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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The New Richmond football team was able to lead undefeated Middle Border Conference leader Ellsworth 10-7 at halftime of the Tigers’ Homecoming game last Friday. The defensive success the Tigers saw in the first half couldn’t be maintained in the second half.
Six more points. That’s what the New Richmond volleyball team needed to finish off Osceola in the fourth game of their battle for the Middle Border Conference lead last Thursday. The Tigers held a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth game on Thursday. The Tigers held the momentum through most of the game, leading 16-8 and 19-14. Osceola quickly grabbed the momentum away, charging to a 25-22 win in the fourth game.
When the Somerset soccer team received the second seed in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament bracket last week, Rice Lake petitioned to get placed above the Spartans in the playoff bracket. That request was denied. The next day the two teams had the chance to prove which one deserved the upper seed. The Spartans let their play do the talk and it was quite convincing as the Spartans rolled past Rice Lake 5-1. Somerset received the second seed in the WIAA tournament bracket. They start playoff action next Tuesday, facing seventh seed Osceola.
The playoffs are still a definite possibility for the St. Croix Central football team. The Panthers need to win one of their final two games to make the playoffs, though winning both games would give them a more palatable opening-round opponent. If the Panthers make the playoffs, it is likely they would land in Division 4, where some of the candidates to be their opening round challenger are Ellsworth, Somerset and Prescott. A win last Friday would have greatly helped the Panthers’ cause and for a half, they put up an excellent battle against Spring Valley.
Playing the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament at one of the least forgiving golf courses in the area reflected in the scores for all the teams involved. The Division 2 tournament was played at the Luck Golf Course. Somerset was able to take third place in the tournament, qualifying for this Tuesday’s sectional tournament on the Spartans’ home course. St. Croix Central also had two girls qualify for the sectional tournament. Osceola won the regional tournament with a score of 393. Prescott was a distant second at 437, followed by Somerset at 443.
Two of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference volleyball co-leaders were on the schedule for the St. Croix Central volleyball team. For a team trying to play through growing pains, it was a difficult week for the Panthers. They were defeated at Spring Valley last Tuesday 25-10, 25-16, 25-22. That was followed by a homecourt loss to Boyceville last Thursday, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16. Against Spring Valley, the Panthers started slowly but improved with each game. “But it was too late to change the momentum,” said Central co-coach Julia Foley.
It’s uncommon to see teams still making changes with two weeks left in their regular season. But with the youth on the Somerset volleyball team, the situation isn’t the norm. The Spartans play three freshmen and are one of the youngest teams in the area. Spartan Coach Sarah Praschak decided to switch to a 6-2 formation for Saturday’s New Richmond Invitational, and likely for the rest of the season.
There’s a distinct amount of pressure on the Somerset boys cross country runners every time they compete. With only five runners on the team, they have to show up every meet for the squad to be able to compete as a team. And because all five of their times count in every meet, they have to be ready to compete at their top level every time. They answered that call when they ran at St. Croix Falls last Thursday, placing fourth in the meet. In Brandon Mondor, Cole Harty and Ethan Baillargeon, the Spartans had three of the top 13 finishers in the seven-team race.
The New Richmond football team did its best to pull off a Homecoming upset, but fell short. Somerset was looking to lock up a place in the WIAA playoffs and a win at Amery on Friday achieved that goal for the Spartans. New Richmond hosted unbeaten Ellsworth in the Tigers' Homecoming game on Friday.
The WIAA boys soccer regional tournament brackets were announced on Wednesday and New Richmond and Somerset both did well in the seeding process. The New Richmond boys received the top seed in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament bracket. The Tigers will host eight-seeded Holmen in the opening round of the WIAA tournaments at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Somerset is the second seed in the Division 3 regional tournament bracket. The Spartans will face a familiar opponent in the opening round of the tournament, seventh-seeded Osceola. That game will be played at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct.