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 surprise second place finish by the St. Croix Central football team this fall resulted in 10 Panthers being selected for the 2008 Dunn-St. Croix Conference Football Team. Four Panthers were named to the all-conference first team. On offense, quarterback Andrew Thomley was the only Panther named to the first team. Named to the first team on defense were senior Jesse Krizan and juniors Luke Brown and Cody Olson. The Panthers took seven spots on the all-conference second team. Seniors Brian Poulin and Jake Rock and junior Brian Aldworth were picked for the second team defense.
Religion and sports. They are a combination of images that are rarely meshed together. There is one organization that has successfully been able to blend the ideals of religion and sports. That organization is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). An FCA chapter has been started at New Richmond High School, with Tiger football coach Jason Eckert as the advisor. Eckert was the advisor for an FCA chapter at Colfax High School before being hired in New Richmond this summer. Eckert said there are chapters in the Hudson and Eau Claire high schools.
Heidi Olson's kindergarten class has gotten the rare opportunity to brighten the Christmas season for thousands of people. And they will be doing it two ways. The Somerset Elementary School class will be one of 17 acts that performs on the holiday CD "Christmas Jam." The initial release of 5,000 copies of the CD is planned for Dec. 1. All funds raised by the sale of the CD will go to area food shelves. The CD was done at Ramblin Ranch recording studio in rural Osceola.
It seems that everyone in Somerset has an opinion on whether the Somerset School District should be asking for more money to build a new school or add onto the existing school buildings. Results were announced last week (from a survey of Somerset School District taxpayers.) They were blunt in their opinions of what the School District should be doing in the future. The School District sent out 3,300 surveys to District residents.
Don Holmberg has completed his time on the chain gang, maybe. Holmberg, who has been working on the chain gang at New Richmond High School football games for more than 30 years, said it's likely that the final Tiger home game this season was his last on the sidelines. Holmberg turned 75 at the end of the current Tiger season. That was enough to prompt him to say that it's time to turn the job over to a younger person. In fact, Holmberg's involvement in the Tiger football program started much earlier than that. He taught math in New Richmond for three years, from 1960 to 1963.
New Richmond senior Hayley Peterson was named to the All-Middle Border Conference volleyball team when the 2008 team was announced last week. Somerset was represented by a pair of first-time choices on the All-MBC team. Senior Britni Weise and junior Alicia Potting were both chosen for the first time. New Richmond Peterson ranked among the top hitters in the conference this season. This was Peterson's third year to letter with the Tiger varsity.
The three wins by the 2008 New Richmond football varsity team matches the highest total by the Tigers in several years. It's one of several signs that the Tiger football program is on the upswing. The success of the junior varsity and freshman teams is another strong indicator that better days are on the horizon for the Tiger football teams. New Richmond's JV team went 7-2 this season. The JV team swept its seven games against Middle Border Conference opponents. Its losses came in non-conference games against River Falls and Hudson. The freshman team had similar success.
It had been more than 50 years since Jim Leverty had served his country in the Korean conflict. Leverty's service was brought to the attention of many people last Veterans Day, thanks to the effort of his grandson, Parker LeMire. LeMire, then a freshman at Somerset High School, had an assignment for an English class to write a dedication. He chose to write about his grandfather. When he sat down to talk with his grandfather, he found out about the countless acts of bravery Leverty had performed while serving with the United States Army during the Korean conflict.
The Somerset Board of Education recognized the current difficult financial times and took a one-time step to lower the tax mill rate for the 2008-09 school year for Somerset School District residents. By using $240,000 from the District's fund balance, the tax mill rate and tax levy will decrease this year. The tax levy for the District for the 2007-08 school year stood at $7,859,637. This year's levy will be $7,772,015, a decrease of 1.11 percent. The mill rate for the 2007-08 rate stood at 9.94642. This year's mill rate stands at 9.54533, a decrease of 4.01 percent.
Sharon Germain said being appointed to the Somerset Board of Education near the start of the school year was an ideal time to join the Board, so she's decided to give the next School Board member that opportunity. Germain announced her retirement from the Somerset Board of Education at the Board's Oct. 27 meeting. Germain was appointed to the Board in the fall of 1993 after Ken Gelle stepped down. She said the timing of joining the Board in the fall was very beneficial for her.