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 New Richmond track teams are hoping that Saturday's Knights of Columbus Relays at Veterans Memorial Stadium at UW-La Crosse will get several of the Tigers ready for a return to that venue for the 2010 WIAA State Track and Field Championships. The Tigers showed quite well in Saturday's meet, with the boys placing fourth and the girls placing fifth among eight teams. There were several highlights in the meet, including another record-setting day for Tiger sophomore Kat Keller.
Old bowlers just keep on rolling. That's clearly true when you see the Greaton Jewelers team in action in the Wednesday Night League at Gibby's Lanes in New Richmond. The Oldenburg brothers, John and Harry, are the two senior bowlers in the league at 87 and 85 years old. Add in Joe Gillen, 82, and you've got more than 150 years of combined bowling experience between them. In comparison, the rest of the team is young. Ron Duffe, Stan Soderquist and Jim Willett are in their 60s and Dick Deiss isn't far away.
The New Richmond boys tennis team put together a winning effort in its first match of the season, winning a dual duel at River Falls, 4-3, last Tuesday. The match was tied at 3-3, with only the two singles match left on the court. New Richmond's Ben Chilsen was able to finally pull out the deciding match, 6-4, 7-5. Chilsen led 5-2 in the second set, but began to run out of energy as his opponent came back to tie the score at 5-5. Chilsen was down in the next game 15-40, but came back to win it.
Facing a 1-3 start and sitting three games behind the Middle Border Conference leaders, the New Richmond softball team will try to take the patient approach to gain ground in the conference race. The Tigers fell to 1-3 in the MBC with a 7-5 loss at Hatfield Park on Monday. The schedule remains demanding for the Tigers as they try to overcome their slow start. The Tigers play at Somerset on Thursday. The Tigers start next week with two home games, facing Ellsworth on Monday and Amery on Tuesday. Hitting hasn't been the problem for the Tigers. They have been putting up healthy run totals.
The St. Croix Central baseball team is keeping the heat on Dunn-St. Croix Conference leader Elk Mound. The Panthers scored wins over Plum City and Boyceville to raise their D-SC record to 3-1. Elk Mound delivered the Panthers' only loss of the conference schedule. The Mounders sit atop the Large School Division of the D-SC with a 4-0 record. It took a little persistence from the Panthers to get their 5-3 win over Plum City on Monday. The Panthers didn't show much energy at the plate in the early innings.
It's hard to lose when you don't give up any runs. The Somerset baseball team proved that last week, throwing a pair of shutouts in winning both of their Middle Border Conference games. The week started with Nick Dvorak throwing a four-hit shutout to blank Osceola 11-0 in five innings. Jared Dettmann threw the Spartans' second no-hitter this season on Friday, in a 7-0 win over Prescott. The Spartans are now 5-0 this season. They have allowed four runs in those five games. Dettmann was untouchable for Prescott's young hitters on Friday. He struck out 15 batters in the no-hitter.
The Somerset softball team showed in wins over Osceola and Prescott last week that it is capable of becoming a contender in the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans followed those wins with losses to St. Croix Falls and Ellsworth that showed the team still has a distance to go in becoming a consistent winner. The marquee game for the Spartans was Thursday's 11-1 win over Prescott.
The St. Croix Central softball team got its best test so far in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference on Monday, beating Elk Mound 9-1. This was the first Panther game of the season that went the full seven innings. The Panthers are now 4-0 this season. To be a top level team, the Panthers have been stressing playing defense at that level. They did just that on Monday. They not only played an errorless game, but two Panther outfielders threw runners out on the bases during the game. Elk Mound's run came in the fifth inning.
The first win of the 2010 season for the Somerset girls soccer team came on Saturday and it couldn't have made the Spartans happier. The Spartans earned their first win of the season by beating New Richmond 1-0 in a tournament at River Falls on Saturday. This was the first win as a varsity coach for first year Somerset coach Erin Wilson. The Spartans followed up that win with another big performance in the second round of the tournament. In that game they tied River Falls, 1-1. The strong play in Saturday's tournament shows the Spartans are beginning to get comfortable in Wilson's system.
Tougher competition, especially from Hudson, showed the Somerset track teams that there's still plenty of work that needs to be done this season. The Spartan girls took second place in last Tuesday's Osceola Invitational, but they finished 35 points behind Hudson. The Spartan boys placed seventh among the nine teams, with Hudson and Forest Lake gobbling up the large majority of the points. In the True Team Meet at Hudson last Friday the Spartans were seventh among eight teams in both halves of the meet.