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 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.
Thursday's 1-0 win was ground-breaking in two aspects for the New Richmond girls soccer team. This marked the first time in the team's history that the Tigers have beaten Amery. It also is the first time that the Tigers have started a season with three consecutive wins in their five seasons as a varsity sport. Defeating Amery is significant because the Warriors have long been considered one of the top teams in the Middle Border Conference.
Before school or after school, winter or summer, you can find New Richmond High School athletes working to build up their athletic abilities by working in the Tiger Strength program. The Tiger Strength program has been carefully groomed to be a complete system that serves athletes in each sport. "Four years ago we sat down as a coaching association.
Pitching and defense are where the New Richmond baseball team needs them to be after the first 2.5 games of the season. But hitting has lagged behind in the first week of the season for the Tigers. That resulted in losses to Osceola and Eau Claire Memorial. Last Tuesday's season opener at Hudson was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to rain, with the Tigers leading 3-1.
After winning the season opener last week against Osceola, the New Richmond girls softball team took its lumps in a pair of losses to Hudson and Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers mauled Osceola last Thursday, winning by a 15-3 score. The tables got turned quickly on the Tigers however. They lost a non-conference game at Hudson last Friday, 11-2. On Monday the Tigers struggled in a 10-3 loss to Baldwin-Woodville at Hatfield Park. In Monday's loss the Tigers weren't sharp in any aspect of the game.
The outdoor track season kicked off last Thursday, under chilly spring conditions at the St. Croix Central Invitational. For teams like Central, it was the first meet of the season and a chance to find out where the athletes are as they build toward their season goals. For teams like Somerset, which already has competed in three indoor meets, the outdoor season is an extension of what's already been put in place over the past few weeks. Somerset's girls earned another title in Thursday's meet, scoring 173 points to top 10 opponents.
The Dunn-St. Croix Conference schedule starts out with the three toughest possible opponents for the St. Croix Central baseball team. The Panthers played the first two of those games, splitting with Colfax and Elk Mound. The third of those games will come on Thursday against Boyceville. On Monday the Panthers lost at Elk Mound 12-6.
The Somerset softball team led for much of its season opening game last Thursday against Durand. The Spartans couldn't finish off the win. Durand scored five runs in the final two innings to sting the Spartans, 5-3. This year's Spartans are a young team, with two seniors on the roster, Sammi Smith and Paige Diekman. Last year was the first season for the Spartans under coach Carrie Kjellberg. This season, the Spartans have the expectation of being competitive in every game.
The run totals for the St. Croix Central softball team have been staggering in the first two games of the season. The Panthers started the season by scoring 15 runs before the game was called in the third inning in a 15-0 win over Ellsworth. On Monday the Panthers continued to blister the ball, pounding out 18 hits in a 14-2 win over Colfax. Katherine Redmon and Nikki Brooks led the Panthers with four hits each on Monday. Redmon was moved to the leadoff spot for the game and she might not give it back.