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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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.
Heading into this season, three teams appeared to rise to the top in consideration as favorites for the Dunn-St. Croix Conference boys basketball race. Colfax, Glenwood City and St. Croix Central seemed to draw the attention around the conference as the main threats to win the conference title. The Central boys took a big step toward establishing themselves as a force in the D-SC by overpowering Glenwood City last Thursday, 61-40. This game was essentially decided by halftime.
"Good things happen when you go to the net." You will hear that from every hockey coach who has ever seen their offense go through a stretch without scoring. It couldn't have been more true for the Somerset boys hockey team in their games last week. The Spartans showed excellent energy in a game at Menomonie last Tuesday. The one thing the Spartans didn't have in the 3-0 loss to Menomonie was much action in front of their opponent's goal. That changed on Thursday when the Spartans played at Robbinsdale Cooper. The Spartans consistently fed the puck toward the goal mouth.
Getting six wrestlers into the finals and leading the team competition heading into the final round of the 2009 La Crosse Logan Invite showed how quickly the St. Croix Central wrestling team is maturing. The Panthers ended up taking third place among the nine teams in the tournament. Two Panthers, Matt Smith and Cody Nyhagen, earned individual titles. Central coach Brad Holzer said the team is developing more and more confidence every time it takes the mat.
It was a week of adversity, and finding ways to deal with it, for the Somerset girls basketball team. The Spartans found out midway through the week that they would be without starting junior forward Karli Solum for the rest of the season. Solum played limited minutes in last Tuesday's win at Spooner, but the discomfort in her lower back led to her family seeking out medical specialists to find the source of her pain. It was found that Solum has a fracture in one of her lumbar vertebrae in her lower back.