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 boys basketball team has shown already this season that it can light up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree. On Friday night the Panthers showed they can be as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge. The Panthers wouldn't allow the Mondovi boys any chances to score and sent the Buffaloes home with their version of a lump of coal, a 62-23 pasting. The win raises Central's record to 4-0 in Dunn-St. Croix play. Central and Colfax are the remaining unbeaten teams in conference play. Central held a cozy 25-16 lead at halftime, despite struggling to hit shots from long range.
Facing the defending conference champions is not a good time to be short-handed or dinged up. Somerset's wrestling team was both when the Spartans wrestled at Middle Border Conference powerhouse Ellsworth last Thursday. With five wrestlers at a high school band concert, three more out sick or injured, and four more competing with varying injuries, the Spartans got no mercy from Ellsworth. The Panthers inflicted a 53-15 loss on the Spartans.
To make a name in wrestling, you have to face some of the teams that have traditions of success. St. Croix Central's wrestlers tangled with some of the most established wrestling programs in northwestern Wisconsin Saturday during a dual meet tournament held in Osceola. The Panthers faced teams like Boyceville, Cumberland and Shell Lake, which have had a conveyor belt of wrestlers going to the state tournament every year.
Every time a team from a smaller school faces a larger school, you hear the "David vs. Goliath" comments. It's hard to imagine a situation where the comments would be more appropriate. The Somerset girls basketball team played host to the girls from Apple Valley on Friday night. Somerset has an enrollment of less than 500, while Apple Valley's student body is more than five times that total. While the Spartan girls put up a sizeable effort, they couldn't slay the giant.
It happens every year at about this time. A wave of giving and caring circulates through the Somerset Middle School. Students find ways to give. Some do it outwardly, others try to be anonymous. Some make it a competition. No matter how it gets done, each year it does get done. There are a number of activities at the middle school to help those less fortunate during the holiday season. One of the most popular is the Penny Wars. This year, more than $1,200 was raised through the Penny Wars.
The Somerset Partners In Education Parent-Teacher group has given out $2,200 in mini-awards to teachers in the Somerset School District. The P.I.E. organization gave out six grants, two at each of the three district buildings. One grant at Somerset High School will help purchase a rock tumbler that will be used by both art and science classes. The second high school grant will help to fund the Life Skills Peer Mentor Group. Somerset Middle School will be the regional host for the "Friendship Games" in May. One of the P.I.E. grants will help support that event.
A Somerset Elementary School teacher and a Somerset High School student have advanced to the state level for 2010 Kohl fellowships and scholarships. Somerset second grade teacher Sherry Johnson is one of 10 teachers who advanced from CESA 11 to the state level for consideration for Kohl Fellowship Awards. Somerset High School senior Johanna Smith is one of the 10 students who will advance for consideration of Kohl scholarships at the state level. Smith was one of the two SHS seniors nominated for the Kohl honors.
For two periods on Saturday, the New Richmond boys hockey team was the equal of the second-ranked team in the state. Coach Adam Swanda was upset with his team that the Tigers weren't able to complete an upset against undefeated Superior on Saturday. Swanda hasn't had much reason to be down on the high-energy Tigers this season. His reason for being unhappy with the 3-1 loss deal with how the team views itself. He said the players acted surprised to be tied 1-1 with Superior after two periods.
It was a joyful bus ride home for the New Richmond girls hockey team last Thursday. The Tigers earned their first win of the season, in overtime, by beating Superior 3-2. It seemed that all the breaks had been going against the Tigers this season. In the overtime, a break finally went their way. New Richmond's Chelsea Singerhouse put a shot on goal that was covered by the Superior goalie. The goalie then uncovered the puck, but no whistle had blown. A Superior defenseman and Tiger freshman Siera Myer both charged toward the free puck.
Wrestling in the Dells Dual Classic at Wisconsin Dells is becoming a tradition for the New Richmond wrestling team. The Tigers took second place in their six-team pool. The Tigers earned wins over Portage, Middleton and the Wausau West junior varsity and were defeated by River Falls and Cumberland. Individually, the Tigers had a number of highlights in the tournament. Heavyweight Joel Neumann went 5-0. So did Tanner Turany at 140 pounds. "Tanner's getting his basics down better," said Tiger coach Mark Neumann.