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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Talk about experiencing the complete range of emotions in one day. At 3:18 a.m. last Tuesday, Somerset boys basketball coach Brent Larson welcomed his new daughter into the world. That night, the Spartans suffered a crushing collapse in the final minute, losing to Baldwin-Woodville 52-51. Give the Spartans credit for having some resilience.
The improving St. Croix Central boys basketball team nearly squeezed out a win against Plum City on Friday. The Panthers overcame a slow start to play evenly with the Blue Devils for most of the second half. Plum City's Chase Luebker was the difference maker in the final minutes, carrying the Blue Devils to a 51-42 win. The 2-15 Panthers fell behind in the first quarter, 18-10 and they didn't make up any of that margin in the second quarter. With six different Panthers scoring in the third quarter, they were able to tie the score several times.
Project Lead The Way is now in its third year in the Somerset School District and the program continues to add to its offerings in the schools. PLTW Engineering and Biomedical Sciences programs offer students advantages, from career readiness and hands-on experience to college preparatory-level classes, labs and creative exercises. The courses are an opportunity for students to advance and utilize their knowledge in science, mathematics and technology. PLTW students can advance to higher level courses that can count toward college credits.
Basing its findings off the October community survey, the Somerset Board of Education has set recommendations for the school district's future. Two of those recommendations reflect the school district's possible needs for future space. The first of those two, recommendation seven, was ordered reworded over concerns by several board members. Board member Bob Gunther led those who were concerned. As the recommendation originally read, it could be construed that the school district was planning to go to referendum during the 2013-14 school year.
Thanks to Amery's win over Somerset last Thursday, the New Richmond boys hockey team has an opening to retain their Middle Border Conference championship. If the Tigers are going to continue their string of MBC championships, they must defeat Somerset in Thursday's game at the New Richmond Sports Center. The Tigers are 3-2 in the MBC after a 9-0 win at Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday.
Five of the seven wins by the New Richmond boys basketball team in their 7-1 start in the Middle Border Conference have been by single-digit margins. The closest call in terms of scoring difference came last Friday, when the Tigers were able to hold off a relentless Ellsworth team, 48-46. The win kept the Tigers alone at the top of the Middle Border Conference standings. The game was tied 46-46 when the Tigers got the ball with 30 seconds remaining.
The New Richmond girls basketball team is the only Middle Border Conference opponent who defeated MBC-leading Durand in the first half of the conference schedule. The Tigers are now 6-2 in MBC action. If they want to stay in the hunt for the conference title, they will need to defeat Durand again. The Tigers play at Durand this Thursday. Defense has been the Tigers' forte this season and the win over Durand was the finest example of their defensive capability.
One of the most anticipated St. Croix Central wrestling dual meets in decades lived up to its billing, when the Panthers locked up with Spring Valley for the Dunn-St. Croix dual championship last Thursday. Both teams were undefeated in duals and both were ranked in the top 10 in the state in their respective divisions. The heart-pounding action came down to the final weight, with Spring Valley edging out the Panthers, 29-25. The Central gym was packed with people, drawing wrestling fans from many other towns to see this showdown.
Tiger coach Mark Neumann was fretting heavily before the Tigers' wrestling match with Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday. The Tigers were without several veteran wrestlers for the match. Of the 17 wrestlers available, 10 were freshmen and three more were sophomores. The Tigers' lack of experience didn't hold them back. The Tigers strung together seven straight wins in the middle stages of the dual meet to produce a 54-19 win over the Blackhawks. "That surprised me," Coach Neumann said about the ease in which the Tigers won the match.
Winning the majority of their basketball games is relatively new for the Somerset boys basketball program. Being clear favorites in some of their games, and handling the role of being favored, is something the Spartans are still learning. They improved in that capacity in their two games last week, wins over St. Croix Central and Osceola. The two wins put the Spartans at 10-4 this season. The last time the Spartans were double-digit winners in a season, the current Spartans were in elementary school.