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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Success is all in how you view things. St. Croix Central senior Stephen Brunshidle placed 87th in the 2011 WIAA Division 2 Boys Cross Country State Championships, held Saturday at The Ridges Golf Club in Wisconsin Rapids. St. Croix Central coach Bill Emery said Brunshidle wasn't happy with his performance at state. Brunshidle had hoped to crack the top 50 in his second chance at running in the WIAA state meet. He also ran at state as a freshman, when he placed 95th.
Somerset is one of 11 school districts in the state that has seen its state funding increase this year. That increase is one of the key reasons that the Somerset School District tax levy is being reduced by 11 percent this year. The finalized 2011-12 school district budget was approved at the Somerset Board of Education meeting on Monday night. Under the belt tightening pushed upon school districts by Gov. Scott Walker, school districts will be working with much less funding this year. Somerset's total revenues will be down more than $1.5 million in 2011-12.
More than 350 Boy Scouts got to learn all about nature while performing a needed service at the Oak Ridge Waterfowl Protection Area near Star Prairie on Saturday. The Scouts, ranging in age from kindergarten students to 21 years old, spent Saturday removing invasive species of plants from the waterfowl protection area. Buckthorn was the main plant that the Scouts worked to eradicate, opening up oak savannas that were being choked with the thick undergrowth. The idea for the project came from Somerset Cub Scout Master Greg Scheder and U.S.
A severe case of nerves gripped the St. Croix Central football team in the first quarter of the Panthers' first game of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs on Saturday. The undefeated Panthers spotted Baldwin-Woodville a 14-0 lead, before using fast, physical play to wear down the Blackhawks. That resulted in the Panthers coming back for a 28-22 victory on their home field. As the top seed in the regional bracket, the Panthers will be back home in the second round of the WIAA playoffs this Saturday. They will play at 3 p.m., facing Durand.
Somerset's annual march into the WIAA state football playoffs took its first step forward on Friday, when the Spartans manhandled Unity 54-14 in the opening round of Division 4 playoff action. The Spartans will play in Level 2 of the WIAA playoffs this Saturday. The Spartans will play at Spooner at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Spooner advanced to the second round by defeating St. Croix Falls 28-12 last Saturday. Friday's win raises the Spartans' season record to 9-1. Spooner enters Saturday's game with an 8-2 record.
Stephen Brunshidle took the term "gutting it out" to a whole new level. A month after undergoing an appendectomy, Brunshidle qualified to run in the 2011 WIAA State Cross Country Championships by placing eighth in the Barron Division 2 sectional meet on Friday. Central senior Alex Halvorson experienced his own gut-wrenching experience at the sectional meet. Halvorson missed being the second Panther to qualify for state by one place. Halvorson finished 10th in the sectional meet.
Menomonie is the measuring stick by which all other western Wisconsin football teams are measured. The newly-named Mustangs have won a WIAA playoff game for 22 straight seasons. So when New Richmond's boys went to UW-Stout on Friday to play the Mustangs, they weren't sure what the outcome would be. The Tigers surprised most fans, and possibly themselves too, by competing well with the Mustangs. The Tigers, who went into the game with a 4-5 record, lost to the Mustangs 31-6.
The Altoona Rails were ranked number one for a reason in the Division 2 regional tournament bracket and the Somerset volleyball team found out why last Thursday. The Spartans went to Altoona, seeded fourth in the Division 2 bracket despite winning a share of the Middle Border Conference championship. The Spartans took the first game in the regional semifinal, 29-27. From there it was Altoona which stood out, winning 26-24, 25-15 and 25-20 to advance to Saturday's regional final. Altoona also won that match, advancing to the sectional semifinal this Thursday against Rice Lake.
At the end of each successful New Richmond cross country season in recent years, the Tigers have a humbling end inflicted on their season. Moving up to compete in one of the strongest Division 1 sectional tournaments in the state will do that to a team. The Tigers were the smallest team competing in the Tomah Division 1 sectional meet on Saturday. The Tiger girls finished ninth in the team competition while the Tiger boys placed 12th in their half of the meet. The Tiger girls had hoped to improve on their eighth place finish from last year.
Somerset seniors Tia Belter and Jake Wishard hoped they could work their way up in the packs of runners at the Barron Division 2 sectional meet and somehow qualify for the 2011 WIAA state cross country championships. Despite running some of the best races of their careers, they both fell just short of their ultimate goal. Belter finished 13th in the girls race, crossing 10 seconds behind the final individual state qualifier.