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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Again, the New Richmond girls skaters battled evenly with a top tier opponent for much of their game. This time it was the Tigers facing the Eau Claire Area Stars at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire last Thursday. The Tigers and Stars battled evenly until the final seven minutes of the game. In those final seven minutes the Stars scored three times to beat the Tigers, 4-1. The loss leaves the Tigers with an 8-11-1 record. The seeding for the WIAA girls hockey sectional tournament will be determined this Sunday.
The defense was in full force for the Somerset hockey team last week. The Spartans gave impressive defensive performances against Amery and Chippewa Falls. The Spartans fell short in the offensive department in trying to take advantage of their stellar defensive play. On Thursday the Spartans and Amery battled evenly until near the end of overtime. Amery's Jake Mullendore scored with 1:14 left in the overtime to give the Warriors a 2-1 win over the Spartans. On Saturday the Spartans went to Chippewa Falls and held a lead well into the third period. The Spartans couldn't hold on.
A short film produced by five Somerset third-graders will hold its premiere at the Somerset Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 19. The film by the Somerset students is titled "Food Drive." It is a four-minute film about hunger, food consumption and waste in Somerset. After the screening of Food Drive, the 76-minute documentary "What's On Your Plate" will be shown. This film follows two New York City 11-year-old girls on a mission to discover where their meals really come from. The screening in Somerset will begin at noon on Feb. 19.
There have been rumblings all season. "Wait until the New Richmond boys have to face Osceola's twin towers. Then their lack of height will be exploited." The doubters were proven wrong, as New Richmond's boys improved to 12-0 for the 2010-11 season with a 46-33 win over Osceola last Tuesday. For a quarter it appeared the Tigers were letting the long reach of Osceola's Lincoln Howard and Kyle Bussewitz have an effect. Howard is listed at 6-6 and Bussewitz at 6-5.
The New Richmond hockey boys are beginning to feel momentum building. It goes beyond the fact that the Tigers have outscored their opponents 28-1 in their last four games. The Tigers are now 10-5 this season. The coaches have spent the past few weeks beginning to groom the team so it will be playoff ready when the WIAA tournaments begin on Feb. 15. Beginning with Thursday's game against Baldwin-Woodville, the Tigers have six regular season games remaining.
Somerset senior Ashley Martell reached the 1,000-point milestone last Tuesday and the Spartans maintained a share of the Middle Border Conference lead during a hectic week. Martell reached the 1,000-point mark, scoring on a fastbreak early in the first quarter of Somerset's 47-33 win over Glenwood City. She finished the night with a game-high 15 points. Classmate Karli Solum scored 12 points for the Spartans. Martell becomes the eighth player in Somerset basketball history to score 1,000 points in their career.
Three Tigers earned championships and five of the 10 New Richmond wrestlers who competed reached the finals in the 2011 Shell Lake Wrestling Challenge on Saturday. Seniors Cody Chouinard and Jorden Aufderhar were weight class champions. They were joined at the top of the podium by freshman Shane Blackman. Taking second place for the Tigers were senior Tanner Turany and Joel Neumann. Chouinard had the toughest route to the championship among the three Tiger titlists. In his final two matches he faced the fourth and fifth ranked 189-pound wrestlers in the state in Division 3.
Both of the New Richmond girls basketball games ended in nail-biting finishes last week, but they took vastly different paths to that finish. Last Tuesday the Tigers and River Falls locked into a closely fought defensive game. River Falls managed to pull out a 30-28 win over the Tigers. On Friday at Ellsworth the Tigers were buried for three quarters, trailing by as many as 24 points. Late in the game the Tigers made a scrambling, passionate comeback and had chances to tie the game in the final minute.
T.J. Leverentz wants to be the next Joe Buck. He's already got a good start on his sports announcing career. Leverentz had asked New Richmond High School Athletic Director Casey Eckardt last spring if there was any chance he could be the public address announcer for Tiger basketball games this winter. When Leverentz asked again this fall, Eckardt knew the NRHS sophomore's interest was sincere. So Eckardt agreed to let Leverentz try announcing junior varsity basketball games.
The powerlifting team at New Richmond High School has won its first trophy. The Tiger lifters went to Osceola on Jan. 15 and earned second place in the team competition. River Falls won the team event with 100 points. New Richmond placed second with 87 points and Osceola was third with 74 points. Freshman Allan Wollenberg and senior Bryan Greene were champions of their weight class to lead the Tiger performance. Wollenberg was the champion in the 132-pound class, finishing with lifts of 695 pounds.