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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Hayward and Amery have traditionally been among the teams vying for the Middle Border Conference girls soccer championship every year. So you can imagine the girls on the Somerset soccer team are flying pretty high after the Spartans scored wins over Hayward and Amery this week. The Spartans beat Hayward 1-0 on Monday, the first win for the Spartans against the Hayward in the five years Erin Wilson-Gehring has coached Somerset.
“Boston Strong” was the theme for the 2014 Boston Marathon and the local runners who competed in this year’s race certainly followed through with strong performances. Following the bombings that marred the 2013 Boston Marathon, security was high for this year’s race. The bombings also brought out the patriotic spirit of the runners and the crowd for Boston’s annual Patriots Day race.
New Richmond girls basketball coach Jeff Kanewischer and Somerset girls basketball coach Kendrick Livers have both announced their resignations. Both coaches cited higher priorities as their reasons for leaving their coaching positions. Kanewischer took over the Tigers for the 2006-07 season and Livers has been coaching the Spartans since the 2009-10 season. Kanewischer’s wife is expecting the couple’s second daughter in two weeks. He said the desire to spend more time with his children was something he could not ignore.
New Richmond and Osceola slugged it out for the Middle Border Conference boys golf championship in 2013 and it looks like that could be the scenario again in the 2014 MBC golf race. The MBC golfers played their first match of the season on Monday at Clifton Highlands Golf Course, with Osceola edging New Richmond by one stroke for the team victory. New Richmond coach Jim Saliny said his team’s goal is to win the conference title, but the Tigers recognize it will be another prolonged battle with Osceola.
There wasn’t much challenge for the New Richmond boys tennis team when the Tigers played their Middle Border Conference opener last Tuesday. The Tigers were tested much more severely when they played in a tournament at La Crosse on Saturday. In their MBC opener, the Tigers hosted Osceola last Tuesday. Osceola is an extremely young and inexperienced team and the Tigers were able to sweep the Chieftains, 7-0. The Tigers won 84 of the 87 games that were played in the match.
Prescott kept coming back against the New Richmond softball team last Tuesday. But when the Tigers scored two runs in the sixth inning to break a 6-6 tie, Prescott couldn’t muster another comeback. The Tigers earned an 8-6 win, their first victory in Middle Border Conference action this season. The best aspect of this game was improved hitting from the Tigers and it started from the opening inning. Ellie Emerson and Kate Johnson started the inning with doubles and Sydney Kannel and Sydney Jones followed with singles to generate the two runs. The Tigers got another run in the second inning.
Baldwin-Woodville has been one of the less successful girls soccer programs in the Middle Border Conference through the years. That began to change last season and the Blackhawks let the New Richmond girls know they are legitimate contenders for an MBC title when the two teams met on the Blackhawks’ field last Tuesday. The Blackhawks earned a 2-0 win and they now hold a 4-0 record in the MBC.
Two plays separated the Somerset baseball team from the state-ranked Ellsworth Panthers last Tuesday. Those two plays were enough to keep Ellsworth undefeated, while Somerset suffered its first loss of the season, 4-2. Because of wet grounds in Somerset, the game was played at the second home of Ellsworth’s baseball team in Hager City. One of the plays was a two-run homer hit by Ellsworth’s Nick Taranto in the fourth inning. Taranto, a junior, is quickly getting recognition as one of the top players in the Middle Border Conference this season.
With the inexperience on the St. Croix Central softball team, the Panthers don’t know how good they can be. When the Panthers played at Boyceville on April 14, they found out that they can compete with some of the best teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Boyceville is tied with Pepin-Alma for the D-SC lead. Boyceville had a fight on its hands when it faced the Panthers, pulling out a 6-3 win. Central coach Mindy Rudiger said this game was crucial in terms of the Panthers’ progress.
While last Thursday’s snowstorm wiped out most track meets in the northern half of the state, half of the Mustang Invitational was able to be held in Menomonie. The field event portion of the meet was moved into the Menomonie High School Fieldhouse. While this wasn’t a complete meet, it did give field event athletes a chance to compete on dry runways. With the wet weather this spring, the chance to compete in a warm, dry setting was an appealing option for the athletes. The Tigers were able to record two wins in the meet.