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 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.
The WIAA volleyball tournaments begin next Tuesday and the New Richmond volleyball team is looking forward to making a strong final statement with its performance. New Richmond received the sixth seed in the WIAA bracket and the Tigers will open their tournament run next Tuesday at Hayward. That match begins at 7 p.m. Fisher said he thinks the Tigers can compete evenly with any team in the regional. Osceola received the top seed in the Division 2 regional bracket.
Somerset's volleyball team moved one step closer to a Middle Border Conference championship by sweeping three games from Durand last Tuesday. The win raises Somerset's MBC record to 5-1. As the Spartans started this week, they were tied with Baldwin-Woodville for the MBC lead. The final round of conference play was scheduled for this Tuesday, when Somerset played at Osceola and Baldwin-Woodville played at New Richmond. In Somerset's win over Durand, the Spartans took charge early. They opened the night with 25-9 and 25-11 wins.
The stream of goals being scored by the Somerset boys soccer team has slowed to a trickle. The Spartans dropped their final two games in the Middle Border Conference tournament last week, scoring once in the two games. Since scoring 22 goals in back-to-back games against Spooner at the end of September, the Spartans have scored four goals in their past five games. The Spartans ended the regular season with a 5-15-1 record. They were scheduled to play Tuesday at Ashland in the opening round of WIAA Division 2 playoff action.
The seniors on the St. Croix Central volleyball team enjoyed a memorable Senior Night last Thursday. Playing in their final home match, the Panthers played one of their finest matches of the 2011 season, upsetting Boyceville in four games. The win was the second of the season for the Panthers in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play. They were scheduled to close out their conference schedule this Tuesday with a match at Colfax. What helped make the win over Boyceville more memorable was that it was not an easy win.
New Richmond's Aaron Daul scored with 36 seconds left in regulation to give the Tigers a 2-1 win over the Rhinelander Hodags in the opening round of the WIAA Division 1 regional boys soccer tournament on Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers will play again on Thursday, against the winner of Tuesday's opening round game between Chippewa Falls and Superior. That will likely be Chippewa Falls, which is the second seeded team in the sectional. New Richmond is the seventh seed. Daul scored the game winner off a feed from Nalin Chadurvedi.
Andrea Passe has a collection of world champion belt buckles that would make any professional wrestler envious. Passe is one of the most successful Palomino horse showmen in the United States. She has competed everywhere from Wisconsin to Texas, including most states in between. The Somerset High School senior and her quarterhorse gelding, Presidential Invite, have won three world championships together. Passe has spent most of the past eight years dedicated to showing her horses. She missed last year's Homecoming and her Junior Prom while competing at horse shows.
The New Richmond football team had a great amount to play for on Friday. But not as much as the Amery football team. Hours before the game, the Warriors attended the funeral for their senior captain who died earlier in the week. The Warriors were able to channel that grief into a heartfelt effort, upsetting the Tigers 14-13. The Homecoming game loss has immense consequences for the Tigers. It knocks them out of a share of the Middle Border Conference lead.