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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Having three track meets in three days might be a bad thing most seasons. But because of the weather this spring, getting to participate in three meets between last Tuesday and Thursday paid big dividends for the St. Croix Central track teams. The Panthers split their squad last Tuesday. The sprinters and a few others went to a meet at Baldwin-Woodville, while the rest of the team went to the Osceola Invitational. The full Panther squad competed at the Rice Lake Invitational last Thursday.
New Richmond Thursday, May 3 Boys Tennis: Ellsworth at New Richmond, 4:15 p.m. Girls Soccer: Spooner at New Richmond, 4:30 p.m. Baseball: Ellsworth at New Richmond, 5 p.m. Softball: New Richmond at Somerset, 5 p.m.
The Middle Border Conference track meet won't happen until May 15, but it is already at the top of the thoughts of the Somerset boys track team. After several years of being an afterthought in the MBC meet, the Spartans are fully expecting to be a factor in this year's meet. That confidence was bolstered by the Spartans' performances last week, including a second place finish at the seven-team Ellsworth Invitational last Thursday.
The whole season might have been saved for the Somerset baseball team by the Spartans' performance in the seventh inning in Friday's game at New Richmond. The Spartans trailed 10-1 heading into the seventh inning. The Spartans showed some grit in that inning, rallying for nine runs to send the game into extra innings. New Richmond scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to win 11-10. Somerset coach Zac Eichten said the comeback was more important than the final outcome for the Spartans in Friday's game.
The compressed nature of this spring's season doesn't leave much time to recover from injuries. The Somerset girls soccer team worked through a number of injuries last week to earn wins against Amery and Arcadia. The Spartans won a home non-conference game with Amery on Tuesday, 3-1. The Spartans then made the two-hour trip to Arcadia on Thursday, scoring a 5-0 win.
Two of Somerset's most successful and storied graduates will make up the first class of the Somerset High School Hall of Fame. The idea of forming an SHS Hall of Fame has been in the works for several years and has become a reality.
Pitching was the backbone of the success as the New Richmond and St. Croix Central baseball teams opened Middle Border Conference action with wins on Tuesday. New Richmond won at home on Tuesday, defeating Osceola 7-0. Reece Lucas pitched the first six innings of the shutout, allowing four hits. Cole Eastep pitched a hitless seventh inning.
Jack Cichy had gone to the porch of his parents' home in Somerset to reflect. That's when the call finally came. Late Saturday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Cichy their sixth round pick in the 2018 National Football League Draft. Cichy and members of his family had spent a long Saturday afternoon watching the NFL Draft, hoping that sooner than later, some team would announce that Jack was their draft choice. The fourth round went by. The fifth round went by. With the 28th pick of the sixth round, Tampa Bay made its move. Much to Cichy's surprise.
"It ain't over til it's over." That legendary baseball saying was in the thoughts of the New Richmond baseball players and fans Friday, when the Tigers saw a 10-1 lead evaporate in the seventh inning of Friday's home game against Somerset.
The bats are producing. Now if the St. Croix Central softball team can get its glovework to come around, the Panthers are in a position where they can be competitive in the Middle Border Conference.