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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At this stage in its evolution, the New Richmond football team has to play a finesse style. The Tigers do their best to offset the size advantage some opponents have over them. Despite being much smaller along the front lines, the Tigers were nearly able to upend Prescott on Friday, losing to the Cardinals 21-14 at the New Richmond Football Stadium. The loss drops the Tigers to 1-2 in the Middle Border Conference and 1-4 overall.
The concentration was on pack running. But the trophies were a nice bonus. The New Richmond cross country team runs at the Osceola Invitational every year, not competing for team honors but to work on pack running and helping their squad to improve as a group. So finishing in first place in the boys large school division and in second place in the girls large school division was a pleasing bonus for the Tigers.
The inexperienced New Richmond girls tennis team has come an awfully long way since beginning the season with two returning varsity players. The Tigers hoped they’d make the climb all the way to the top of the Middle Border Conference standings. The Baldwin-Woodville girls had the same aspirations, with much more experienced players. When those two teams met last Thursday, Baldwin-Woodville’s experience won out. The Blackhawks defeated the Tigers 5-2 in the showdown between the top two teams in the MBC. Both New Richmond’s wins came in the singles lineup.
With the Middle Border Conference championship appearing to be a formality for the New Richmond girls golf team, the Tigers are still hard at work, getting ready for the WIAA playoff season. The 2013 MBC tournament will be played this Thursday at Krooked Kreek Golf Club in Osceola, beginning at 9 a.m. The Tigers have been perfect in the MBC this season, winning all eight events to hold 80 points heading into the tournament. Osceola has finished second in all eight events, carrying 72 points into the tournament.
A number of local fishermen took part in the fifth annual sturgeon fishing contest on Yellow Lake in Burnett County on Saturday Several of the tournament winners were from our area. New Richmond varsity hockey coach Adam Swanda showed he knows a thing or two about fishing. He caught his first sturgeon and it was a whopper. His catch measured in at 52.5 inches and was the tournament winner.
The two meets run by the Somerset cross country team shows how the team is progressing in competitiveness and mental toughness. The Somerset boys may only have five runners, but they placed third in the large school division at the Osceola Invitational on Saturday. The Spartan girls ran sixth in that division Saturday, but gave more indications that they are ready to move up in the pack. The Spartan boys were led by the trio of Brandon Mondor, Cole Harty and Ethan Baillargeon.
With nearly 200 runners in each race, the Rice Lake Invitational proved itself to be a meet that tests the concentration levels of the runners. St. Croix Central’s runners found ways to maintain their focus, which resulted in improved times for nearly every Panther during last Tuesday’s meet. Central’s boys ranked 10th among 26 full teams in their half of the meet while the Panther girls placed 15th among 28 teams. Central coach Bill Emery set out specifics for both squads to follow during this race.
For the Somerset volleyball team, there will be days like this. The inexperienced Spartans found progress doesn’t come in a straight line when they played their Middle Border Conference opener at Ellsworth last Thursday. The Spartans lost the match 25-23, 25-10, 25-19. In their two previous outings the Spartans had been on a progressive arc. There was little progress in the loss. “We struggled with the basic skills and that affected our offense,” said Somerset coach Sarah Praschak. “That’s the learning curve of a young team.
The St. Croix Central volleyball team was able to earn its first Dunn-St. Croix Conference victory of the season last Tuesday. In front of a large crowd for Parents Night and Senior Night, the Panthers rolled past Glenwood City 25-19, 25-16, 19-25, 25-15. This was the Panthers’ second win over Glenwood City this season. The Panthers beat Glenwood City in a tournament in the first week of the season for their first victory. Things didn’t go as well for the Panthers when they trekked to Mondovi last Thursday.
It’s Homecoming Week at Somerset High School. The week has been packed with activities. It will culminate in Friday’s Homecoming football game against New Richmond and Saturday’s Homecoming dance. There was a theme to each day of the school week. Monday was Dress Up or Dress Down Day. Tuesday was Neon! Day. That was followed by Favorite Holiday Day. Thursday’s them is Fake An Injury Day. Friday’s theme is Class T-shirt Day. There were activities during each lunch period during the week. On Friday, the powder puff football games will be played during homeroom time.