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 New Richmond cross country teams got a good look at most of the top Division 1 teams in western Wisconsin on Saturday when they ran in the Husky Invitational hosted by Eau Claire North. The Tiger girls placed sixth among 15 teams in the meet while the Tiger boys ranked 11th in their half of the race. The results of the girls race were a bit skewed. Hudson standout Katie Wetzstein and the bike guiding the lead runners moved so far ahead of everyone that the next group of runners lost sight of her.
To St. Croix Central football fans, there is nothing sweeter than beating Baldwin-Woodville. The Panthers have had to wait since 2005 to enjoy the sweetness of that victory. So when the Panthers thoroughly defeated Baldwin-Woodville 48-20 last Friday, it set off quite a celebration among the Panther players. Central hadn't been able to enjoy a win over the Blackhawks since their 15-8 victory in September 2005. "We had a great night," said Central coach Tony DiSalvo.
After playing 27 games in three days to start their season, the Somerset volleyball girls earned a break. The Spartans opened their season last Thursday playing in a quad match in River Falls. The Spartans arose early each of the next two mornings to play full days of volleyball in a tournament at UW-Stout in Menomonie. The Spartans placed 10th among the 27 teams. They won once in three dual matches at River Falls. The River Falls quad was a good way for the Spartans to start the season.
With the inexperience on the Tiger varsity volleyball team, getting an early, intense cluster of court time was critical to the team's plans. The Tigers got that court experience in tournaments at River Falls and West Salem. The Tigers played in a quad tournament last Thursday. That was followed by the West Salem meet on Saturday, where the Tigers played seven matches. Those matches gave the coaches enough of a test sample to know what the team's early strengths and weaknesses are. That's why they scheduled a nine-day span before the Tigers' next match.
History bears out that if you have any hope of winning the Middle Border Conference boys soccer title, you'd better beat Amery. The New Richmond boys soccer team took care of that assignment, winning on their home field against the Warriors last Thursday, 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Tiger junior Eric Miller on a penalty kick. The penalty was drawn by the hustle of Tiger freshman Joey Turnipseed. Turnipseed carried the ball down the right edge of the field, then made a sharp turn toward the net.
The Somerset boys soccer team overcame a 4-0 deficit once last week, but the Spartans couldn't do it a second time. The Spartans trailed at home last Tuesday against Baldwin-Woodville by a 4-0 score 30 minutes into the game. The Spartans pulled off an amazing turnaround, scoring six goals in a seven-minute span in the second half to overcome Baldwin-Woodville 9-4. On Friday the Spartans traveled to Barron to face the unbeaten Bears. Barron jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. The Spartans did manage to cut the margin to 4-2 early in the second half, but they could get no closer.
Every year the New Richmond girls tennis team plans one overnight road trip as a team building event. That event was supposed to take place on Saturday in Cedarburg, in the Milwaukee area. Last Thursday, Tiger coach Denise Devereux was contacted by the Cedarburg coach that the tournament was cancelled. All was not lost. Through discussions with area coaches, Devereux found there was an opening in a tournament in Menomonie on Saturday.
If it's a Thursday, the New Richmond girls golf team must be setting another team record. On each of the past two Thursdays the Tigers lowered their school record score for a nine-hole round. They shaved the record to 168 last Thursday when they won a Middle Border Conference match at Krooked Kreek Golf Club in Osceola. The previous Thursday the Tigers set a record by shooting 170 at Pheasant Hills Golf Club in Hammond. Sophomore Alex Wheeler set a school record individual score as part of the record-setting in Osceola last Thursday.
With two seniors and five returning varsity players, the New Richmond volleyball team will be one of the younger teams in the Middle Border Conference. The Tiger coaches have built their roster with the intent of having the team grow together. Coach Bob Fisher, in his third year of leading the Tigers, has constructed a well-balanced team that has a considerable upside. After being one of the shortest teams in the MBC a year ago, the Tigers will be one of the taller teams in the conference this year. The two seniors on the team are returning players Maggie Dalton and Brooke Ver Bunker.
The New Richmond cross country teams start the season at the opposite ends of the experience spectrum. New Richmond's girls team returns all seven girls who ran when the Tigers won the 2010 Middle Border Conference championship. Conversely, the Tiger boys could be one of the youngest teams in the MBC this season. The New Richmond girls won the 2010 MBC title by having all seven runners place among the top 24 finishers in the meet. All seven of those runners are back.