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 first Middle Border Conference tennis match of the season resulted in a decisive win for the New Richmond boys on Thursday. The Tigers rolled to a 6-1 win over Ellsworth in their MBC opener on Thursday. The Tigers swept the singles matches and took two of the three doubles matches. In the Tigers' six wins, they gave up a total of eight games.
Last week the Somerset baseball team found that it can't expect its pitching to win every game. On Monday the Spartan hitters took matters into their hands, beating Amery 7-5. The Spartans now stand at 4-2 in the Middle Border Conference standings. They are one game behind conference co-leaders Ellsworth and New Richmond. It took a three-run rally in the sixth inning for the Spartans to pull out Monday's win.
Joe Poulin's grand slam homer and refined pitching from Kyle Cress carried the St. Croix Central baseball team to a 9-1 win at Pepin on Monday. The win lifts the Panthers to 5-1 in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play. Their overall record stands at 7-3 after the win. The Panthers scored single runs in the first and third innings before breaking open Monday's game with a five-run uprising in the fourth inning. Poulin's grand slam homer, his fourth bomb of the season, decided the game in a hurry. Poulin and Cress each delivered three hits to pace the Panthers on Monday.
The Pepin and St. Croix Central softball teams both were unbeaten in Dunn-St. Croix Conference games entering Monday's game in Hammond. Now only St. Croix Central stands atop the D-SC standings. Pepin scored first, putting up four runs in the fourth inning. The Panthers matched that output in the bottom of the fourth, then tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to win 7-4. Central coach Jimmy Anderson said he was surprised that the girls weren't more fired up for this game, with the conference lead on the line.
The pieces are there for the Somerset softball team, but putting them all together for a complete game has been difficult for the Spartans recently. On Monday the Spartans weren't able to hit with their usual authority. That resulted in the Spartans falling to Amery by an 11-1 score. The Spartans are now 2-4 in Middle Border Conference games. On Saturday the Spartans will play in a tournament at St. Croix Central. Their first game is scheduled for 9 a.m. against River Falls. Next Monday the Spartans will play at home against Osceola.
Both New Richmond track teams took third place when they competed in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North last Tuesday. The Tigers performed solidly in facing a mix of schools that included several schools from the Big Rivers Conference, plus some smaller schools from the Eau Claire area. Many of the athletes who've been successful all season continued on that track. Kat Keller again swept the 100, 200 and 400 sprint races for the Tiger girls. Gaelan Hanlon and Troy Cran followed up their big days at UW-La Crosse the previous week with wins at Eau Claire.
The Somerset boys and girls track teams ran in different meets last week, but they were both pleased with their results. The Spartan boys competed in a meet in Osceola last Tuesday. Somerset's girls were part of a meet at Park of Cottage Grove last Thursday. Spartan boys Somerset's boys took fifth place among the six teams in the Osceola Invitational last Tuesday. The Spartans were led by senior Rob Wendt, who was the champion in the shot put. His throw of 48 feet, 1 inch was a personal best.
Injuries finally took down the Tigers. The New Richmond girls soccer team suffered its first loss in Middle Border Conference play this season in a 3-0 loss at Spooner last Tuesday. The Tigers did bounce back to win at Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday, 2-0. The Tigers started this week with a 6-1-1 conference record. Last week started with the Tigers badly beaten up by injuries. They did get senior defender Jesse Olson back for Tuesday's game. She gamely tried to cover ground on a still-tender ankle.
The Somerset girls soccer team was sorely in need of an offensive spark. Hello, Grantsburg club team. The first-year club program helped the Spartans get in gear as Somerset rolled to a 10-1 win in Thursday's game. Gina O'Connor led the onslaught with three goals. Paige Wagner, Megan Newman and Hanna Barritt each scored two goals and Emilee Wolf scored once for the Spartans. The Spartans scored five goals in the first half, then matched that total in the second half. "Our girls needed a boost, to get their confidence back up," said Somerset coach Erin Wilson.
Somerset High School's STAND organization hosted Operation Prom on Monday night, April 19. The event is an accident reenactment to give students a sobering reminder. Somerset High School will be holding its annual Junior Prom this Saturday. Operation Prom is a success due to the assistance of a number of local and county law enforcement groups.