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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Somerset coach Kendrick Livers warned his girls that they were going to get New Richmond's best effort. He was right. The Spartans were able to withstand a spirited effort from the Tigers, scoring a 51-50 win in Middle Border Conference play last Thursday. This was an incredibly close game, where there was rarely larger than a two-point lead. New Richmond held the biggest lead of the game at 44-37 midway through the fourth quarter.
A win over Elmwood on Friday earned the St. Croix Central boys basketball team a share of the 2009-10 Dunn-St. Croix Conference title. A win at Colfax this Friday would give the Panthers undisputed rights to the conference championship. Central started the week with a 12-1 conference record, while Colfax stood at 10-3. The Panthers are coming off a pair of one-sided victories at the end of last week. On Thursday they routed Plum City 78-43. A night later the Panthers pounced on Elmwood, 63-38. In each of the wins 11 different Panthers were able to work their way into the scoring column.
The St. Croix Central girls basketball team learned its lesson. And that helped the Panthers to score their first win over Mondovi in many years on Monday night. After losing to Mondovi last Tuesday, the Panthers bounced back and beat the Lady Buffaloes 65-61 on Monday. Monday's win was critical for the Panthers for several reasons. It helps them to get beyond the two losses they suffered last week. The win keeps the Panthers in contention for third place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
To mark the opening of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday, Somerset Elementary School fourth grade students held their own Winter Olympics. Events ranged from snowboarding to hula hoops to marshmallow relay events. To see more pictures, click on the photo gallery link.
Pam Seekel has a passion for reading. Through her 36 years as a teacher in Somerset she has tried to unearth a love for reading in each of her students. She will retire this year. Seekel estimated she has taught more than 3,000 students in her 36 years in Somerset. She has been a proponent of giving students as much opportunity to read as possible. "Reading is like a sport. You have to practice to get better," she said. "The greatest thing about my job is getting kids to love reading." Seekel was hired in 1974, just out of college, as a Title 1 Reading Specialist.
The good news is the New Richmond boys hockey team received the number two seed in the WIAA sectional seeding meeting, held on Sunday. The bad news is the Tigers' likely first round opponent in the tournament will be Hudson. By drawing the second seed, the Tigers will play at home on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in their opening tournament game. Hudson has to play a home game against Spooner next Tuesday, where the Raiders will be highly favored.
The New Richmond boys basketball team received a good reminder last Thursday that they have to bring their "A game" to every game. Somerset may be the youngest and least experienced team in the Middle Border Conference. But for a half last Thursday, Somerset's boys were giving the Tigers all they could handle. Somerset sank a three-pointer on its first possession of the third quarter, tying the game at 27-27. That would be Somerset's final points of the quarter.
Somerset sophomore Haydon Dvorak was planning to move down to 160 pounds for the WIAA tournaments. He likely have had an easier route to a Middle Border Conference championship at 171 pounds, but Dvorak wanted to use the conference tournament to find out where he stood against top-level competition at 160 pounds. It turns out that he stands up very well at 160 pounds. Dvorak knocked off defending Middle Border Conference champion Noah McLay of Ellsworth in the 160 pound finals to earn his first conference title.
New Richmond junior Joel Neumann and freshman Abe Anderson each earned their first individual Middle Border Conference wrestling championship during the 50th annual MBC wrestling meet. The conference meet was held on Saturday at Osceola High School. Neumann earned his championship by dominating the 285-pound class.
The WIAA seeding meeting went about as well as the Somerset hockey team could have hoped. By getting the sixth seed, the Spartans avoid Superior and New Richmond in the first rounds of the tournament. The Spartans start tournament play next Tuesday with a home game against Barron. Barron was the 11th seed in the section, getting the lowest seed after bringing a 3-15 record into the seeding meeting. If the Spartans beat Barron, they will play at Menomonie on Thursday, Feb. 18.