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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It's the rematch hockey fans have been waiting for. New Richmond's boys hockey team will face Superior in Saturday's sectional championship game. New Richmond advanced with a 6-3 win over Hudson in Tuesday's sectional semifinal game. Superior notched a 7-3 win over the Siren co-op team at Wessman Arena in Superior. Tickets for Saturday's game will be sold at the New Richmond High School office on Wednesday and Thursday. Tickets are $4 each. New Richmond played two outstanding periods against Hudson, sandwiched around a real stinker.
With the elimination of collective bargaining in Wisconsin public schools, school districts are replacing teacher contracts with agreements called "employee handbooks." Since October, members of the Somerset Board of Education have been meeting weekly to structure the district's employee handbook, which is scheduled to take effect in July. The elimination of collective bargaining came about by the passing of Act 10 by Gov. Scott Walker.
One of the best stretches of defensive efforts in a decade or more has carried the New Richmond girls basketball team to new heights in the Middle Border Conference. The Tigers moved into sole possession of second place in the MBC with two wins that were created by the smothering defense that has become the Tigers' trademark. The Tigers shut down a potent Somerset offense on Friday, defeating the Spartans 48-28. Three nights earlier, the Tigers earned a 36-29 win at Baldwin-Woodville. The wins over Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville raise the Tigers' MBC record to 8-3.
There were some pretty drastic extremes in the play of the New Richmond boys basketball team last week. The Tigers suffered a meltdown, in their play and their behavior, in a 53-42 non-conference loss at River Falls last Tuesday. On Thursday the Tigers trailed nearly the entire game against Somerset. In the final five minutes the Tigers made a spirited comeback, overtaking the Spartans for a 50-48 victory. Thursday's win keeps the Tigers in the Middle Border Conference lead. The Tigers started this week with a 9-2 MBC record, one game ahead of Baldwin-Woodville.
The biggest surprise in the Division 1 wrestling regional at Chippewa Falls on Saturday was clearly the New Richmond Tigers. The Tigers had one of the least experienced lineups in the tournament, but the Tigers wrestled far beyond their experience level. The Tigers were able to advance eight of their wrestlers into this Saturday's Division 1 sectional tournament at Eau Claire North. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. in Eau Claire. Here's the best indication of how well the Tigers wrestled in the regional meet on Saturday.
A road trip to Milwaukee over the weekend was used to prepare the New Richmond boys hockey team for the upcoming WIAA playoffs. The Tigers open the playoffs at home this Thursday. They will face the winner of Tuesday's game between Somerset and Barron. The winner on Thursday will advance to the WIAA sectional semifinals next Tuesday. The Milwaukee road trip started Friday, with the Tigers defeating the WNS Storm 8-3 at the Kern Center on the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus.
Nothing will cause coaches and athletes more ulcers and gray hair than the two-word combination "what if." That's what the Somerset boys basketball team is stewing over after seeing their second substantial lead fritter away against one of the Middle Border Conference's top teams. On Jan. 31 the Spartans had a six-point lead slip away in the final minute of a 52-51 loss at Baldwin-Woodville. Last Thursday at New Richmond the Spartans had another substantial lead get away from them.
An offensive swoon has dropped the Somerset girls basketball team out of contention for the Middle Border Conference title. The Spartans have dropped three straight games, including setbacks against Prescott and New Richmond last week when Somerset was held under 30 points in both games. The losing streak has dropped the Spartans to 6-5, tied for third place in the MBC standings with Prescott. Friday's loss at New Richmond was an alarming performance from the Spartans. With eight seniors on the roster, the Spartans were vastly more experienced than New Richmond's girls.
The four Somerset wrestlers who have been standouts all season continued their success at the WIAA Division 2 regional meet in Ellsworth on Saturday. If they can maintain that level of success in this Saturday's Division 2 sectional in Osceola, they will earn a place in the 2012 WIAA State Wrestling Championships. Qualifying for the sectional meet from Somerset are seniors Austin Bushinger and Haydon Dvorak and juniors Bobby LeRoy and Gabe Flandrick.
Fast starts have been one of the things the St. Croix Central boys basketball team has done well this season. The Panthers jumped out to a 12-5 lead against Ellsworth last Tuesday. Ellsworth managed to come back, topping Central 53-42. Central's inability to handle full-court pressure proved to be its undoing. Central led 15-6 early in the second quarter. Ellsworth, which has a strong pool of guards, then clamped down the press.