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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Young teams will have ups and downs, especially in a sport like volleyball where momentum ebbs and flows rapidly. The St. Croix Central volleyball team played two matches in a meet at Ellsworth last week. The impact of momentum showed clearly in the Panthers' play in the tournament. The Panthers opened the tournament by facing Clayton. The Panthers played listlessly in the 25-9, 25-17 loss to the Bears. Central coach Kerrie Been was not happy with the number of mistakes in the loss.
A complete game may be a baseball term, but it certainly fits the performance put in by the New Richmond football team in the Tigers' 2010 season opener last Friday. Especially for a first game of the season, the Tigers were sharp in all aspects of their game as they rolled to a 26-7 win at River Falls. Offensively the Tigers built up 399 yards between their success on the ground and through the air. The Tiger defense stuffed the Wildcat running game and River Falls had little success when it tried to pass. New Richmond's offense couldn't have gotten out to a better start.
For football fans who love offense, Friday's game in Somerset was a football smorgasbord. With more than 1,000 yards of offense amassed between the Spartans and Shoreland Lutheran, the offenses were clearly far ahead of the defenses in the opening game of the 2010 season. Somerset's offense was the more productive of the two in Friday's game, with the Spartans scoring a 46-26 victory. The Spartan offense had its way with the Pacers, a team from the Kenosha area, in the first half.
The New Richmond cross country team is jumping into the deep end of the pool in terms of competition to start the 2010 season. The Tigers started the season by running in the River Falls Extreme Meet last Thursday. That was more of a fun meet for the Tigers. The competition got much more serious when they took part in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North on Saturday. The Extreme Meet gets its name from the terrain covered in the meet. The runners must traverse through streams several times in the race and run over treacherous footing.
Somerset's girls jumped right in, which can be a wet and cold experience in the River Falls Extreme Cross Country Meet. The Spartan girls placed eighth among the 12 teams. The Spartan boys placed last among 15 teams in the meet. Somerset's girls had a large number of first-time entrants in a cross country meet. To have their first meet be the Extreme Meet, which includes several river crossings, can be a bit intimidating. "I was excited for the kids who've never raced before," said Somerset coach Diane Belter. "I'm glad to see they liked it.
Any doubts of whether the spread offense would work for the St.
After a difficult start to the season, the Somerset boys soccer squad started to rebuild its team from the defense out. The changes showed great promise. In the first game with the restructured lineup, the Spartans played their best game of the season, losing to Barron 2-0 last Thursday. Barron scored both its goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. After that the Spartans played progressively better. "We pretty much dominated the whole second half," said Somerset coach Todd Sauers. Injuries pretty much started the changes. The Spartans were without Jordan Greene for last week's game.
Opponents are starting to go into a defensive cocoon around their own nets to try stopping the high-scoring New Richmond boys soccer team. Last Thursday Amery was able to use its defensive shield to shut down the Tigers. Amery delivered the Tigers' first loss of the 2010 season, 2-0. The Tigers did bounce back on Saturday, scoring a 2-0 win over Superior. Tiger coach Pete Melloy said the Amery loss was a matter of which team took advantage of their scoring chances. "We had a ton of scoring opportunities, but didn't capitalize.
Success in nine-hole matches has helped the New Richmond girls golf team take an early lead in the 2010 Middle Border Conference standings. MBC teams have played three nine-hole matches and the Tigers have won all three. The most recent of those matches were played last Tuesday at Pheasant Hills Golf Club and last Thursday at Krooked Kreek Golf Club in Osceola. The match last Tuesday was huge for the Tigers because they shook off some recent struggles to notch their best score of the season.
The quality of the early season competition should make the St. Croix Central volleyball team better through the rest of the season. The Panthers played in a pair of triangular meets last week to start their season and they didn't back away from scheduling tough competition. In their season opener last Tuesday, the Panthers faced two of the top teams from the Lakeland Conference. They played at Cameron, facing the Comets and Grantsburg.