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's hopes of a Middle Border Conference volleyball championship were shot down by the rapid fire hits delivered by the Osceola Chieftains last Tuesday. Both teams went into Tuesday's match in Somerset with 6-0 records. While these were all tightly contested games, Osceola swept the three games by scores of 25-23, 25-19 and 25-23. The match was played in front of one of the largest volleyball crowds ever for a Somerset match. The Spartans put up a diverse attack, using several different hitters to get their points. Osceola relies heavily on seniors Paige Garriga and Lisa Rydeen.
Everything rides on this Friday's game for the Somerset football team. A win over Baldwin-Woodville would thrust the Spartans into a tie for the Middle Border Conference lead. It would also immensely help the Spartans' chances of getting seeded into the upcoming WIAA State Football Playoffs. Baldwin-Woodville is undefeated this season. Somerset has a 5-2 record, with losses to Bloomer and New Richmond, the only opponents they've faced with records above .500.
The performance on the playoff hole by the New Richmond girls golf team at the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament in Holmen will go down as one of the finest clutch performances by any Tiger individual or team in recent history. All five Tigers played with tremendous poise on the playoff hole.
With last Thursday's 49-0 win at Ellsworth, the New Richmond football team has locked up a place in the 2010 WIAA State Football Playoffs. The Tigers will likely end up playing in the Division 3 portion of the state playoffs. Projecting who the Tigers will face in the playoffs is a challenge of its own. Because there are very few schools in western Wisconsin of a similar size to New Richmond, the Division 3 region could cover a large portion of the state. Two of the schools generally in the mix for Division 3, Ashland and Hayward, aren't likely to make the playoffs.
The New Richmond girls cross country team is hoping to add to its string of Middle Border Conference cross country championships at this Thursday's MBC meet in Amery. Amery's boys will be looking to repeat as conference champions in their half of the meet. The meet schedule begins with the boys race at 4:15 p.m. The girls race will start at 5 p.m. New Richmond's girls will be seeking their fourth straight conference title. The Tigers have been topping every MBC girls team this season, but the margin of victory has not been large.
The Somerset girls won't go into Thursday's 2010 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet as favorites. But they will go into the meet as a team reaching peak form. On Saturday the Spartans ran in the Old Abe Invitational in Eau Claire, taking sixth among 16 teams. The Spartans were declared small schools champion in the meet. Saturday's meet was at a 5K distance for the girls, but that didn't seem to bother the Spartans in the least. Nearly every one of the Somerset girls set personal best times for that distance. The Spartans' trio of lead runners put in another forceful effort.
Being "King of the Hill" in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference is something in which the St. Croix Central boys cross country team takes great pride. So when the Panthers run in the 2010 D-SC meet at Boyceville this Thursday, pride will be a driving force. They have won each of the two past conference championships. "A three-peat is the conference goal," said Panther coach Bill Emery.
What the New Richmond volleyball team did in its final home match was forgettable. But their performance off the court last Thursday was a noble effort by the Tiger girls. New Richmond lost to Middle Border Conference co-leader Osceola last Tuesday in the Tigers' final home match of the season. Few things went right for the Tigers on the court as they lost the three games 25-7, 25-12, 25-17. There was a large crowd attending the match because it was Parents Night for the Tigers. It was also Dig Pink Night, a fundraiser in the battle of breast cancer.
The challenging Bristol Ridge Golf Course layout proved to be an excellent test for the golfers who competed in the WIAA Somerset Division 2 Sectional Golf Tournament last Tuesday. Somerset's girls found that the home course didn't do them any favors. The Spartans tied for sixth place in the tournament with a score of 434. The Spartans had the full range of success in the sectional meet. Some girls had better than average days while others struggled at times through the meet. Leading the Spartans were senior Jackie Briggs and junior Sammi Wolff. They both shot a 104 for the tournament.
The St. Croix Central football team rolled up some of the largest offensive totals in school history in the Panthers' 52-26 win over Colfax on Friday. The Panthers are also piling up injuries at a record pace. In Friday's game the Panthers rang up one of the largest offensive totals in school history, totaling 633 yards of offense. Steve Sanders, who has served as a coach and statistician for the Panthers the past 31 years, said he doesn't recall any game where the Panthers came near that total.