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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Schools take great pride in the competitive factor in their athletics. So why not try to turn academics into a competition? Somerset High School's guidance counselors are trying to stir the competitive fires in the students. They have gone as far as holding a pep rally before the WKCE state tests to try to get the message across to the students about the importance of these tests. Guidance counselor Jeremy Kerg took the competition one step further. Test scores in every subject for every school district around the state are available through the Department of Public Instruction.
All season long, it seems that people have doubted whether the St. Croix Central football team is for real. Is 11-0 real enough for those second-guessers? The Panthers continued their undefeated 2011 season on Saturday, rolling past Durand, 30-22 in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs. The final score doesn't show how well Central played. Midway through the third quarter, Central held a 30-6 lead. Now the Panthers face their biggest test. They will face Middle Border Conference champion Somerset at 7 p.m.
If you think Spooner taking an 8-0 lead and possessing the ball most of the first quarter would unnerve the Somerset football coaching staff, you haven't watched the Spartans much over the past decade. Spooner might have controlled the action in the first few minutes, but Somerset dominated from there, rolling past the Rails 34-8 in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs at Spooner on Saturday. The win puts the Spartans back on their home turf for their Level 3 game this Friday against undefeated St. Croix Central. The game will be played at 7 p.m.
The bright futures for the New Richmond and Somerset boys soccer programs were reflected in the 2011 All-Middle Border Conference balloting. New Richmond, the MBC co-champion, had seven players earn all-conference honors. Only one of those seven players is a senior. Somerset had three players recognized as All-MBC quality. Two of those three all-conference choices are sophomores. New Richmond was represented by three players on the All-MBC first team.
The idea of beginning an athletic hall of fame at New Richmond High School has been percolating for years. Now something is being done to make that idea a reality. The first meeting of the New Richmond High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee was held last Wednesday.
Success is all in how you view things. St. Croix Central senior Stephen Brunshidle placed 87th in the 2011 WIAA Division 2 Boys Cross Country State Championships, held Saturday at The Ridges Golf Club in Wisconsin Rapids. St. Croix Central coach Bill Emery said Brunshidle wasn't happy with his performance at state. Brunshidle had hoped to crack the top 50 in his second chance at running in the WIAA state meet. He also ran at state as a freshman, when he placed 95th.
Somerset is one of 11 school districts in the state that has seen its state funding increase this year. That increase is one of the key reasons that the Somerset School District tax levy is being reduced by 11 percent this year. The finalized 2011-12 school district budget was approved at the Somerset Board of Education meeting on Monday night. Under the belt tightening pushed upon school districts by Gov. Scott Walker, school districts will be working with much less funding this year. Somerset's total revenues will be down more than $1.5 million in 2011-12.
More than 350 Boy Scouts got to learn all about nature while performing a needed service at the Oak Ridge Waterfowl Protection Area near Star Prairie on Saturday. The Scouts, ranging in age from kindergarten students to 21 years old, spent Saturday removing invasive species of plants from the waterfowl protection area. Buckthorn was the main plant that the Scouts worked to eradicate, opening up oak savannas that were being choked with the thick undergrowth. The idea for the project came from Somerset Cub Scout Master Greg Scheder and U.S.
A severe case of nerves gripped the St. Croix Central football team in the first quarter of the Panthers' first game of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs on Saturday. The undefeated Panthers spotted Baldwin-Woodville a 14-0 lead, before using fast, physical play to wear down the Blackhawks. That resulted in the Panthers coming back for a 28-22 victory on their home field. As the top seed in the regional bracket, the Panthers will be back home in the second round of the WIAA playoffs this Saturday. They will play at 3 p.m., facing Durand.
Somerset's annual march into the WIAA state football playoffs took its first step forward on Friday, when the Spartans manhandled Unity 54-14 in the opening round of Division 4 playoff action. The Spartans will play in Level 2 of the WIAA playoffs this Saturday. The Spartans will play at Spooner at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Spooner advanced to the second round by defeating St. Croix Falls 28-12 last Saturday. Friday's win raises the Spartans' season record to 9-1. Spooner enters Saturday's game with an 8-2 record.