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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Two of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference volleyball co-leaders were on the schedule for the St. Croix Central volleyball team. For a team trying to play through growing pains, it was a difficult week for the Panthers. They were defeated at Spring Valley last Tuesday 25-10, 25-16, 25-22. That was followed by a homecourt loss to Boyceville last Thursday, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16. Against Spring Valley, the Panthers started slowly but improved with each game. “But it was too late to change the momentum,” said Central co-coach Julia Foley.
It’s uncommon to see teams still making changes with two weeks left in their regular season. But with the youth on the Somerset volleyball team, the situation isn’t the norm. The Spartans play three freshmen and are one of the youngest teams in the area. Spartan Coach Sarah Praschak decided to switch to a 6-2 formation for Saturday’s New Richmond Invitational, and likely for the rest of the season.
There’s a distinct amount of pressure on the Somerset boys cross country runners every time they compete. With only five runners on the team, they have to show up every meet for the squad to be able to compete as a team. And because all five of their times count in every meet, they have to be ready to compete at their top level every time. They answered that call when they ran at St. Croix Falls last Thursday, placing fourth in the meet. In Brandon Mondor, Cole Harty and Ethan Baillargeon, the Spartans had three of the top 13 finishers in the seven-team race.
The New Richmond football team did its best to pull off a Homecoming upset, but fell short. Somerset was looking to lock up a place in the WIAA playoffs and a win at Amery on Friday achieved that goal for the Spartans. New Richmond hosted unbeaten Ellsworth in the Tigers' Homecoming game on Friday.
The WIAA boys soccer regional tournament brackets were announced on Wednesday and New Richmond and Somerset both did well in the seeding process. The New Richmond boys received the top seed in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament bracket. The Tigers will host eight-seeded Holmen in the opening round of the WIAA tournaments at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Somerset is the second seed in the Division 3 regional tournament bracket. The Spartans will face a familiar opponent in the opening round of the tournament, seventh-seeded Osceola. That game will be played at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct.
There was no stopping the New Richmond girls golf team in its quest for the 2013 Middle Border Conference championship. The Tigers completed a perfect MBC season by winning the 2013 conference tournament, played last Thursday at Krooked Kreek Golf Course in Osceola. The Tigers won the conference tournament by shooting 349, which was 20 strokes better than second place Osceola. Somerset took third at 423. New Richmond had the top three individual finishers in the conference tournament and those three girls also took the top three spots in the 2013 All-Middle Border Conference Team.
The first-ever win for the Somerset boys soccer team over New Richmond will be one the Spartans remember forever. Somerset senior Gavin Meader scored his third goal of the game at the 8:27 mark in overtime to give the Spartans a 3-2 win over New Richmond on Monday at the Somerset High School field. The win propels Somerset into the lead in the Middle Border Conference standings. If the Spartans can win their final three MBC games (Oct. 1 vs. Barron, Oct. 8 at Spooner and Oct.
After a dejecting loss to Ellsworth the previous week, the Somerset football team found some needed progress in last Friday’s 44-20 win over New Richmond. For the Tigers, the game left them looking for a more complete effort. The Tiger coaches felt the defense played well in one half and the offense played well in the other, but they want to see that productivity carry over to a full game. The New Richmond-Somerset rivalry has as much passion behind it as ever and that was clear from the intensity seen from the players and coaches.
The overpowering way in which the New Richmond volleyball team attacks its opponents is beginning to impact how its opposition is playing. The case in point is New Richmond’s match against Ellsworth last Thursday. When the two teams met in a Middle Border Conference quad match a few weeks earlier, Ellsworth took one of the three games and gave the Tigers a battle in the other two. This time around, the Tigers set the tone for the match early on and carried it through for a 25-17, 25-10, 25-18 victory. Ellsworth took an 8-4 lead in the opening game of the night.
The 2013 New Richmond High School Athletic Hall of Fame celebration will be held this weekend. The celebration begins on Friday. The Hall of Fame class will be introduced during New Richmond’s Homecoming football game at the New Richmond football stadium on Friday night.