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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Due to the extreme cold forecast for Saturday, some changes have been made for the plans for the Frozen Gnome Fat Tire Challenge in New Richmond. Here is the information supplied by the Big Ring Flyers Bicycle Club and Race Team, the sponsors of the event.
With new teams like Grand Rapids, Minn. added to the field, the 2018 New Richmond Wrestling Invitational featured one of the strongest fields of wrestlers in a number of years. The NRI moved up to 10 teams this year and teams like River Falls, Clear Lake and Grand Rapids dominated the field. New Richmond was able to get two wrestlers into the finals and had seven wrestlers finish in the top halves of their weight classes.
With approximately a month left in the regular season, the Western Wisconsin Stars are looking at areas they need to strengthen before the WIAA playoffs begin. Defense is the area that stands out most to Stars coach Bob Huerta and the Stars showed over the weekend that they're already improving in that area. The Stars posted a pair of home-ice shutouts, beating Viroqua 4-0 on Friday, Jan. 5 and Northern Edge of Rhinelander 6-0 on Saturday, Jan. 6. The two wins raise the Stars' season record to 7-5-1.
When the St. Croix Central girls basketball team is going right, the Panthers can score in bursts. That's what the Panthers did in last Thursday's home-court win over Somerset. The Panthers went on a 10-0 run late in the first half and they started the second half with a 17-0 rally that put Somerset away. Central won 64-31 to improve to 5-0 in the Middle Border Conference. The Panthers ended the week with an 8-2 overall record.
In its previous game, the Somerset girls basketball team sank 13 three-pointers. The St. Croix Central girls weren't going to let that happen again when the two teams met Thursday, Jan. 4 at the St. Croix Central Middle School gym. The Spartans' outside shooting was shut down and Central used full-court defensive pressure to diffuse the rest of the Somerset attack, beating the Spartans 61-34.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In New Richmond boys basketball, it takes a team to win a game. After losing four straight games, all non-conference contests, the Tigers returned to Middle Border Conference action Friday, Jan. 5. And that allowed the New Richmond boys basketball team a return to the win column. The Tigers went to Amery and earned a 55-45 victory. The win lifts the Tigers' season record to 3-8, while they stand at 2-2 in the MBC.
The effort level is rarely the problem for the New Richmond girls basketball team. The Tigers are scrappy and feisty. The coaches are looking for ways to get that energy level to equate to more victories. Last Tuesday's non-conference game at Menomonie was a perfect example. The Tigers gave a hearty effort, but ended up losing to a strong Mustang team, 83-59. The Tigers put up a good fight at Menomonie, who led 41-31 and the game stayed at a 10-12 point margin for a good portion of the second half.
Due to the inclement weather that is moving into the area, the New Richmond and Somerset school districts have announced that they will be closed on Thursday. This includes all classes and activities before and after school. In New Richmond, this also includes the Tiger Pack.
There haven't been many pressure situations for the New Richmond boys hockey team to face this season. So when the Tigers trailed 5-3 with 11 minutes left in last Thursday's game at Baldwin-Woodville, it was a chance to see how the Tigers stand up to pressure. That the Tigers remain undefeated in the Middle Border Conference should tell you all you need to know. The Tigers scored five unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes of the game to upend the Blackhawks, 8-5. The win puts the Tigers alone at the top of the MBC standings with a 4-0 record.
Jack Peterson has scored 17 goals this season. The rest of the Somerset Spartans total 22 goals. So it shouldn't be surprising that it was Peterson who took matters into his own hands to break Somerset's seven-game losing streak last week. Peterson scored once in the second period and three times in the third period to carry the Spartans to a 4-1 win over the Northwest Icemen in a game played at Barron last Tuesday.