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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A measure of a team is how they perform against the traditional powers. St. Croix Central's wrestlers are measuring up quite impressively. The Panthers reached the championship match in the Osceola Wrestling Invitational on Saturday, beating several traditional powers on the way. To reach the championship match on Saturday, the Panthers won dual matches against Osceola, Barron, Cumberland and Clear Lake. In the championship match the Panthers lost a close battle with Boyceville, 34-27. Central's day started with a 54-22 win over Osceola.
The best efforts don't always translate into wins. Somerset hockey coach Dan Gilkerson said he felt the Spartans put forth an excellent effort in last Tuesday's game at New Richmond, but the Spartans suffered a 6-3 loss in that game. He said the team's effort wasn't nearly as strong when the Spartans played at Spooner on Thursday, but the Spartans came home with a 4-2 win to their credit. The win in Spooner hinged on the play of Spartan senior Mikal Urhammer.
The schedule has been grueling for the St. Croix Central girls basketball team to start the season. The Panthers were able to avoid defeat until their fifth game, when they lost to Mondovi 41-26 in Hammond last Thursday. It was the second undefeated opponent for the Panthers last week. On Tuesday the Panthers hosted unbeaten Alma-Pepin, with the Panthers prevailing, 51-42. The Panthers were scheduled to play their third straight unbeaten opponent this Tuesday when they played at Prescott. The Panthers are now into their holiday break. They don't play again until Jan.
The lunch lines were long at Somerset High School last Thursday. A'viands, the food service company that serves the school district, had a company chef cook lunch for the high school students and staff that day. The chef, Joel Orwig, makes visits to A'viands customer schools through the company's "Chief On Demand" program. Orwig, who has been a chef for 34 years, was cooking Chinese food for the students. One dish was a sweet and sour chicken, the other was a spicy Szechwan dish. The meal was served with a purpose.
Ever since there was hockey in Somerset, Rex Dalzell was deeply involved in the promotion and progress of the Somerset Hockey Association. When Dalzell died earlier this year, he left funds to the association to help with renovations at the Somerset Hockey Arena. Those renovations were unveiled at the first varsity game of the season in Somerset last Tuesday. The newly remodeled pressbox was dedicated to Dalzell. Dalzell and Mike Connor were two of the leaders in bringing hockey to Somerset and getting it recognized as a varsity sport.
New Richmond boys sports scored a sweep over Somerset on Tuesday night, beating the Spartans on the basketball court and in the hockey arena. The New Richmond boys basketball team went to Somerset and scored a 45-27 win over the Spartans. The Tigers took charge of this game early, leading 12-5 after a quarter. That was extended 17-5 early in the second quarter. By halftime the lead stood at 24-7. Riley Kannel again led the Tiger offense, finishing with 23 points. Dalton Sabby scored six points.
The New Richmond and St. Croix Central wrestling teams both improved to 2-0 in dual meets with wins on Thursday night. The Tigers went to Prescott and scored a 45-34 win in a forfeit-filled bout. Only seven of the 14 weight classes had matches wrestled. St. Croix Central's wrestlers rolled to a 63-9 win over Independence-Gilmanton in the Panthers' first home match of the season on Thursday.
Score a big win for the New Richmond wrestling team to kick off the 2010-11 tournament season. On Saturday the Tigers went to Lakeville and earned the championship in the 14-team Paul Wolf Panther Invite. The Tigers held off challenges from Hudson and Lakeville South to earn the team championship. The win was the result of the Tigers getting nine wrestlers through to the semifinals in the tournament. Hudson, which placed third, had seven wrestlers make the finals. Two New Richmond seniors earned meet championships.
Playing Spooner to start the season has been good to the New Richmond girls basketball team. The Tigers beat Spooner to open the season for the second straight year, winning on the Rails' home court last Thursday, 51-37. This season's edition of the Tigers is a young version, with two seniors, guard Laura Troftgruben and post Meghan Frank.
The New Richmond girls hockey team is proving to be fast learners. In their first week of the season the Tigers went 0-4. Last week, their second week of the season, the Tigers earned their first two wins of the season and their only loss was to the defending WIAA state runner-up team. And that loss came in a shootout. The Tigers started last week by getting their first win of the season at Chippewa Falls, 4-1. On Saturday the Tigers skated in a tournament at Wisconsin Rapids. Their first opponent was a new team, the Fox Cities Stars, made up of Appleton area schools.