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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St. Croix Central's hitters got healthy on Monday, as the Panther baseball team pounded out bushels of hits in a 25-13 win over Glenwood City. This game was decided in the second inning, when the Panthers pumped 15 runs across the plate. The win raises the Panthers' record to 6-4 in Dunn-St. Croix Conference games and keeps their hopes alive of finishing in second place in the large school division of the conference. Glenwood City is woefully inexperienced this season and has won only once this season. Central coach Mike Fern kept that in mind with his plans for the game.
The New Richmond football program is staying in the Middle Border Conference, for at least the next two years. On Friday the WIAA announced its plans for football-only realignment plans across the state. This comes on the heels of the failed attempt to completely revamp the system for football in the state.
Somerset's boys golf team has never won a Middle Border Conference title. The Spartans could make that change on Monday and Tuesday. Somerset now holds the lead in the MBC golf race after winning a 12-team match at their home course, Bristol Ridge Golf Club, on Tuesday. That win must have given the Spartans a huge confidence boost. The next day they played in the Siren Invitational, winning the meet by 45 strokes over second place Grantsburg.
The New Richmond Relays were forced to be shifted back to Monday night, but that didn't prevent the athletes from the 10 schools from putting on quite a show. New Richmond's boys took second place in the meet and the Tiger girls tied for third place. Hudson was the champion in the boys meet and Menomonie narrowly edged Hudson for the girls title. Somerset's girls placed fifth in the meet, one point behind New Richmond and Ellsworth. Somerset's boys were able to take sixth place in the meet. The Tiger boys were champions in two events.
The Middle Border Conference baseball co-leaders, New Richmond and Ellsworth, both had to overcome challenges from second division teams on Monday night. New Richmond trailed winless Durand through the first half of the game, before breaking the game open with a six-run fifth inning to win 11-4. Ellsworth had a tougher time with Amery. The Panthers needed eight innings to dispatch Amery, 3-2. The Tigers didn't have one of their best hitting nights in Monday's rain. They were held to four hits by the Durand pitchers.
Facing Somerset seems to bring out the best in the New Richmond softball team. The Tigers ended a four-game losing streak by beating Somerset 5-1 in windy, wet conditions at New Richmond's Hatfield Park on Monday. This leaves New Richmond, Somerset and Osceola tied for fifth place in the Middle Border Conference standings with 4-8 records. There are two rounds of MBC play remaining, starting with Thursday's games. On Thursday New Richmond will play at Ellsworth, while Somerset is at home against Amery. New Richmond scored all its runs in two innings of Monday's game.
Soccer games between New Richmond and Somerset always seem to be nail biters. That was the case again on Friday, when the two teams met at the Starr Elementary School field in New Richmond. New Richmond junior Amanda Ramsey scored the only goal of the game with 40 seconds left in the first half, giving the Tigers the win in an action-packed game. The two teams played an extremely even first half in terms of ball possession. The Tiger goal came after Somerset had possessed the ball for several minutes. Ramsey got a lead pass and carried the ball into the far left corner of the field.
The coaches will remain the same, only their roles will be reversed. New Richmond girls tennis coach Teresa Kvam has stepped down from the varsity coaching position she has held the past 12 years. Stepping in as varsity coach will be Denise Devereux, who has been Kvam's assistant coach the past six years. Kvam will now become Devereux's assistant coach. Kvam stepped down to create more availability in her schedule.
The New Richmond boys tennis team was able to defeat Baldwin-Woodville in a non-conference meet on May 1. When the teams met again five days later, this time in a Middle Border Conference match, the Tigers couldn't duplicate their success. B-W upended the Tigers boy a 4-3 score in last Thursday's match. Tiger coach Mike Montello had warned the players that nothing was guaranteed, just because of their recent win over the Blackhawks. "I don't think overconfidence was the issue as much as just not being as plugged in as they needed to be," Montello said.
The opening weekend of the season produced excellent pitching for the New Richmond Millers. Unfortunately, the hitting and defense weren't up to the level of the pitching and the Millers lost their opening two games of the season. The Millers will try to bring all three elements together this Saturday when they host Ellsworth at 7:30 p.m. in a St. Croix Valley League game. On Sunday the Millers faced the Elmwood Expos in their opening SCVL game of the season.