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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Large track meets are great for seeing outstanding athletes competing in their individual events. The more valuable meets, at least early in the season, are the smaller meets where everyone on the team gets to compete in their maximum number of events. Last Tuesday a five-team meet was held at the Knowles Center indoor facility at UW-River Falls. New Richmond and Somerset teams both took this opportunity to stock races with as many athletes as possible.
The Somerset High School spring break couldn't have lined up better for SHS seniors Luke Buerkley, Rocky Larson and Rob Wendt. They spent the week in France representing the United States in the 2010 Global Challenge football game on March 20. Team Stars and Stripes beat a national team from Belgium, 83-0. The Somerset trio said they had no idea the game would turn out so one-sided. They spoke about how nervous they were, not wanting to disappoint while representing the United States. All three Somerset players ended up playing defense for Team Stars and Stripes.
Kathy Murphy's dedication to her students is known worldwide. For 36 years she has been teaching English at Somerset High School. This summer will be her 10th year of working at an English language camp in Latvia on the other side of the globe. Murphy came to Somerset in 1974. She had taught for two years in Rice Lake before getting married. She and her husband were going to live in River Falls, so she looked for a job within commuting distance. She interviewed with administrator Bob Seibel Sr.
Operation Prom is returning to Somerset High School. The car crash reenactment is meant to serve as a sobering reminder for high school students. It will be presented at the high school at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19. The reenactment is organized by Students Taking Action in a New Direction, a group at SHS that has been been battling underage drinking. The group of approximately 20 students is advised by high school health care provider Patti Schachtner, guidance counselor Jenna Evenson and St.
The All-American Invite at UW-River Falls on Saturday featured 18 top track programs from an area stretching from the Twin Cities to La Crosse. The New Richmond and Somerset track teams proved to be highly capable entries in this talent-filled meet. The Tiger boys placed fifth among the 18 teams in the meet and New Richmond's girls took eighth place. Somerset's girls took sixth place in their half of the meet. New Richmond's Kat Keller continued her assault on the track record book in Saturday's meet. She set meet records in both of her wins on Saturday, in the 55 meters and 200 meters.
Five long-time staff members, who have worked more than 140 combined years in the Somerset School District, had their retirements approved at the March 22 Somerset Board of Education meeting. High school English instructor Kathy Murphy and middle school band director Roger Zolldan lead the way in years at the district. They are both completing their 36th year in Somerset. Middle school science teacher Ray Standke is retiring after 31 years in the district. District athletic director Brad Nemec is retiring after 24 years.
Pam Powers' retirement from teaching doesn't mean she'll stop working with kids. She has two special kids she plans on spending a great deal of her retirement time with. Somerset High School's Family and Consumer Education teacher will get plenty of time to concentrate on the family aspect. She will be babysitting her two grandchildren during much of her retirement time. Powers plans to spend time with her 19-month-old granddaughter Devin.
New Richmond varsity baseball coach Chad Fehrman has filled in his first Tiger coaching staff. Two of his four assistants are teammates of Fehrman's from his days as a Tiger player. Dan Kretovics and Travis Gibson are the two NRHS graduates joining Fehrman on the coaching staff. Also hired as coaches are Rick Jirik and Matt Schmitz. Kretovics and Gibson will serve as varsity assistant coaches. Jirik will be the junior varsity coach and Schmitz will coach the Tiger C team. Fehrman, 30, had been the Tiger freshman baseball coach the past three springs.
Outstanding defense carried the New Richmond boys basketball team to the WIAA regional final game. A lapse in that defensive standard in the opening of Saturday's regional final game against Northwestern proved to be the Tigers' undoing. Northwestern took a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game. New Richmond tried to come back, getting the margin down to five points in the first and third quarters. Northwestern proved to be too strong, finishing with a 56-44 win. New Richmond's boys end the season with a 16-8 record.
It was a deja vu the St. Croix Central basketball team never wanted to experience. For the second straight year, the Panthers' season came to an end when they were upset in a WIAA Division 3 regional final game played at Amery. This year the Panthers, the top seed in the region, were defeated by Webster 53-41 on Saturday. Last year the Panthers were knocked off by Prescott in the regional final, under painfully similar circumstances. Webster began Saturday's game by putting extreme pressure on the Panther guards and the Panthers never recovered. Webster jumped out to an 11-4 lead.