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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The Somerset football team pulled off one of the most historic wins in Middle Border Conference history last Friday. By beating Durand 22-15, the Spartans have earned a share of the 2011 MBC championship. This is the fifth straight year that the Spartans have won the MBC title and the eighth time they've won the title since joining the MBC 10 years ago. In the two years when the Spartans didn't win an MBC title, they finished in second place. In the nearly 80 year history of the Middle Border Conference, only one other team has won five straight football championships.
Injuries forced the New Richmond football coaching staff to improvise all during the week leading into Friday's game at Osceola. The Tigers were able to make the changes work, producing an 18-7 win over the Chieftains that locked up a spot in the 2011 WIAA playoffs for the Tigers. In the previous game against Amery, leading rusher Nate Jones suffered a concussion and the coaches didn't know whether he'd be available for Friday's game until late in the week.
A much smaller junior kindergarten class than in past years has caused a slight dip in enrollment for the Somerset School District for the 2011-12 school year. The enrollment for the school year, as figured on the third Friday count done on Sept. 16, has the school district enrollment at 1,619 students. This compares to 1,649 students at the time of the count last year. The biggest decline in enrollment is seen at the junior kindergarten level.
When Gov. Scott Walker put tighter fiscal limits on Wisconsin schools earlier this year, it was supposed to give state residents with some tax relief. As the Somerset School District works toward finalizing its 2011-12 budget, it looks like that tax relief will come through. At the 2011 school district annual meeting, held on Monday, Oct. 3, district residents voted to approve a preliminary budget which includes a tax levy that is 8.41 percent lower than last year. The final levy will be decided at the school board's October meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct.
A chance at a perfect regular season is on the line, not to mention an undisputed Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship, when the St. Croix Central football team takes the field this Thursday. The Panthers will be playing at home in their regular season finale on Thursday against Spring Valley. The Panthers are 8-0 and have already locked up a share of the D-SC title. A win Thursday would make them undisputed champions and give them their first perfect regular season in many years. Spring Valley comes into Thursday's game with a 7-1 record.
The New Richmond girls team missed a return trip to the WIAA Division 1 state golf championships by four strokes, but Tiger sophomore Alex Wheeler has earned a trip to the state meet. The Tigers took third place in the WIAA Division 1 La Crosse Central/Logan sectional meet last Wednesday. The top two teams qualify for state and the Tigers finished four strokes behind Tomah for the second spot. The top three scores at the sectional level who aren't part of the state qualifying teams advance to state as individuals. Wheeler tied for third place with her score of 89.
For the second straight year, the New Richmond boys soccer team was defeated in the championship game of the Middle Border Conference tournament. The good news is, before Thursday's loss to Amery in the title game, the Tigers had already secured a share of the 2011 Middle Border Conference championship. New Richmond and Amery will share the 2011 championship after Amery defeated the Tigers 4-0 in the title game on the NRHS soccer field. Each team lost once during conference play. The Tigers defeated Amery 1-0 on Aug. 25.
The New Richmond girls and St. Croix Central boys sent messages with their championships in last Tuesday's Amery Cross Country Invitational. Both teams view themselves as favorites heading into this Thursday's conference cross country meets. The Middle Border Conference meet will be run at Amery on Thursday, while Central hosts the Dunn-St. Croix Conference meet. New Richmond The New Richmond girls were able to win the Amery title despite not having either of their seniors in the lineup.
The Somerset girls golf team and St. Croix Central junior Arinn DiSalvo weren't able to qualify for the WIAA Division 2 state championships, but they did play quite capably in the Division 2 sectional meet, held last Tuesday at Pheasant Hills Golf Course near Hammond. DiSalvo has developed into a state-caliber golfer this season. She shot an 89 in the sectional meet, finishing 12th overall. She finished five strokes away from qualifying for the state meet. The Somerset girls finished last in the nine-team field, but that score is deceptive.
The three New Richmond girls who advanced to the WIAA Division 1 tennis sectionals on Monday gave their best efforts, but they fell short in their attempts to qualify for the 2011 WIAA State Tennis Championships. New Richmond's number one doubles team of Amy Kukacka and Mattie Kidder and number one singles player Kaycie Anderson were defeated in their opening matches at the Stevens Point sectional tournament last Wednesday. A win in that opening round would have qualified them for the state tournament. Both Tiger sectional entries had difficult draws.