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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Here is a schedule of the upcoming varsity sports events for our three local high schools for the next week.
The New Richmond Youth Football Club will be offering two new programs for this fall. The new programs will be for kids in grades 1-4, to go along with a tackle football program for kids in grades 5-6. A flag football program will be offered for first and second grade students. A full-contact tackle program will be offered for kids in third and fourth grade. The fifth and sixth grade tackle program will be offered as it has been in the past. Registration dates will be on Tuesday, April 8, Thursday, April 10 and Thursday, May 1 at the New Richmond Civic Center.
The trip to Texas was certainly worth it for the New Richmond powerlifting team. The Tigers made the trip to Killeen, Texas, for the 2014 High School National Powerlifting Championships and it was a highly successful tournament. The Tiger girls placed sixth in the varsity team competition and New Richmond's JV girls took third place in their portion of the meet. The Tigers had an excellent tournament, with nine of their 11 lifters placing in the tournament. In the varsity portion of the meet, senior Bethany Haag was the top finisher, placing fourth in the 148-pound class.
The youth wrestlers from our three local school districts put together an outstanding performance, with seven of nine reaching the awards podium, at the 2014 Wisconsin Wrestling Federation Folkstyle Kids State Tournament held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison over the weekend. Three of the four wrestlers from New Richmond were able to place in the tournament, and the same count went for the wrestlers from Somerset. St.
At this point in the season, the New Richmond track coaches aren't watching what their opponents are doing. They're concentrating on the Tiger athletes, looking for anything they can to hasten the Tigers' improvement. The Tigers competed in their first official meets last week. They ran in a quad meet at the Knowles Center indoor facility at UW-River Falls last Tuesday. The Tigers were back at Knowles Center on Saturday, but this time the competition was amped up many times over.
The Somerset track teams start the season on the young side, but that doesn't mean the teams won't be competitive. Under new coach Terry Otradovec, the Spartans began their season with a pair of meets last week. The Spartans showed their ability in the 2014 Northern Badger Classic at UW-Stout on Saturday. The Spartan boys took third place among 24 schools competing in the small school division at the Somerset girls placed 13th. The Somerset teams start the season in different places, experience-wise.
Graduation has taken a toll on the St. Croix Central track teams each of the past several years, but the resilient Panthers continue to bounce back. The Panther coaches expect their teams to again be competitive in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and in the WIAA Division 2 tournament series. Ben Lamb is the senior member of the Panther coaching staff. Former co-head coach Amanda Webb departed for Spring Valley, so John Tackmann has stepped into the co-head coach role for the Panthers.
The recently completed WIAA basketball tournaments proved to have a positive financial benefit for the New Richmond School District and the local community. Because of the capacity of the New Richmond High School gym, it has become a popular spot for the WIAA to place tournament games.
The message was loud and clear at the New Richmond wrestling banquet last Thursday. Because Ellsworth is graduating more than half of its state championship lineup, Tiger coach Mark Neumann said there is an opportunity for the New Richmond wrestlers to be competitive at a new level in the Middle Border Conference. Neumann said the one thing that separated the Tigers from the two teams above them in the MBC standings this year, Ellsworth and Amery, was physical strength. “Technically, we're as good as anybody,” Neumann said.
It happens to the best of athletic programs. Transition. It's a word that means there are more questions than answers as a team begins its season. Such was the case with the St. Croix Central wrestling team in the past season. The Panthers brought back few wrestlers with any varsity experience. And while the Panthers didn't get any wrestlers to the WIAA state tournament this year, Central's coaches aren't deeming the season a failure. Far from it. “Coaching-wise, it was one of our more successful years,” said Central coach Brad Holzer.