerset went 5-0 in that tournament. Four of the wins were by large margins, but when the Spartans were challenged, they were able to come up with a 1-0 win against the Forest Lake Rangers.
Max Praschak wants to be on the field, not the sidelines. The former all-state standout at Somerset High School spent the past two years trying to crack the lineup for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers football team. He worked into the linebacking rotation at the end of the season. In his first play for the Badgers, he made a tackle and forced a fumble against the University of Illinois.
The UW-River Falls football team produced one of its best seasons in years in 2016. The Falcon coaching staff has recruited the local area heavily in the off-season to make sure that progress continues. Falcon head coach Matt Walker said the team has 55 recruits coming in this fall to join the team’s ranks. Among those recruits are 18 from western Wisconsin high schools.
The victims of the tornado that hit the Chetek area earlier this spring still need help. On June 5, 17 Somerset High School students and four staff members traveled to Chetek to offer their help. The students and staff spent the day helping to clean up a mobile home park that had been severely damaged in the storm. "It was unbelievable. None of us had seen the aftermath of a tornado," said Zac Eichten, one of the teachers who made the trip.
A ll three area high school teams used their summer contact days allowed by the WIAA last week. From the look of the athletes at each of the teams’ practices, the upcoming fall football season should be quite entertaining.
The Willow River Run has been a New Richmond Fun Fest staple since the late 1970s. The 2017 WRR will bring changes that race director Stephanie Hoff hopes will be fun and positive.
Dealing with scheduling conflicts is part of summer sports, where every coach is trying to get as much chance to see their athletes as possible That led to challenges for the local American Legion baseball teams last week, with all three local football teams holding their summer contact days last week.