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 Somerset boys hockey team played three prominent Minnesota programs in Simley, Prior Lake and Bloomington Kennedy in last week's St. Michael-Albertville tournament. The classy competition brought out the best in the Spartans. They took third place in the tournament, beating Simley and Kennedy and putting up a major battle against Prior Lake in the semifinals. Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said this tournament has often foretold how the Spartans will play in the second half of their season.
A group of Somerset parents has banded together to get new playground equipment for students at Somerset Middle School. The Middle School Playground Committee has been working behind the scenes for several months after recognizing a need at the school. Other than basketball courts and four-square diagrams painted on the pavement, there were no outdoor activities available to the middle school students at recess. The playground equipment was originally slated to cost $33,000.
Rick Lange's final official day as Somerset Middle School principal came last Wednesday. Lange retired after 20 years as principal and 32 years at the middle school. Lange was honored with a surprise program the previous day that included all the middle school students. Here, Lange hands over the middle school keys to his successor, Sara Eichten.
When the New Richmond wrestling team faced Park of Cottage Grove last Tuesday, the Tigers met a slightly better version of their own team. Park and the Tigers were similar, with both teams having most of their experience in the upper weights. This led to a dual meet with many close matches. Park was able to win some of the critical matches to earn a 38-33 win over the Tigers. The night's matches started at the 112-pound bout.
The plan to restructure Wisconsin high school football conferences is drawing opinions from everywhere. Now school boards from across the state are getting into the act. Schools were asked to take a stance on the issue before the WIAA makes its final decision on the subject. The local results are in. Each of the three local schools had a different take on the plan. The New Richmond Board of Education voted in opposition of the new conference structure. Somerset voted in favor of the new proposal. St.
Somerset's wrestlers got in plenty of work last Tuesday. The Spartans hosted a quad meet with three talented foes, Hudson, Glenwood City and Baldwin-Woodville. Somerset's wrestlers were able to win one team match, beating rival Middle Border Conference team Baldwin-Woodville 46-30. The Spartans had their hands full with Big Rivers Conference powerhouse Hudson, losing 60-15. The Spartans fell to Glenwood City 48-27. Several Spartans gave noteworthy efforts, led by junior Isaac Neumann. He pinned his first two opponents, in 11 and 36 seconds.
The 2009 portion of this basketball season has gone perfectly for the St. Croix Central boys team. The Panthers ended the 2009 section of the schedule with a sweet win, beating rival Baldwin-Woodville 65-57 last Tuesday. The Panthers' record stands at 7-0 as they head into 2010. The win over Baldwin-Woodville was another step in the progression of the Panthers. B-W took a nine-point lead in the second quarter of the game. The poise of the Panthers showed. They cut the margin to three by halftime.
The New Richmond boys hockey team has been one of the brightest surprises of the area teams to start the 2009-10 season. Last Tuesday the Eau Claire Memorial boys reminded the Tigers that there is still a great deal to learn for the young team. Memorial inflicted an 8-1 thrashing on the Tigers. It was a game where the Tigers arrived unprepared and the Old Abes attacked like sharks in a feeding frenzy. "We absolutely were flat," said Tiger coach Adam Swanda.
The New Richmond boys basketball team didn't win at Rice Lake last Tuesday. But the Tigers did enough other things well in the game that coach Rick Montreal was viewing the game as a success. The Tigers lost the game 54-52. This leaves the Tigers with a 2-3 overall record as they finish the 2009 portion of their schedule. The Tigers are 0-3 in road games and 2-0 at home. One of the best signs out of the Rice Lake game was the Tigers' preparedness for the game. In their previous road game, at Durand, the Tigers looked like they weren't mentally prepared.
It would be difficult to find a team with a tougher non-conference schedule than the Somerset girls basketball team this year. The first two non-conference losses for the Spartans were Holy Family and Apple Valley, two highly successful Minnesota programs. The Spartans' wins are over Bloomer and Spooner. Last Tuesday the Spartans took on their third non-conference opponent when they played at River Falls. The Wildcats are a strong Division 1 team from the Big Rivers Conference. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Wildcats could build any lead on the Spartans.