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 Somerset boys soccer team put up a good fight, but couldn't pull off an upset in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 regional tournaments last Tuesday. The Spartans, seeded seventh in the regional bracket, lost at Ashland by a 4-1 score. The Oredockers were seeded second in the bracket. In Thursday's regional final, Ashland was upset by Osceola, 2-1, with the game decided in a shootout. That sets up an all-Middle Border Conference sectional tournament semifinal game. Osceola will play at Amery at 4 p.m.
Opening pairings of the WIAA state football playoffs have finally been completed. New Richmond will play at Menomonie at 7 p.m. on Friday in the opening round of Division 2 playoff action. Somerset and St. Croix Central will both get home games in the first round of Division 4 action. Somerset hosts Unity at 7 p.m. on Friday. St. Croix Central will be visited by Baldwin-Woodville at 3 p.m. on Saturday. New Richmond (4-3 in Middle Border Conference, 4-5 overall) faces a Menomonie team that tied for the Big Rivers Conference championship.
The St. Croix Central football team completed its first perfect regular season with a 20-7 win over Spring Valley on Thursday. The Panthers now await word on where they will be seeded in the WIAA football playoff pairings. The playoff brackets are expected to be announced just before midnight this Friday. The first round of playoffs will be played on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Panthers finish the regular season as undisputed Dunn-St. Croix Conference champions.
The Somerset football team pulled off one of the most historic wins in Middle Border Conference history last Friday. By beating Durand 22-15, the Spartans have earned a share of the 2011 MBC championship. This is the fifth straight year that the Spartans have won the MBC title and the eighth time they've won the title since joining the MBC 10 years ago. In the two years when the Spartans didn't win an MBC title, they finished in second place. In the nearly 80 year history of the Middle Border Conference, only one other team has won five straight football championships.
Injuries forced the New Richmond football coaching staff to improvise all during the week leading into Friday's game at Osceola. The Tigers were able to make the changes work, producing an 18-7 win over the Chieftains that locked up a spot in the 2011 WIAA playoffs for the Tigers. In the previous game against Amery, leading rusher Nate Jones suffered a concussion and the coaches didn't know whether he'd be available for Friday's game until late in the week.
A much smaller junior kindergarten class than in past years has caused a slight dip in enrollment for the Somerset School District for the 2011-12 school year. The enrollment for the school year, as figured on the third Friday count done on Sept. 16, has the school district enrollment at 1,619 students. This compares to 1,649 students at the time of the count last year. The biggest decline in enrollment is seen at the junior kindergarten level.
When Gov. Scott Walker put tighter fiscal limits on Wisconsin schools earlier this year, it was supposed to give state residents with some tax relief. As the Somerset School District works toward finalizing its 2011-12 budget, it looks like that tax relief will come through. At the 2011 school district annual meeting, held on Monday, Oct. 3, district residents voted to approve a preliminary budget which includes a tax levy that is 8.41 percent lower than last year. The final levy will be decided at the school board's October meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct.
A chance at a perfect regular season is on the line, not to mention an undisputed Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship, when the St. Croix Central football team takes the field this Thursday. The Panthers will be playing at home in their regular season finale on Thursday against Spring Valley. The Panthers are 8-0 and have already locked up a share of the D-SC title. A win Thursday would make them undisputed champions and give them their first perfect regular season in many years. Spring Valley comes into Thursday's game with a 7-1 record.
The New Richmond girls team missed a return trip to the WIAA Division 1 state golf championships by four strokes, but Tiger sophomore Alex Wheeler has earned a trip to the state meet. The Tigers took third place in the WIAA Division 1 La Crosse Central/Logan sectional meet last Wednesday. The top two teams qualify for state and the Tigers finished four strokes behind Tomah for the second spot. The top three scores at the sectional level who aren't part of the state qualifying teams advance to state as individuals. Wheeler tied for third place with her score of 89.
For the second straight year, the New Richmond boys soccer team was defeated in the championship game of the Middle Border Conference tournament. The good news is, before Thursday's loss to Amery in the title game, the Tigers had already secured a share of the 2011 Middle Border Conference championship. New Richmond and Amery will share the 2011 championship after Amery defeated the Tigers 4-0 in the title game on the NRHS soccer field. Each team lost once during conference play. The Tigers defeated Amery 1-0 on Aug. 25.