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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Watching the New Richmond varsity volleyball team play causes you to see the possibilities in the team. And the frustrations. The Tigers dropped to 0-3 in the Middle Border Conference standings with losses to Prescott and Somerset last week. In last Tuesday's match at Prescott the Tigers may have put together their best opening game of the season. Instead of digging a hole for themselves in the early going, the Tigers were the aggressors. They used hard, accurate serves to keep Prescott on its heels. That set up the Tigers for easier passes to handle, which led to better hitting chances.
Because the Eau Claire high schools are so much larger than the other schools in western Wisconsin, they are a natural measuring stick for smaller schools. So you can imagine there was quite a bit of excitement when the New Richmond boys soccer team went to Eau Claire North last Friday and beat the Huskies 3-2 in North's Parents Night game. The Tigers have been playing more established soccer programs like North, St. Paul Academy and Hastings to get prepared for the upcoming WIAA Division 1 tournaments.
The St. Croix Central football airshow took full flight on Friday, to the delight of the Panthers' Homecoming faithful. The Panthers ran their season record to 4-1 by overwhelming Glenwood City 43-14 in the Panthers' 2010 Homecoming game on Friday. In the opening minutes of the game the Panthers looked as if they were going to rout the Hilltoppers. Central drove the length of the field in its first possession, completing the march with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Cress to Cody Nyhagen. After stopping the Toppers on downs, the Panthers forced the first of many turnovers in the game.
The St. Croix Central volleyball team rolled past Glenwood City for its first win in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this season. But a loss two nights earlier to Elmwood was the win that got away. The Panthers were outstanding in last Thursday's win over Glenwood City. The Panthers swept the games by scores of 25-17, 31-29 and 25-18. The key game for the Panthers was the second one. They've had several close games that they weren't able to finish off this season.
St. Croix Central senior Brett Johnson earned fifth place among 493 runners to lead the performances of the three local teams in the 2010 Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational at the University of Minnesota on Saturday. Johnson took fifth place, but had higher expectations. He led through much of the Maroon race, but was caught by four runners in the final stretch of the race. This was Central's first time running in the Griak race.
Demographic studies done several years ago anticipated large increases in the enrollment in the Somerset School District. After several years with little to no growth, it appeared that enrollment numbers had leveled out in Somerset. That changed this summer. Somerset school enrollment is up 69 kids from enrollment in May. The May enrollment was at 1,580 students. The enrollment supplied for the Somerset Board of Education at its Sept. 20 meeting had the student population at 1,649. Enrollment is up in all three buildings.
The New Richmond football program will be staying in the Middle Border Conference for the 2011 season. What happens to all the New Richmond sports programs after that is up for discussion. The New Richmond football program was targeted for a move to the Big Rivers Conference in 2011 by the WIAA after a request by Rice Lake for relief out of the BRC. The issue was discussed at the WIAA regional meeting in Rice Lake on Monday. After the general meeting, a discussion was held by administrators and athletic directors from the two conferences.
Two touchdowns in the first seven minutes and another early in the second quarter put the New Richmond football team in a position to put away Durand on Friday. The 21 points stood up for the win, but only after the Tiger defense turned away several threatening drives in a 21-6 win over the Panthers. With the win the Tigers stand at 1-1 in Middle Border Conference play, heading into this Friday's game at Prescott. In the first 15 minutes of Friday's game the Tiger offense had Durand completely at its mercy.
Prescott's football team might have grabbed the curiosity of area football fans with its 45-0 win over Amery in the first round of Middle Border Conference play. That win wasn't enough to throw the Somerset football team off its game. The Spartans went to Prescott in the second round of MBC play last Friday and shot down the high-flying Cardinals 33-7. The Spartans built a 26-0 lead by halftime and the coaches rested the starters for much of the second half of the game. The difference in Friday's game was the ground attack. Somerset was able to gain 346 yards on the ground.
The new 10-court format for tennis at New Richmond High School proved to be a hit in the first multi-team event hosted by the Tigers. On Saturday the Tigers hosted a quad meet, with River Falls, Altoona and Rice Lake visiting. The extra courts made a big difference.