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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Finish The Job. That slogan has driven the Somerset football team since the Spartans lost in the WIAA Division 4 state championship last November. Now, the Spartans are one game away from returning to the state title game. Somerset advanced to this Friday's Division 4 state semifinals by defeating St. Croix Central 49-14 in the state quarterfinals last Saturday in Somerset. The Spartans will face undefeated Black River Falls in the state semifinal game. It will be played at 7 p.m.
With New Richmond and Somerset both ranking among the top three teams in the Middle Border Conference boys soccer race this season, it was fitting that both teams drew a large number of 2012 all-conference honors. New Richmond and Somerset each had five players placed on this year's all-conference squad. New Richmond had three players named to the All-MBC first team. Seniors Eric Miller and Jake Taubman were chosen for the first team, as was sophomore Jake Hop.
Stephanie LeMire chose a great swimming pool over swimming on Florida's beaches. The Somerset High School senior last week accepted a full-ride scholarship offer to swim at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. LeMire has been swimming competitively since she was 9 years old and she is one of the top youth swimmers in Minnesota. She swims for the St. Croix Swim Club out of Stillwater. LeMire attended Hill-Murray High School in St. Paul as a freshman, but decided to return home for her final three years of high school.
St. Croix Central's football team gave Somerset a battle, for a half, in the WIAA Division 4 state quarterfinals in Somerset on Saturday. In the second half, Somerset outscored the Panthers 28-0, pulling away for a 49-14 victory. Somerset advances to the Division 4 state semifinals, where the Spartans will face Black River Falls. BRF advanced with a 22-19 win over Nekoosa on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Tyler Ledbeter was the big-play maker for the Somerset football team as the Spartans advanced through Level 2 of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs last Friday. Ledbeter ran for four touchdowns and passed for another in leading the Spartans to a 33-10 over Bloomer. The victory advances the Spartans to Level 3 of the playoffs. The Spartans, the top seed in the sectional bracket, will host St. Croix Central at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Seibel Field.
First, the St. Croix Central football team knocked off the undefeated number two seed. Then the Panthers took out the third seed in a 37-29 thriller on Saturday. Now the Panthers are gunning to upset the top seed and advance to the WIAA state football semifinals. The Panthers will play at 1 p.m. in Somerset on Saturday, looking to knock off the top-seeded Spartans. Central has already shown that it can pull off upsets, having defeated Northland Pines and Barron. Winning against Somerset is something that has been difficult for the Panthers in recent years.
A $1,000 donation from the Walmart Teacher Rewards Program turned into a fun-packed event for staff and students at the Somerset Middle School. Twenty staff members received $50 gift cards for use in their classrooms through the Walmart program. This wasn't done in a formal presentation.
Somerset and St. Croix Central will meet at Seibel Field in Somerset at 1 p.m. this Saturday in Level 3 of the WIAA Division 4 state football playoffs. Somerset and Central advanced to Level 3 with wins over the weekend. Somerset moved to 9-1 for the season with a 33-10 win over Bloomer on Friday night in Somerset. St. Croix Central, now 7-3, needed a touchdown pass with 1:01 left in the game on Saturday to defeat Barron, 37-29. Somerset is the number one seed in this section of the state, while Central was the seventh seed.
It seems the WIAA playoffs bring out the best in the Somerset football team. The Spartans played their sharpest, most mistake-free game of the season in their WIAA Division 4 playoff opener on Friday, muzzling Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 27-0. The top-seeded Spartans will play at home again this Friday. The Spartans will host Bloomer, the fourth seed, at 7 p.m. The last game Bloomer played at Somerset produced one of the more memorable clashes on the Spartans' turf in many years.
One of the top passing attacks in the state was pitted against one of Wisconsin's top high school running backs on Friday when St. Croix Central made the long trek to Northland Pines. But instead of being a one-dimensional team that could only pass the ball, St. Croix Central played a well-rounded game to knock undefeated Northland Pines out of the playoffs. Central pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the state with its 34-20 victory. Central is the seventh seed in the Division 4 playoff bracket, while Northland Pines was a number two seed.