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 seniors on the St. Croix Central track team have performed quite well this season. Now several of them will get to perform at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse. Senior boys Steve Brunshidle, D.J. Haas, Korey Jacobson and Lauden Wood and senior girls Jenna Ganther and Alyssa Melby will compete in individual events at the state meet. Central also advanced its boys 400 and 1600 meter relay teams to the state meet. The Panthers advanced to state through last Thursday's Division 2 sectional tournament at Medford.
The softball teams from New Richmond and Osceola have been on parallel paths all season. So it wasn't surprising when they drew the fourth and fifth seeds in the regional playoffs and ended up facing each other in the opening round of Division 2 action last Friday. And just like when the two teams met in Middle Border Conference action, this game was close right to the end. It was Osceola that prevailed, winning by a 3-2 score. The win put Osceola into the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday against MBC champion Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers finish the season with a 10-11 record.
One of the biggest upsets around the state in the opening round of WIAA baseball tournament action was pulled off by St. Croix Central last Friday. The Panthers, seeded sixth, went to Bloomer and upended the third-seeded Blackhawks, 5-4. Friday's win enabled the Panthers to move into the second round of playoffs on Tuesday, when they played Altoona.
Somerset High School students had their chance to give back to the community last Friday through the high school's annual Community Service Day. Students worked at a number of venues around the community and school district to make a contribution to the community.
An incredible showing of depth, plus standout performances from some of the elite athletes on the team, carried the New Richmond girls track team to the 2012 Middle Border Conference championship last Tuesday. This is the first MBC title for the Tigers since 2006. The Tigers have won 12 conference titles in their history. Ten of them have been won under current Tiger coach Judy Weiss. Six event championships got the Tigers the most recognition at the conference meet, but the contributions from so many girls were really the deciding factor.
The Somerset boys track team completed an incredible two-season transformation, winning the 2012 Middle Border Conference championship two years after the Spartans finished last at the MBC meet. This is the first championship for the Somerset boys team since the Spartans joined the MBC a decade ago. Somerset's girls also put together an admirable effort, placing third in the 2012 MBC meet, which was held last Tuesday at Osceola. The victory by the Somerset boys was even more impressive due to the strong overall talent in the conference this season.
An emotional few weeks took a toll on the play of the New Richmond baseball team. A blunt reminder from Tiger coach Chad Fehrman appears to have snapped the Tigers out of their doldrums. The Tigers lost their final three Middle Border Conference games, which dropped them from third to fourth place in the final MBC standings. The third of those losses was a 2-1 loss at Osceola last Thursday where the Tigers were limited to one hit. That was all the Tiger coaches could take.
After going decades without winning a Dunn-St. Croix Conference title, the St. Croix Central boys track team is now creating a tradition of winning the D-SC championship. The Panthers earned their second straight D-SC title at the 2012 conference meet in Boyceville last Tuesday. The Panthers piled up 206 points to easily outscore second place Elk Mound, which had 122.5 points. The St. Croix Central girls took third place in their half of the meet, behind Elmwood-Plum City and Spring Valley. The Panther boys put together a level of domination rarely seen in the D-SC through the years.
Get the buses ready, all three local track teams are taking large groups of athletes to the WIAA track sectional meets on Thursday. New Richmond will be competing in the Division 1 sectional meet in Rice Lake on Thursday, while Somerset and St. Croix Central make the trek to the center of the state to take part in the Division 2 sectional meet in Medford. New Richmond The Tigers performed quite well in front of their home crowd as the New Richmond track program hosted its first WIAA tournament at the new high school facility on Monday.
Facing opponents from the Big Rivers Conference is still a major measuring stick for New Richmond teams, so the 11-1 win by the Tiger softball team over River Falls last Thursday was a proud day. The Tigers flashed some impressive hitting against the Wildcats, slashing out 15 hits in the five-inning game. Leading the attack was senior Kelsey Gilkison, who produced three hits, including a triple. Senior Paige Charland reached base four times, on two hits and two walks.