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 St. Croix Central and Merrill volleyball teams waged an all-out battle to decide which team would earn the trip to the WIAA Division 2 state championships. In the end, Merrill was able to hold off the Panthers, who were hoping to earn the first trip to the state tournament in program history.
The New Richmond boys soccer team is headed back to state. The Tigers will make their second straight WIAA Division 2 state tournament appearance after defeating Wausau East, 3-0, in the sectional championship game played Saturday afternoon at Jay Stadium in Merrill. The Tigers will play at the state tournament on Thursday. Their opponent will be determined on Sunday when the seeding is done for the state tournament. New Richmond's Mason Marek scored the only goal of the first half off a rebound on a penalty kick.
The St. Croix Central girls placed seventh among the 16 teams competing at the WIAA Division 2 state championships at Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday. St. Croix Central senior Liv Moll capped her high school cross country career by leading the Panthers with a 17th place finish at the state meet. Freshman Sydney Carlson was Central's second finisher, placing 58th. Mya Kizer placed 82nd, Claire Moll placed 88th, Marie Hamlin was 90th, Mariah Withuski was 115th and Kourtney Labeause was 142nd.
When Andre Beasley was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and his kidney was removed, doctors told him he had a "99.9 percent" chance that the cancer was removed and that he had a clean bill of health. He was in fifth grade then. Last fall, the cancer was found again, this time in a mass on the outer wall of his lungs, near his heart. After a rigorous course of chemotherapy and radiation, Andre, now 14, was given a clean bill of health and was able to start his freshman year at Somerset High School this fall without any restrictions.
The St. Croix Central football team will get to play at home again next Friday after the Panthers defeated Northwestern 28-0 in an incredibly windy game played at Hammond on Friday. That game was in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 4 state playoffs. The Panthers were hoping for another shot at Middle Border Conference champion Osceola. That won't happen. Osceola, the top seed in the Division 4 sectional bracket, was upset by Bloomer on Friday, 18-12. That means Central will host Bloomer in next Friday's Level 3 game.
By scoring the first 10 points on Friday, Mauston didn’t scare the St. Croix Central football team. But it did make the Panthers mad. And you don’t want to mess with a bunch of angry Panthers. Central responded by scoring 41 straight points, on the way to a 48-26 win in the opening round of WIAA Division 4 playoff action on Friday.
The biggest enemy for the New Richmond football team at the end of the season was injuries. In both of their losses at the end of the 2017 season, the Tigers battled right to the end, only to see their efforts fall just short. That was the case Friday, Oct. 20 when they lost 17-14 to West Salem in the opening round of WIAA Division 3 playoff action. The week before, the Tigers lost in a battle for the Middle Border Conference title to Osceola, 25-24. The playoff loss to West Salem ends the Tigers’ season with a 6-3 record.
The New Richmond cross country teams had a pair of runners advance through the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet to keep at the 2017 state championships. New Richmond's Dylan Wachter and Kayla Harris will be running at the 2017 WIAA Division 1 state championships this Saturday at The Ridges Golf Course at Wisconsin Rapids. Wachter and Harris both qualified as individuals at the Division 1 sectional meet run at Menomonie on Saturday afternoon.
The habit of starting the second half slowly by the Somerset soccer team proved to be costly in their WIAA Division 3 regional tournament opener against Spooner last Tuesday. The Spartans led 1-0 at halftime of their homefield playoff game. But the lethargic play by the Spartans to start the second half gave an opening for the winless Spooner team to exploit. And the Rails did just that, scoring three times in the second half to defeat Somerset, 3-1. The loss ends Somerset’s season with a 2-19-1 record.
The St. Croix Central volleyball team is one win away from the WIAA state tournament. The Panthers advanced to Saturday's sectional championship match with a 3-1 win at Rice Lake Thursday night. The Panthers will play at Merrill at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional title match. Central and Merrill were the top seeds in their respective regional brackets. Central and Rice Lake waged an excellent battle on Thursday. Central won the opening set 25-21, but Rice Lake came right back to take the second set, 25-21.