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 Mitch Flandrick was tired of seeing the Spartans finish in second place. He told senior Haydon Dvorak to do something about it. Dvorak answered the request by winning the 182-pound championship match at the 2011 Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational at River Falls High School last Thursday. Somerset had three wrestlers reach the championship match in their weight classes. Junior Gabe Flandrick lost in overtime in the 138-pound finals and junior Bobby LeRoy lost a narrow decision in the 126-pound finals. Dvorak tangled with St.
Former New Richmond state champion Ayla (Mitchell) Helland has received a highly prestigious honor recognizing her running career. Helland has been named to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Time Women's Cross Country Team. Helland ran from 2007 through 2009 for UW-Oshkosh. As a senior at Oshkosh, Helland won the 1,500 and 5,000 meter women's outdoor national track titles in 2009. She also won the NCAA national indoor mile championship in 2009. She finished third in the NCAA women's Division 3 cross country national championships in 2008.
The focus was on improvement when the New Richmond wrestling team competed in the Bi-State Classic in La Crosse last Thursday and Friday. Three of the Tigers were placewinners in the tournament. Sophomore Shane Blackman placed ninth at 120 pounds. Senior Mitch Kern and freshman Derek Dowd were both 10th place finishers, Kern at 285 pounds and Dowd at 113 pounds. With the Tigers being so young this season, the game plan for Bi-State was much different than in most years.
The Somerset girls basketball team was hoping to make changes happen in their game at Boyceville last Thursday. While the Spartans did show some signs of progress, they weren't able to create overall change. The Spartans suffered their fourth straight loss,62-43, dropping their season record to 2-7. When the Spartans were able to get into their halfcourt offense, especially in the first and fourth quarters, they were able to do some good things.
Maybe Rochester, Minn., is where momentum begins. That's what the New Richmond boys hockey team is hoping. The Tigers earned one win and played three solid games in their annual sojourn to the Rochester tournament last week. Other than slow starts in their two losses in the tournament, there was a definite upswing in the Tigers' performance. Their win came against Rochester John Marshall in the second round of the tournament, by a 5-2 score. The Tigers lost to Rochester Century in the opening round of the tournament.
Reaching the championship game in the Rice Lake tournament had its consequences for the Somerset boys basketball team last week. It meant the Spartans would have to face undefeated Rice Lake in last Wednesday's title game. The Spartans didn't have the firepower to compare with the Warriors, losing 74-56. Somerset earned a win in the opening round of the tournament last Tuesday, toppling Cumberland 47-37. Rice Lake is led by the three Ellenson brothers. The oldest, Wally, has already signed a scholarship offer to play at the University of Minnesota.
After scoring 14 goals in their first 10 games of the season, scoring seven goals in one game was something the New Richmond girls could celebrate. The Tigers scored five goals in the first period in rolling to a 7-2 win over Luverne (Minn.) in the second round of the Sertoma-Home Federal Shootout in Rochester, Minn. last week. In the opening round the Tigers lost to Rochester Century, 6-2. In the third round of the tournament the Tigers and New Ulm (Minn.) had to break their 2-2 with a shootout.
The first holiday tournament for the New Richmond girls basketball team in many years was scheduled for several reasons. The Tigers were able to win one of the two games they played in Thorp last Tuesday and Wednesday. They edged Abbotsford in the opening round of the tournament, 44-41. They ran up against one of the finest teams in this part of the state, undefeated Ladysmith, and suffered a 58-24 loss in the championship game. Coach Jeff Kanewischer said the Tigers signed up for the tournament for several reasons. The tournament divide up a lengthy holiday break.
Two vastly different wins put the Somerset hockey team in the championship game of the Spooner Holiday Tournament last Friday. After beating Ashland 12-6 and the Breckenridge, Minn.-Wahpeton, N.D. cooperative team 2-1, the Spartans faced Menomonie in Friday's championship game. The Spartans played evenly with Menomonie for two periods, but the Mustangs were the better team in the third period, beating the Spartans 4-1. The tournament started with the Spartans getting into a frenetic paced game with Ashland.
The annual Somerset Elementary School version of the Iditarod sled dog race has been run in all sorts of weather conditions. A complete lack of snow for this year's race last Wednesday may have been the most rare weather condition the students have faced through the years. There have been years when the race has been held in waist-deep snow.