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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At this point in its development, the New Richmond boys soccer team is in the middle ground of the Middle Border Conference. The Tigers suffered their second loss of the MBC season last Tuesday, to undefeated Amery, 1-0. Two days later, the Tigers scorched one of the newbies in the MBC, sprinting through an inexperienced Baldwin-Woodville team to win 8-0. Clearly, the Tigers are closer to the top teams in the MBC. They lost early in the season to Osceola by a 5-1 score.
The hills overlooking the St. Croix River are an ideal location for growing wine grapes. Martell Vineyards of Somerset was one of the first vineyards in the area to grasp the concept of growing cold hardy wine grapes. Now, a decade later, Tom Martell has been the president of the Minnesota Grape Growers Association for five years. The grape harvest at Martell Vineyards is an annual event that attracts hundreds of volunteers.
There were the flaws you'll find in any team's first game, but the St. Croix Central football team presented several threats in last Friday's season opener that should bode well for the Panthers throughout the season. The Panthers were able to put the ball into the end zone three times, and missed out on several other scoring chances in a 21-6 victory over Ellsworth in last Friday's 2009 opening game at Hammond. Central's main problem in Friday's game was penalties. The Panthers made it rain yellow flags by committing nine penalties.
From coach Bruce Larson's reaction, you would have thought the Somerset football team had been on the losing side of the 46-14 Spartan win in last Friday's season opener at Ladysmith. That is how expectations of the Spartans are going to be this season. Larson said he is expecting a drastically tougher game this Friday when the Spartans face Hudson. He said if the Spartans don't improve, they could end up on the losing end of score like the one they stamped on Ladysmith. There were areas that Coach Larson pointed to as "must improve" areas for the team's long-term success.
One loss was what it took for the New Richmond boys soccer team to come around to coach Pete Melloy's way of thinking. After strolling through three fairly unchallenging games to start the season, the Tiger boys were in for a shock when they were manhandled by Osceola last Thursday, 5-1. What the coaches hadn't been able to convince the players of, one loss did. When the Tigers played at Superior on Saturday, they looked like a completely different team.
A slow start offensively, magnified by River Falls' success playing power football, dealt the New Richmond football team a 24-8 loss in its first game of the 2009 season on Friday night. This wasn't a case where River Falls was drastically better than the Tigers. The Wildcats led 10-8 at halftime. The Wildcats' depth, especially in the line, helped them pound out two scoring drives in the second half. The Tigers had drives that had the possibility of scoring in the second half, but none came to fruition. Several of the best performances for the Tigers came from new starters.
For three years, the administration and teachers at the Somerset Elementary School have been working to modernize the school report card. Gone is the A through F lettering system. What is more significantly changed is the topics on which teachers will be grading students. Elementary principal Cherrie Wood said the A through F grading system has been in place since World War I.
Little did Ed Strom know that when he sold his snowmobile and purchased two dirt bikes for his kids, it would lead to his kids competing all over the Midwest, and even nationally. The Stroms' three children, Keenan, Tayva and Torsten, are now three of the top youth motocross racers in the Midwest. Tayva has even advanced to the national level, placing 15th among 42 racers in the girls 11-15 age division at the 28th annual Air Nautiques AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships in Tennessee.
The Somerset boys soccer team has scored its first varsity goal and is now looking to log its first varsity win. The Spartans played the first boys varsity game in school history last Thursday, losing to an experienced Osceola team 7-0. The next afternoon the Spartans were in a more competitive contest. They played evenly with Spooner for most of the game, losing 3-1. Junior Hunter Beauvais scored the first goal in Somerset team history. His goal came early in the second half after Spooner had built a 2-0 lead. Jarod Bordynoski centered a pass into middle of the field.
New Richmond's Dani Lagerstrom has been named to the 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA High School All-North Region first team. Lagerstrom was the only player from Wisconsin chosen for the team. The North Region team included girls from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania. To be eligible for the All-Region team, a player's coach must be a member of NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association). New Richmond coach Becky Ahlbrecht nominated Lagerstrom based on her offensive and defensive numbers from her junior season last spring.