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 Polk County Cougars recently won the Wisconsin State Championship in their division of Wisconsin Special Olympics. The Cougars won three games in a recent state tournament in Oshkosh to earn their state championship. They were awarded their gold medals at the state tournament. Team members of the Cougars pictured above are (l-r) Dawn Hughes of Amery, Coach Dianne Miller, Jarvis Warwas of Frederic, Brianna Paulson of Clear Lake, Makinzie Miller of Osceola, Kayson Johnson of Clayton, Kelly McDaniel of Osceola, Oscar Rausch of Osceola and Joe Stauner of Deer Park.
A garbage truck tipped over Friday morning in rural New Richmond, blocking 160th Street for the foreseeable future. The truck went over just after 10 a.m. on 160th Avenue, just north of 130th Avenue in Erin Prairie Township. The driver received medical treatment for a minor head injury. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were horrific. Heavy winds were blowing snow across north-south roads, leaving drifts and slippery spots for drivers to face. The truck entered the right ditch as it headed south, coming to rest on its side.
A year ago, the New Richmond girls soccer team advanced to the WIAA sectional championship game for the first time in program history. The Tigers return the talent to make that deep a run into the playoffs again in 2018. The Tigers gained attention across the state last year when they went undefeated through their first 17 games before losing to Pulaski, 2-0, in the WIAA Division 2 sectional title game.
It seems that every successful track team has areas of strength that they build their lineup around. That is what the Somerset Spartans are looking to find and develop early in the 2018 season. The Spartans competed at the New Richmond Indoor Invitational last Thursday. The meet consisted of six Middle Border Conference schools. The Spartan boys tied for third place in the results while the Somerset girls placed sixth.
The learning curve has begun for the New Richmond track teams. Running the tight curves of the indoor facility at UW-River Falls last Thursday, the Tigers placed second in both halves of the meet. This meet was an early preview for the Tigers on what the Middle Border Conference season holds, with six of the eight MBC teams competing in the meet. The Tigers finished behind Osceola in both halves of the meet.
Pure, raw speed is the best weapon that the Somerset girls soccer team possesses. Last year the Spartans began to harness that speed, finishing the season with an 11-6-2 record. That turnaround moved the Spartans into the upper half of the Middle Border Conference standings. The Spartans are planning on using 2017 as a launching pad for their 2018 season. The Spartans return nearly their entire lineup and they have several younger players who are ready to make contributions this season.
Though less than one-third of the St. Croix Central track athletes were available due to spring break, the Panthers still made a significant impact at the Blue Devil Invite, held at UW-Stout last Tuesday. With barely more than a dozen Panthers competing in their half of the meet, the Panther boys were able to finish in third place among the 20 teams. Central's girls finished 14 among 21 teams competing.
To New Richmond basketball fans, she'll always be "Syd The Kid." Sydney Kannel followed up her outstanding high school athletic career by playing four years of basketball at UW-La Crosse. In this season, she spent her senior season as a team captain, helping the Eagles to one of their best finishes in years. Kannel was the Middle Border Conference Player of the Year in her senior season at NRHS, leading the Tigers to a 21-3 record and an MBC championship in the 2013-14 season. She was a three-time All-MBC player.
They defended each other like brothers. Sometimes they even fought like brothers. The 16 seniors on the New Richmond boys hockey team just completed their final season together. For most of them, they've been spending the winters together for the majority of their lives. The class of 16 is the largest class of seniors in the 22 winters that Adam Swanda has been the Tiger boys varsity coach. With his son, Dane, being part of the class, it's a group Coach Swanda has been around their entire lives.
The best and the brightest of the Middle Border Conference were showcased at the annual conference Scholar-Athlete banquet, held on March 21 at St. Croix Central High School. Each of the eight MBC member schools selects a top senior male and female scholar-athlete to be recognized at this banquet. The keynote speaker for the banquet was WIAA Deputy Director Wade Labecki. Labecki is a former teacher, coach and administrator at Baldwin-Woodville High School. Here are profiles of the 16 students who were honored at this year's banquet. New Richmond