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 sighs of relief emanated from Ellsworth, but could be heard quite clearly in Somerset last Tuesday. The Somerset boys basketball team snapped a nine-game losing streak by winning at Ellsworth that night, 69-57. This was the Spartans' second win in Middle Border Conference action, both of them coming against Ellsworth. This was the first win for the Spartans since four seniors were released from the team in early January. The team now has a 4-15 overall record. The win at Ellsworth didn't come easily for the Spartans.
Zack Gillis will have some company at sectionals this year. The St. Croix Central senior standout will have three of his wrestling teammates joining him in Saturday's WIAA Division 3 wrestling sectional tournament, which will be held at Osseo-Fairchild High School. Joining Gillis at the sectional tournament will be sophomore Matt Smith and freshmen Carl Moll and Cody Nyhagen. Gillis is trying to return to state. He advances as a regional champion.
Sophomore Haydon Dvorak and freshman Gabe Flandrick will get to wrestle in front of their home crowd this Saturday at the 2010 WIAA Division 2 Somerset Sectional Wrestling Tournament. Dvorak and Flandrick earned that honor after winning their weight class in last Saturday's Division 2 regional tournament held at Frederic High School. Flandrick brings a 33-3 record into the sectional tournament and Dvorak's record now stands at 28-6. Both wrestlers have been on fire since the start of 2010.
Valentine's Day of 2008 will stand out as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the New Richmond girls hockey team. This Thursday, the Tigers will try to recapture the magic that they produced in 2008. The Tigers upset Hudson 2-1 in the WIAA tournament game in 2008. The situation for this Thursday's game is quite similar to the setting for the 2008 Tiger victory. The Tigers were the underdog that year.
Close games are nothing new for the New Richmond girls basketball team and Thursday's game at Somerset was the closest of the season. From beginning to end this game was close. But, as the Tigers' luck has been this season, they came out on the losing side of the score, falling to the Spartans 51-50. Friday's game was the first time in more than a month that the Tigers had their full roster available. Senior center Kim Bethke was in the starting lineup for the first time since breaking her finger on Jan. 7.
Somerset coach Kendrick Livers warned his girls that they were going to get New Richmond's best effort. He was right. The Spartans were able to withstand a spirited effort from the Tigers, scoring a 51-50 win in Middle Border Conference play last Thursday. This was an incredibly close game, where there was rarely larger than a two-point lead. New Richmond held the biggest lead of the game at 44-37 midway through the fourth quarter.
A win over Elmwood on Friday earned the St. Croix Central boys basketball team a share of the 2009-10 Dunn-St. Croix Conference title. A win at Colfax this Friday would give the Panthers undisputed rights to the conference championship. Central started the week with a 12-1 conference record, while Colfax stood at 10-3. The Panthers are coming off a pair of one-sided victories at the end of last week. On Thursday they routed Plum City 78-43. A night later the Panthers pounced on Elmwood, 63-38. In each of the wins 11 different Panthers were able to work their way into the scoring column.
The St. Croix Central girls basketball team learned its lesson. And that helped the Panthers to score their first win over Mondovi in many years on Monday night. After losing to Mondovi last Tuesday, the Panthers bounced back and beat the Lady Buffaloes 65-61 on Monday. Monday's win was critical for the Panthers for several reasons. It helps them to get beyond the two losses they suffered last week. The win keeps the Panthers in contention for third place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
To mark the opening of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday, Somerset Elementary School fourth grade students held their own Winter Olympics. Events ranged from snowboarding to hula hoops to marshmallow relay events. To see more pictures, click on the photo gallery link.
Pam Seekel has a passion for reading. Through her 36 years as a teacher in Somerset she has tried to unearth a love for reading in each of her students. She will retire this year. Seekel estimated she has taught more than 3,000 students in her 36 years in Somerset. She has been a proponent of giving students as much opportunity to read as possible. "Reading is like a sport. You have to practice to get better," she said. "The greatest thing about my job is getting kids to love reading." Seekel was hired in 1974, just out of college, as a Title 1 Reading Specialist.