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 local players and coaches who competed in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games all got to experience wins. New Richmond’s Sydney Kannel and Mattie Kidder were part of the North girls team that earned a 78-71 win in the Division 2 All-Star Game. Somerset’s Jack Emmert was part of the winning team in the final game of the tournament, in which the North boys needed overtime to defeat the South 84-82 in the Division 3 All-Star Game. Somerset varsity coach Brent Larson was the head coach of the North Division 3 team.
With half the team in South Dakota for football camp, the New Richmond American Legion Post 80 baseball team had to bring in some younger recruits for its game against Bloomer last Thursday. The younger version of the New Richmond squad continued the team’s strong play this summer, posting a 12-2 win in six innings. The Tiger football team left Thursday morning for a three-day camp at South Dakota State University. That included approximately half of the players on the Junior League baseball team. The plan originally was to postpone this game.
When T.J. Wink joined the New Richmond Millers in 2006, he was a tall, gangly high schooler with coarse pitching mechanics. Wink joined the Millers from Glenwood City High School. He went on to pitch professionally for two years. He’s back in the area, now pitching for the River Falls Fighting Fish. He showed how much he’s learned since moving on from the Millers, throwing a one-hitter in beating New Richmond 11-0 at the new baseball complex in River Falls.
The chances to take the field have been few and far between for the St. Croix Central American Legion baseball team. The Panthers went to Bloomer last Wednesday to play their first game in two weeks. As the Panthers were about to take the field, the skies opened up with a heavy downpour that forced the cancellation of the game. The weather finally cooperated long enough for the Panthers to play on Friday.
Being an extremely young team and having a two-week gap between games because of rain postponements proved too much for the Somerset American Legion Post 111 baseball team to overcome last Thursday. The Somerset boys played at Baldwin and struggled with some of their fundamentals in an 8-5 loss to the Buzz. Somerset scored once in the second inning, due to three Baldwin errors. The run scored when Austin Beasley's flyball to leftfield was dropped, when it would have been the third out of the inning. Somerset's best offensive inning was the seventh.
Football season is underway. It’s hard to believe, but the official start of the 2014 WIAA football season is just over a month away. Each football team gets five contact days during the summer. Most of those teams are electing to take their contact days early in the summer. Somerset and St. Croix Central held their contact days last week and New Richmond is using its days this week. Somerset and St. Croix Central continued their recent tradition of practicing against each other twice during the five contact days.
Students who have an interest in outdoor sports can now compete on a trapshooting team through the Willow River Rod and Gun Club. “The New Richmond Shooting Club” is completing its first season this weekend, when top performers from the team will compete in a state-level competition in Waukesha. Rod and Gun Club President Brian Headlee said the organization had considered offering a team for school-aged competitors, but wanted someone to show interest in leading a program.
Two impressive wins were the result of a trip to Barron last Tuesday for the New Richmond American Legion Post 80 baseball team. Post 80 again used two strong pitching performances, mixed with some timely hitting, to earn the wins. Post 80 opened the evening with a 5-0 win, then rolled to a 9-1 win in the second of the five-inning games. The two wins raise New Richmond’s record to 3-1 in the Heart Lake Border Legion League. The New Richmond pitchers did not allow an earned run in either game. Noah Berger pitched the three-hit shutout in the opening game.
The Somerset American Legion baseball team taking the field this summer is considerably different from the Somerset varsity team that nearly reached the WIAA state tournament. Five players from the Spartan varsity team are part of Somerset’s Junior Legion team, along with seven players from the two junior varsity teams the Spartans fielded this spring. The Somerset team opened its season on June 12, losing a double-header at Cumberland. Since then, Somerset has had a bye and a rainout. They are hoping to get dry weather to play their games this week.
The 35th annual Willow River Run will follow the same course as the runners ran in 2013, which was popular with both runners and organizers alike. The course takes the runners from just outside Mary Park, down 1st St., to 140th St. (5K race), to the New Richmond High School (10K race) and back again. “Last year’s course was wonderful and there were a lot of people who thought it was great and really enjoyed it,” said race director Jodi Saliny.