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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For the first few weeks of the season, the New Richmond varsity softball team will be in a state of flux as new coach Roger Stippel sorts through the team’s players. The Tigers opened their season last Thursday, losing a 4-3 decision at Menomonie in eight innings. The Tigers resume their schedule this Thursday with a home game against River Falls. They play another non-conference game next Tuesday, playing at Carson Park when they face Eau Claire Memorial.
After two meets, areas of strength are beginning to appear for the Somerset track teams. The Spartans competed against five other Middle Border Conference squads in an indoor meet at UW-River Falls last Tuesday. The Spartans placed fifth in both halves of the meet. Both of the Somerset squads are extremely young and the team’s coaches are hoping that this is the start of a constant arc of progress for the team through the season.
The powers that be scheduled four games for the Somerset softball team for the opening week of the season, figuring that the weather would cause postponement of some, if not all of the games. Instead, the warm spring weather allowed the Spartans to play four games in a five-day span between Tuesday and Saturday. The Spartans earned wins over Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, Boyceville and Plum City. Their only loss of the week was against Clayton-Turtle Lake, a team that was the top seed in its Division 3 regional tournament bracket last season.
New Somerset coach Bill Roll wasn’t positive, but he was sure enough of the fact that he informed his players. Roll informed the Spartans that their 5-0 win at Menomonie last Thursday was the first time in the team’s history that the Spartans opened the season with a victory. The Spartans were encouraged, not only because of the fact that they won, but in the way they played the game. The Spartans dominated control of the ball and rarely gave up solid scoring chances.
Brett Swenson of Roberts competed at the 2017 USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals this past weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Swenson, who wrestles for St. Croix Central and for the Crass Trained Weigh-in Club in Eau Claire, placed fifth in the 75-pound intermediate division. By placing in the top five in his class, Swenson earned All-American honors. The event was held at the UNI-Dome on the campus of Northern Iowa University.
The competition couldn’t have gotten much tougher for the St. Croix Central track team in its 2017 season debut. The Panthers were among 24 teams that competed at the Blue Devil Open last Tuesday. The meet was held at the Johnson Fieldhouse on the UW-Stout campus in Menomonie. Many of the events were dominated by the largest schools competing in the meet, like Eau Claire Memorial, Hudson and Prior Lake, Minn.
The spring high school sports season had its first full schedule on Tuesday, with six of the local varsity teams in action. Here is a rundown on the teams that were in action. New Richmond soccer: The Tigers won handily in their season opener, defeating Menomonie. The Tigers were ahead 5-0 in the second half. When a final score is received, the story will be updated.
The Somerset softball team couldn't find a way to stop St. Croix Falls on Monday in a cold, damp game on the Saints' home field. Somerset's offense was productive, but not enough to match the Saints. Somerset lost the non-conference game, 15-10.
St. Croix Central’s athletic program was the second most successful in the Middle Border Conference during the 2015-16 school year. But that success took a toll on Central athletic director Jeremy Kerg. Kerg’s resignation was accepted at Central’s March Board of Education meeting.
Students learn quickly in studying under Jim Saliny, whether it is in his orchestra classes or on his golf teams. Working under Saliny means there will be expectations. There will be fiery prodding as he works to draw the best out of his students. And there will be quick and warm forgiveness for the students who show a heartfelt effort in their challenges.