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 New Richmond and Somerset football teams both locked up spots in the 2010 WIAA state football playoffs with lopsided wins on Thursday. New Richmond went to Ellsworth and won in a romp, 49-0. The Tigers scored on their first drive of the night and were rarely stopped. They led by a 29-0 score at halftime. Somerset hosted Amery and rolled to a 56-8 victory. The Spartans had a tenuous start, at least partially due to several personnel changes on the offensive side of the ball. Amery led 8-6 until Somerset scored on the first play of the second quarter.
There was never any doubt about the talent on the New Richmond football team. The questions arose on whether the Tigers could parlay that talent into winning in pressure situations. The Tigers answered all those questions on Friday in front of one of their largest crowds in decades. The Tigers played a nearly flawless game, taking advantage of several Somerset mistakes to earn a 16-0 win in the Tigers' 2010 Homecoming game. New Richmond and Somerset are now tied for second place in the Middle Border Conference standings with 3-1 records.
A brand new trophy was the reward for New Richmond girls tennis team winning its fourth straight Middle Border Conference championship. The Tigers ran away with the conference tournament title last Tuesday, winning five of the seven flights on their home courts. Singles was the sole domain of the Tiger girls, sweeping the four singles flights. The Tigers were also able to win one of the championships among the doubles flights. The championships were led by the title taken by senior Chelsea Anderson at one singles. It is the fourth straight championship won by Anderson.
The Somerset football team has only itself to blame for Friday's 16-0 loss at New Richmond. The loss is the first for Somerset in more than two years in Middle Border Conference action. The last MBC setback for the Spartans came on Sept. 12, 2008 at Durand, by a 27-26 score. This is the third time the Spartans have been shut out in the past 10 seasons. Somerset has gained a reputation as being an intimidating team to play.
The step up to Division 1 didn't prove to be a problem for the New Richmond girls golf team. The Tigers took second place in the Division 1 regional tournament, played last Wednesday at the New Richmond Golf Club. By placing second, the Tigers qualified for the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet, which was scheduled to be played Tuesday at Trempeleau Mountain Golf Club. Tiger coach Neal Ziller was optimistic about the team's chances in the sectional meet. The top two teams at the sectional qualify for the state meet, which will be held on Oct.
Having a game land on Homecoming Friday seemed to be the capper for the New Richmond boys soccer team. The Tigers opened the Middle Border Conference soccer tournament on Friday with a home game against Barron. The Tigers were devastatingly effective, crushing Barron by a 10-0 score. The win advanced the Tigers into Tuesday's conference tournament semifinals. The final round of the conference tournament will be played this Thursday. There was a clearly serious attitude brought into Friday's game by the Tigers.
Somerset's girls golf team worked its way into the WIAA Division 2 girls golf sectional tournament by placing third in the WIAA regional meet held last Wednesday at Krooked Kreek Golf Club in Osceola. Also advancing to the sectional meet is St. Croix Central sophomore Arinn DiSalvo, who shot a career-best score of 102 to advance. Somerset had two girls shoot personal best rounds for 18 holes in the regional meet. Junior Carley Seibel put together the first sub-100 round of her career, finishing the tournament with a score of 97.
A dramatic five-game victory for their first Middle Border Conference victory of the season gave the New Richmond volleyball team something to savor last Thursday. The Tigers won at Amery, needing a hailstorm of wicked serves from senior Shayla Goss to finish off the fifth game of the night. The coaching staff made wholesale lineup changes leading into the Amery match. The changes helped the team, but they also led to sporadic play as the girls got accustomed to their new roles. The newness of the lineup had the Tigers excited and they opened the night with a 27-25 victory.
Want to make a cross country race more challenging? Add in golfers zinging golf balls all over the cross country race course during the meet. That's what the New Richmond runners had to face when they ran in a meet at the Hiawatha Golf Course in Tomah on Saturday. The Tigers were among eight teams that ran at Tomah on Saturday to get a look at the course where the Division 1 sectional meet will be run on Saturday, Oct. 23. Not closing down the golf course for the cross country meet led to bad feelings.
Opponents around the Dunn-St. Croix Conference know when they face Elk Mound's football team, the most difficult part of beating the Mounders is the guile of Mounder coach Dan Pederson. Pederson and his Mounders were able to edge the St. Croix Central football team in a wildly entertaining offensive shootout last Friday, 33-30. This was Central's first loss in D-SC action this season. The Panthers now stand at 4-2 overall. Central sprang out to a 16-0 lead in Friday's game, but no lead is safe against the Mounders.