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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There was no shortage of drama in the WIAA tournament matches of the New Richmond volleyball team. The Tigers trailed 2-1 after three games against Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday, before surging back to win the final two matches in the Division 2 regional tournament match. That was just a warm-up for the drama in Saturday’s regional final at Osceola. The Tigers lost the first two games to the Chieftains and gave every indication they were swirling the drain.
Making the step up to Division 1 for the WIAA post-season continues to be a source of major frustration for the New Richmond cross country team. The Tigers dominated the Middle Border Conference this season, winning all of the conference’s varsity and junior varsity team championships. But in Saturday’s Division 1 sectional meet, the Tigers ran up against opposition that brought them back to earth.
The Somerset football team inflicted one of the most one-sided, hellacious beatings in Spartan football history on Friday night. In Somerset’s first nine offensive plays from scrimmage, the team scored six touchdowns, including scoring on four consecutive offensive plays. With less than 11 minutes of the game completed, Somerset had already built a 45-0 lead over Northland Pines in the WIAA Division 4 playoff opener on Friday. Somerset’s starters didn’t play again after the first quarter.
The season ended too soon for the Somerset boys cross country team, which was hoping to pull off a miracle and qualify for the WIAA state championships. The Spartans finished tied for sixth in the Amery Division 2 sectional meet on Friday. The Spartans nearly had an individual qualify for state. Sophomore Ethan Baillargeon made a huge charge in the second half of the race to move up to ninth place in the final results. Baillargeon missed qualifying for state by three places.
Losses are unavoidable in the WIAA playoffs, unless you win a state championship. But a great deal can be said in how you lose. After a season of struggles, the Somerset volleyball team put up a hearty fight in its opening round loss to Baldwin-Woodville in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament last Tuesday. Somerset lost to the Blackhawks 25-15, 25-15, 25-19. This was a much better result than when the two teams met during their Middle Border Conference schedule. “We played better than I thought we would,” said Somerset coach Sarah Praschak.
Dennis Schutz was a one-man wrecking crew on Friday night. He wrecked any hopes the St. Croix Central football team had of pulling off an upset in the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 regional playoffs. Schutz ran for 289 yards and five first half touchdowns in leading the top-ranked Ellsworth team past Central 51-0. St. Croix Central finished the 2013 season with a 3-7 record. Central qualified for the playoffs by going 3-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
New Richmond girls tennis coach Denise Devereux was honored last week by the United States Tennis Association. Devereux was a finalist for the USTA No-Cut Coach All-Star Team, which honors 12 coaches from across the nation who implement a “no-cut” policy.
As a number seven seed, girls on the St. Croix Central volleyball team knew odds were heavily stacked against them when they faced second seed New Richmond in the opening round of the WIAA Division 2 regional playoffs last Tuesday. The Panthers put up a good fight, losing to the Tigers 25-14, 25-10, 25-16. Central coach Laura Lee said her players were satisfied with the fact they gave their best effort in the loss. The Panthers went into the match with a new defensive strategy.
Here are this week's bowling scores from Gibby's Lanes in New Richmond. Monday Afternoon Women’s League at Gibby’s Lanes Cedar Creek Inn 32-17 Rooster’s Roadhouse 28-21 Blue Ribbon Feeds 25-24 Star Prairie Sports Bar 13-36 High Individual Scratch Game: Elizabeth Ziegler 175, Pat Strege 170, Barb Kunz 163 High Individual Scratch Series: Pat Strege 467, Elizabeth Ziegler 460, Barb Kunz 448 Team High Handicap Game: Cedar Creek Inn 632, 619, Rooster’s Roadhouse 625, Blue Ribbon 612 Team High Handicap Series: Cedar Creek Inn 1,840, Rooster’s Roadhouse 1,782, Blue Ribbon 1,723
Ever see a football team score 45 points in a quarter? Fans who attended Friday's playoff game in Somerset did. The Somerset football team scored five touchdowns in its first eight plays from scrimmage to build a 45-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game. The Somerset starters were done for the night by the end of the first quarter.