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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This loss will test how well the New Richmond football team bounces back from heartbreak. It appeared the Tigers had scored the winning touchdown pass with nine seconds left in their game at Durand on Friday. Quarterback Sevin Davis hit receiver Austin Juhl on a slant pattern in the end zone, giving the Tigers what appeared to be the winning touchdown. But one official thought differently, calling a holding penalty against the Tigers. That left time for one more play, but the Tigers' pass to the end zone was batted down, allowing Durand to escape with a 12-7 victory.
In 2011, the Prescott football team snapped Somerset's homefield victory streak that had lasted more than a decade. Prescott made its first visit to Seibel Field since the 2011 game on Friday night. The Spartans made sure they didn't put their current homefield victory string in jeopardy. The Somerset defense limited Prescott to 175 total yards of offense in shutting out the Cardinals 30-0.
Mondovi's football team is well stocked with seniors who've been playing varsity ball for three years. The St. Croix Central football team looked like a team playing numerous juniors and sophomores when the two teams met in Mondovi last Friday. The Panthers weren't able to match Mondovi's physicality, losing to the Buffaloes 36-21.
At the start of the season it might have been easy to view the New Richmond girls golf squad as a two-player team. That has changed a great deal. The Tigers have the two top players in the conference in seniors Alex Wheeler and Megan Chelberg. They both had rounds well below their standards last week, but the improvement of the rest of the Tiger lineup carried the team to victories in both MBC matches.
With the WIAA shifting to four divisions for boys soccer this year, a whole new window of opportunity has opened up for the New Richmond boys soccer team.
One of the quickest goals to start a game in Somerset soccer history started the Spartans on their way to a 7-0 homefield win over Osceola on Monday. Somerset seniors Gavin Meader and Jon Bucklew, one of the top scoring tandems in the state, produced the Spartans' first goal 22 seconds into Monday's game. That was just the start of their offensive fireworks, Meader and Bucklew each scored three goals in the game. Bucklew also assisted on the four goals he didn't score.
With the considerable amount of inexperience on the Somerset cross country teams, there is plenty to be learned by the Spartan runners. With the large majority of the team being in their first or second season of high school running, the Spartans are still finding their way in terms of their running skills. Second year Spartan coach Julie Mocadlo said she is seeing progress from the team, such as the effort they showed in last Thursday's New Richmond Invitational. The Spartan boys ranked sixth among the 13 teams in Thursday's meet, while the Spartan girls ranked 13th.
They may be learning on the job, but the Somerset volleyball players are also beginning to see success. The Spartans won a dual match at St. Croix Central on Thursday. They followed that by winning one of four matches in the Hudson Invitiatonal on Saturday. The dual meet at Central was a taut battle. The Spartans won all three games but all three went right down to the wire, with the Spartans winning 25-21, 25-21, 25-23.
The St. Croix Central volleyball team has shown glimpses of being the team it wants to be. According to the Panther coaches, the next step is putting together strong showing in all aspects of the game and then doing it on a consistent basis. Last week the Panthers lost to two Middle Border Conference opponents. The difference in the Panthers' performances between the two matches shows the team's need for consistency.
Since the beginning of the Middle Border Conference season, it's been apparent that the New Richmond and Baldwin-Woodville girls tennis teams were on a collision course. That collision will take place this Thursday at the New Richmond High School tennis courts, with the victor taking control of the MBC leadership. Neither team has lost an MBC match thus far in 2013. The Tigers won their only match last week, a 7-0 sweep at Osceola.