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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Black River Falls bunted for a hit with the opening batter in Somerset's WIAA Division 2 playoff opener last Tuesday. That was a sign of how the game would go for the Spartans. The Spartans were the home team, but the aggressive play by Black River Falls from the start kept Somerset on its heels throughout the playoff game. Somerset was never able to mount any major scoring threat, losing the tournament opener, 7-0. Black River Falls faced top-seeded Ellsworth in the regional final the next day and was defeated, 9-1.
The glimpses of success from St. Croix Central were there again when the Panthers played their WIAA Division 3 playoff opener at Mondovi last Tuesday. Starting with Myah Olson hitting a homer on the first pitch of the game, the Central softball team did some things well at Mondovi. But like the previous 12 games, it wasn't enough to prevent a loss. The Panthers dropped a 13-7 decision to Mondovi, ending Central's season.
With no losses in the last seven games, the Somerset girls soccer team is in a good place heading into the WIAA playoffs. The Spartans open action this Thursday in the WIAA Division 3 regional bracket with a home game against Barron at 4:30 p.m. The Spartans take a 12-4-2 regular season record into the playoffs.
New Richmond junior Trent Ziebol was able to qualify for the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament, but was defeated in the first round of the tournament.
A score that drew a number of second glances around the area was that of the WIAA Division 1 tournament softball opener between New Richmond and Chippewa Falls last Tuesday. And in the case of the Tigers, it left a lot of people impressed. New Richmond saw its season come to an end with the 4-0 loss, but putting up that strong of a showing against a state-ranked team is an indication of how far the Tigers have come this season.
The streaky play of the St. Croix Central baseball team in 2018 showed up again in what ended up being the final week of the Panthers' season last week. The week couldn't have started any better, with the Panthers posting an 11-0 win at Amery last Tuesday. It was a game where the Panthers did everything right.
Somerset sophomore Eve Goldstein enters the 2018 WIAA State Track Championships this weekend as the top seed in the Division 2 shot put and discus throw competitions. Goldstein was the champion in both of those events at the Division 2 sectional meet held at Colby on Thursday. Goldstein was outstanding in both of her events at the sectional meet. She was a ray of sunshine for the Spartans in what otherwise was an agonizingly painful story of near-misses for Somerset.
First the storm rolled. Then the New Richmond baseball team rolled. The start of the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament game in New Richmond on Tuesday was delayed an hour by rain. The storm wasn't able to affect the sharpness of the New Richmond boys, who were sharp in every aspect of a 6-0 win over Menomonie. The victory advances the Tigers to the second round of regional play on Thursday. The seventh-seeded Tigers will play at second seed Stevens Point on Thursday.
With nine total entries headed to the state meet, the WIAA Division 2 sectional track meet at Colby last Thursday went very well for the St. Croix Central track teams. The Panther girls are advancing five events to the WIAA State Track Championships that will be run this Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse, while the Panther boys are sending four events.
Seniors Brandon Haag and Cole Birch will represent New Richmond at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships this weekend at UW-La Crosse. They are slated to compete Monday morning in the Division 1 preliminaries at the state meet. Haag advanced to state by winning the 300-meter hurdle championship at last Thursday's Division 1 sectional meet held at D.C. Everest High School. Birch qualified for state with his second-place finish in the 100 meters at the sectional meet.