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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Wins in their final two matches in Saturday's volleyball tournament in Osceola may be exactly what the St. Croix Central volleyball team needed. Those two wins may be the foothold the Panthers need to get some momentum building. With three seniors and an assortment of younger girls, the players had very little court time together entering the season. Now that they are getting comfortable with each other, success is starting to follow. The Panthers opened the tournament by facing a formidable Osceola team. Osceola won both games, but Central put up a good fight against Osceola's big hitters.
The New Richmond and Osceola boys soccer teams have something to settle if they can meet up in the Middle Border Conference soccer tournament. The Tigers and Chieftains have played twice this season and both games have ended in ties. The second of those ties came on Monday, when the teams tied 1-1 at the NRHS soccer field. The two teams are hoping they can meet in the MBC tournament, which is scheduled to begin at the end of next week. Monday's game was scoreless after the first half.
Experience breeds confidence. The Somerset volleyball team had plenty of both in winning the first match in its Middle Border Conference schedule last Thursday. The Spartans went to Prescott and rolled past the Cardinals 25-16, 25-16, 25-22. In the first two games Somerset jumped out to the lead and was never challenged. In the third game the Spartans got their challenge. Prescott stepped up its play in the third game and the Spartans answered.
A vastly improved defensive effort helped the St. Croix Central football team win its opening Dunn-St. Croix Conference game at Spring Valley last Friday. The Panthers' ruined Spring Valley's Homecoming celebration by beating the Cardinals 33-13. Central now has a 3-1 overall record for the season. Central's offense ran up some gaudy numbers, especially sophomore Cody Nyhagen. He would have been a great fantasy football selection. He caught nine passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also intercepted two passes, giving him six interceptions in the Panthers' four games. D.J.
In terms of quantity of runners, cross country races don't get much bigger than the Rice Lake Invitational. The New Richmond girls cross country team took third place in their race, finishing 11 points behind meet champion Superior. St. Croix Central senior Brett Johnson also has quite an accomplishment to show off. Johnson was the meet champion at Rice Lake, placing first among 225 boys who finished the meet. Girls meet New Richmond's girls locked into a close battle with Superior, Hudson and Colfax for the meet championship at Rice Lake. Superior earned the team title with 155 points.
Unless you are in high school or are knowledgeable about current music trends, you may have never heard of beatboxing. Around the Twin Cities area, beatbox music is catching on through the performances of Somerset's Nick Wishard. Wishard took a big step in getting his music noticed when he won the open amateur talent competition at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Beatboxing is a form of musical percussion. It is all sound effects that Wishard makes into the microphone. Beatboxing began in the 1980s.
The New Richmond girls cross country team earned the championship in their home invitational meet last Thursday. Competition among teammates has been the main driving force for the Tigers this season. This meet also reminded the Tigers that there will be plenty of competition from Middle Border Conference opponents this season. The Tiger girls won the meet with 52 points. Somerset, Osceola and Amery were the third through fifth place teams and all three showed that catching the Tigers is a focus that is inspiring them. The outstanding depth on the Tiger team carried them to the victory.
The Osceola football team used everything in its bag of tricks, but couldn't find enough magic to beat Somerset on Friday. Somerset withstood Osceola's onside kicks, fake punt and kickoff return touchdown to defeat the Chieftains 47-26 at Seibel Field on Friday. This was the Middle Border Conference opener for both teams. The Spartans won with the combination that has been timeless for the program: A well-balanced offense and a productive defense. The offense was led by senior fullback Eric Walczak and the rapidly improving play of quarterback Sean Conrad.
The New Richmond football team had everything going its way in the early-season showdown with Baldwin-Woodville. Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn't complete the task. After leading 21-7 at halftime in Baldwin, the Tiger offense went silent in the second half. B-W rallied, scoring twice in the final minutes to beat the Tigers 27-21. B-W's Jake Keefer caught the winning touchdown with 1:17 left in the game. The Tigers got the ball down inside the B-W 30 in the final seconds.
When the St. Croix Central football coaches installed the spread offense, the intent was to create big plays. The Panthers did that and more on Friday, rolling up 60 points in a 60-28 non-conference win over Cameron at Hammond. The point total is the largest for the Panthers since Tony DiSalvo took over as head coach for the Panthers in 1999. The Panthers were able to strike from anywhere on the field when they had the ball on Friday night. Senior halfback Joe Poulin was lethal, scoring on runs of 70 and 64 yards.