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 ability to hit their shots is the main thing that is currently holding back the St. Croix Central basketball team. The Panthers were in a position to take charge of last Thursday's game at St. Croix Falls several times, but they couldn't knock down the shots that would have given them the lead. The Saints hit enough shots to pull ahead of the Panthers for a 47-38 victory. Central ends the 2011 portion of its schedule with a 1-5 record under first-year coach Zach Turpin. Turpin said the coaching staff expected a rough start to the season because of the team's lack of varsity experience.
The four-game win streak of the Somerset hockey team came to an end last Thursday when they faced the Blizzard, a cooperative team from schools in Burnett County. The tight defensive game stretched into overtime before the Blizzard rang up the game winner to bag a 2-1 win. The win raises the Blizzard's record to 8-0 and Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said the co-op team is a legitimate opponent. "They were a good team. They were fast and had good forechecking.
Twelve years ago, Shannon Cody followed through on a New Year's Resolution to run her first marathon. Fast forward to Dec. 4, 2011. Cody ran in the California International Marathon in Sacramento, Calif., where her time of 2:44.51 qualified her to run in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. The Olympic trials will be run on Jan. 14. Cody is a New Richmond native. She ran her first marathon in 2000, along with her sister, New Richmond High School guidance counselor Beth L'Allier. They completed the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn.
The New Richmond-Somerset wrestling dual was expected to be a close battle and it lived up to every expectation. The night was filled with close matches, but the Tigers took most of the pivotal matches in winning on the Spartans' mat, 39-30. Both these teams are extremely young, with a sprinkling of veteran wrestlers. The coaches have done good jobs of constructing successful lineups out of their young teams. The win Thursday raised the Tigers' Middle Border Conference record to 3-0.
Nominations are now being accepted for the New Richmond High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Nomination forms, by-laws and contact information for the Hall of Fame are available at the high school office. They can also be received via email by contacting NRHS Athletic Director Casey Eckardt at email@example.com . Eckardt said people are encouraged to come in soon to get their forms. Completed forms can be returned to the high school office or emailed to Eckardt.
The Middle Border Conference championship has been private property of the New Richmond boys hockey team since the conference came into existence. Somerset's hockey team badly wants to get the conference title and the Spartans think this year is one of their best chances to do so. They made that opinion stand up when the Spartans defeated the Tigers 3-2 in a spirited battle at the Somerset Ice Arena last Tuesday. Somerset made wholesale lineup changes for the game.
You might think a scoreless quarter at the varsity level in boys basketball would crush a team's spirit and they wouldn't be able to recover. That wasn't the case for the New Richmond boys team on Friday. The Tigers were held without a point in the second quarter at Durand, leaving them to face a 21-10 halftime deficit. Instead of crumbling, the Tigers rose up.
Two-point wins still count as wins and the New Richmond girls basketball team would be happy to make them a habit. The Tigers are one of two teams that started the Middle Border Conference schedule with a 2-0 record, following an exciting come-from-behind win against Durand on Friday. The Tigers figured things out defensively, which allowed them to overcome a double-digit halftime margin in their 39-37 win over Durand. The Tigers trailed 37-36 with 1:13 left in the game when a Durand player was called for a technical foul.
Progress is the name of the game for the St. Croix Central boys basketball team. While the Panthers were defeated in last Tuesday's game at Plum City, 57-39, the team's performance gave indications the Panthers are moving in the right direction. After a hectic first two weeks of the season, when the Panthers played five games, the schedule slows to a crawl. The only game the Panthers play between Dec. 14 and Jan. 3 is this Thursday, when they travel to winless St. Croix Falls. All this time off will benefit the Panthers greatly.
Something to prove? That's how the Somerset boys basketball team played when they faced Baldwin-Woodville, the pre-season favorite in the Middle Border Conference. So, even though the Spartans lost to B-W 62-56 on Friday, they weren't downtrodden over the loss. Somerset coach Brent Larson said the Spartans proved they can go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the MBC. "Even though we didn't win, this game made us better," Larson said.