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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Several teachers who served as advisors to a wide array of organizations at Somerset High School retired at the end of the 2009-10 school year. That meant staff members were needed to step forward and take over those roles.
Five New Richmond wrestlers were able to place in their weight brackets in the 2010 Bi-State Classic in La Crosse last week. With 10 mats in use and 54 teams of 14 wrestlers, the La Crosse Center was a swarm of activity throughout the tournament last Wednesday and Thursday. Joel Neumann placed fourth for the Tigers, with Charlie Gartner and Shane Blackman each taking a fifth. Jason Staples and Tanner Turany each placed 11th in their weight classes. The Tigers were led in the tournament by Neumann, who took fourth place in the 285-pound class.
The last time the St. Croix Central wrestling team brought home hardware from the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic was in 1988, the year the Panthers went on to win the WIAA State Wrestling Championship. So it was a pretty big deal to the Panthers when they received the second place trophy for their division at the 2010 Northern Badger last Wednesday in River Falls. The Panthers placed third overall and second within their division with 216 points. There were 38 teams entered in the tournament. Two of Central's wrestlers reached the championship match in their weight class.
Six Somerset wrestlers were able to place among the top eight wrestlers in their weight classes in the 2010 Northern Badger Wrestling Classic, held at River Falls High School last Tuesday and Wednesday. Thirty-eight teams took part in the annual tournament. Somerset placed ninth overall and third in its enrollment division. Two Spartans reached the semifinals of the tournament. Gabe Flandrick was the Spartans' top finisher, taking third place at 140 pounds. Bobby LeRoy ended up in fourth place at 112 pounds. Placing sixth for the Spartans was senior Jeremy Kelly at 285 pounds.
The newest sport at New Richmond High School is powerlifting. Athletic Director Casey Eckardt said he has submitted an application to the New Richmond Board of Education to have powerlifting approved as a club sport. The official approval is expected to take place at the board's January meeting. According to Eckardt, because it is a club team, the school does not pay the coaches and is not financially obligated for the team in any way. The powerlifting team has already been in action. They competed in a meet at Eau Claire North on Dec. 18.
Following losses to Eau Claire Memorial and Superior before Christmas, the New Richmond boys hockey team needed something good to happen in the annual Rochester (Minn.) Kiwanis tournament last week. Actually, there were many good things that happened for the Tigers. They won two of their three games, taking third place in the AA varsity division of the tournament. The Tigers earned wins over Eastview and Prior Lake in the tournament. Their only loss came against a potent team from Brainerd. The tournament opened for the Tigers last Tuesday against Eastview.
Five goals in the first period, not once but twice, carried the New Richmond girls hockey team to the consolation championship in the Sertoma-Home Federal Shootout in Rochester, Minn. last week. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 4-2 loss to Winona last Tuesday. They brushed aside that setback, bouncing back with five goals in the first period against Luverne. That evolved into a 7-3 win for the Tigers. In last Thursday's consolation title game the Tigers faced their third straight opponent from Minnesota, this time battling New Ulm.
One period at a time, the Somerset hockey team is getting better. And it is starting to show in the Spartans' win column. The Spartans took third place in the Spooner holiday tournament last week, winning two of their three games. They opened the tournament with a 7-1 win over Ashland. In the semifinals the Spartans lost to a strong Northland Pines team 4-2. In the third place game the Spartans took charge immediately to score a 7-0 win over Spooner. The results of the tournament raise the Spartans' season record to 5-5-1.
Playing in the Rice Lake holiday tournament was an opportunity for the Somerset boys basketball team to prove it could compete. The Spartans not only competed, they earned their first win of the season in a 66-62 decision over Ashland last Wednesday. In the first round of the tournament the Spartans played a close game with Cumberland, before losing 59-47. The biggest news for the Spartans out of the tournament is they have new players stepping up to help with the scoring, which was the team's biggest need. In the win over Ashland, junior Jacob Green came out of nowhere to score 21 points.
The battle of unbeaten, state-ranked teams wasn't nearly the skirmish everyone anticipated last Tuesday. The New Richmond and Rice Lake boys were bunched together in the WSN/WBCA Division 2 state rankings last week, with the Tigers ranked fifth and the Warriors ranked sixth. The Tigers took charge of Tuesday's game early and kept it well under control the rest of the way, notching a 57-48 win. This makes the Tigers 7-0 as they complete the 2010 portion of their schedule. Rice Lake fell to 5-1. The Tigers were rock solid through large portions of the game.