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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The Pepin and St. Croix Central softball teams both were unbeaten in Dunn-St. Croix Conference games entering Monday's game in Hammond. Now only St. Croix Central stands atop the D-SC standings. Pepin scored first, putting up four runs in the fourth inning. The Panthers matched that output in the bottom of the fourth, then tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to win 7-4. Central coach Jimmy Anderson said he was surprised that the girls weren't more fired up for this game, with the conference lead on the line.
The pieces are there for the Somerset softball team, but putting them all together for a complete game has been difficult for the Spartans recently. On Monday the Spartans weren't able to hit with their usual authority. That resulted in the Spartans falling to Amery by an 11-1 score. The Spartans are now 2-4 in Middle Border Conference games. On Saturday the Spartans will play in a tournament at St. Croix Central. Their first game is scheduled for 9 a.m. against River Falls. Next Monday the Spartans will play at home against Osceola.
Both New Richmond track teams took third place when they competed in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North last Tuesday. The Tigers performed solidly in facing a mix of schools that included several schools from the Big Rivers Conference, plus some smaller schools from the Eau Claire area. Many of the athletes who've been successful all season continued on that track. Kat Keller again swept the 100, 200 and 400 sprint races for the Tiger girls. Gaelan Hanlon and Troy Cran followed up their big days at UW-La Crosse the previous week with wins at Eau Claire.
The Somerset boys and girls track teams ran in different meets last week, but they were both pleased with their results. The Spartan boys competed in a meet in Osceola last Tuesday. Somerset's girls were part of a meet at Park of Cottage Grove last Thursday. Spartan boys Somerset's boys took fifth place among the six teams in the Osceola Invitational last Tuesday. The Spartans were led by senior Rob Wendt, who was the champion in the shot put. His throw of 48 feet, 1 inch was a personal best.
Injuries finally took down the Tigers. The New Richmond girls soccer team suffered its first loss in Middle Border Conference play this season in a 3-0 loss at Spooner last Tuesday. The Tigers did bounce back to win at Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday, 2-0. The Tigers started this week with a 6-1-1 conference record. Last week started with the Tigers badly beaten up by injuries. They did get senior defender Jesse Olson back for Tuesday's game. She gamely tried to cover ground on a still-tender ankle.
The Somerset girls soccer team was sorely in need of an offensive spark. Hello, Grantsburg club team. The first-year club program helped the Spartans get in gear as Somerset rolled to a 10-1 win in Thursday's game. Gina O'Connor led the onslaught with three goals. Paige Wagner, Megan Newman and Hanna Barritt each scored two goals and Emilee Wolf scored once for the Spartans. The Spartans scored five goals in the first half, then matched that total in the second half. "Our girls needed a boost, to get their confidence back up," said Somerset coach Erin Wilson.
Somerset High School's STAND organization hosted Operation Prom on Monday night, April 19. The event is an accident reenactment to give students a sobering reminder. Somerset High School will be holding its annual Junior Prom this Saturday. Operation Prom is a success due to the assistance of a number of local and county law enforcement groups.
After 31 years of teaching earth science, Ray Standke is planning on spending more of his own time getting reacquainted with Mother Earth and her creations. Standke is retiring from his middle school science teaching position at the end of the school year. Standke doesn't have drastic plans for his retirement. His wife, elementary teacher Meg Farrington, won't be retiring for another three years. So Standke plans to spend his time in a number of ways. He plans on tending to the garden and yard at their home on Lower Pine Lake.
Hitting was the concern surrounding the New Richmond baseball team after the first week of the season. By scoring 47 runs in their next four games, the Tigers have erased that worry. The Tigers won Middle Border Conference games against Baldwin-Woodville and Durand, then split games in Saturday's tournament at Baldwin-Woodville. Even Saturday's loss to state-ranked Hayward was something of an accomplishment. Hayward jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first four innings. Tiger coach Chad Fehrman implored his players to win the final three innings of the game.
Injuries are decimating the New Richmond girls soccer team. Things got so bad for the Tigers that they did not play with a full lineup during their games in a tournament in River Falls on Saturday. Tiger coach Charles Conley was not sure if the Tigers would have enough healthy players to field a full team when they played at Spooner on Tuesday. The Tigers also have to play at Baldwin-Woodville this Thursday. Through the injuries the Tigers have managed to remain unbeaten in Middle Border Conference games.