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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The quality depth within the Somerset wrestling lineup led to some impressive results for the Spartans at the 2017 Northern Badger Invitational, wrestled last Thursday and Friday at River Falls High School. The Spartans were able to place eight of their wrestlers within the top 12 finishers in their weight classes. That led to the Spartans finishing tenth in the overall team results of the tournament.
The offense showed definite progress when the New Richmond girls basketball team took on undefeated Durand on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the NRHS gym. The Tigers trailed 44-30 at halftime, but Durand pulled away in the second half to win 79-50. Durand improves to 8-0 with the win while the Tigers ended 2017 at 2-7.
For the third time in the past 13 years, the New Richmond boys hockey team was able to reach the championship game in the annual Rochester (Minn.) Kiwanis tournament. The Tigers have only won the championship in the tournament once. They came close in 2017, but lost the title game Friday, Dec. 29 to Rochester Mayo, 4-3. The last time the Tigers reached the title game at Rochester was 2014.
How do you measure success? With a bushel full of team championships and a boundless list of individual champions, the successes seen in the area in 2017 would have to reach the highest measure. The local high school teams produced championship teams in every season. Through football, soccer, basketball, powerlifting, dance, track, baseball, cross country, etc., there were achievements coming from every avenue of high school sports.
The potential of the New Richmond boys basketball team is turning into production more often. The Tigers took on River Falls, the leader of the Big Rivers Conference Thursday, Dec. 21, and the Tigers battled the Wildcats right to the end, losing 81-77. That game two nights after the Tigers scored a win against another BRC opponent, Menomonie, 52-48.
The natural instinct of the New Richmond girls basketball team under pressure is to hurry up the game. But the rushed play played right into the hands of the Superior Spartans on Thursday, Dec. 21. The Tigers and Superior were tied at 23-23 late in the first half. But the Tigers got caught up in a wave of frantic play in the second half, losing to Superior 59-35.
It's like the basketball ghost of Christmas past. The St. Croix Central girls basketball team ended 2016 as the leader in the Middle Border Conference. But they weren't able to complete their goal of winning the MBC title, being overtaken by Somerset in the January and February portion of the season.
After facing two of the three top-ranked teams in the state earlier in the week, the Western Wisconsin Stars were able to end a frantic week before Christmas by playing the Black River Falls cooperative team on Saturday, Dec. 23. The Stars earned a 4-1 win. The game featured some sharp team play from the Stars, along with two superlative efforts from leading scorer Jade Williams that resulted in a pair of goals.
Abigail Boreen is one of the best high school hockey players in Minnesota. Boreen, a Somerset resident, is a senior at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood. She has committed to play collegiately at the University of Minnesota. Boreen, the oldest of three sisters, attended school in Somerset through seventh grade. She went through a tryout to make the Hill-Murray girls hockey team and has been a student there since eighth grade.
What's the best way to recover from a loss to state wrestling powerhouse Ellsworth? How about knocking off another state-ranked opponent by more than 40 points. That's what the Somerset wrestling team did last Thursday, rolling to a 55-12 win at Spring Valley.