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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You get the impression that the St. Croix Central female athletes view facing Grantsburg as their own personal state championship game. Why wouldn't they? In volleyball and softball Grantsburg makes the state tournament nearly every year, representing this section. In many of those seasons, it is the St. Croix Central teams that give Grantsburg some of their most difficult competition on the way to the state tournament. So when Grantsburg is competing in the sectional semifinals this Thursday against Washburn, the Pirates know they will have already been tested.
Two of the Calleja brothers, Jake and Josh, could end up skating against each other this college hockey season. Josh is attending UW-River Falls this fall after taking a year off from college. He was one of the top players for UW-Stevens Point, leading the Pointers in scoring in the 2007-08 season. Jake is a freshman at Bethel University in the Twin Cities. Jake has jumped right into the sports scene in his first year of college.
The St. Croix Central football team played its finest ball of the season in the final two weeks of the regular season. That late-season surge was enough to carry the Panthers into the WIAA playoffs. Last Thursday the Panthers took the action to Mondovi, delivering a 28-6 defeat to the Buffaloes. That win raised the Panthers' record in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference to 3-3, making them playoff eligible.
It wasn't the usual Somerset volleyball team that played in the second round of WIAA regional tournament play at Medford last Friday. Hitting has been the strength of the Spartans this season and back row play has been the team's achilles heel. Those strengths and weaknesses were reversed when the Spartans lost at Medford in the Division 2 regional match. The Spartans lost the match 26-24, 25-21, 25-18. Medford then defeated Rice Lake in the regional championship on Saturday.
The Somerset football team will be playing at home in the opening round of the WIAA State Football Playoffs next Tuesday. New Richmond and St. Croix Central will be playing on the road in the opening round of WIAA tournament play next Tuesday. New Richmond New Richmond opens tournament play on Tuesday with a game at Black River Falls. Black River Falls has a 4-1 conference record and is 8-1 overall. BRF drew the second seed in this section of the Division 3 football bracket. New Richmond enters the tournament season with a 4-5 record.
New Richmond has had several standout volleyball teams in the past. None can match what the 2009 Tigers have accomplished. The New Richmond varsity volleyball team completed the first perfect conference season in team history by sweeping three games at Osceola last Tuesday. The Tigers finish the Middle Border Conference season with a 7-0 record. To add to their success, the Tigers won the championship in the Middle Border Conference volleyball tournament, which was played Saturday at Baldwin-Woodville High School. This is the first undisputed conference championship won by the Tigers.
Tradition has become a keystone of the Somerset football program. Maintaining the championship tradition is one of the driving forces for the Spartans each season. The Spartans successfully continued that tradition in 2009, winning the outright Middle Border Conference championship with a 39-14 win at Baldwin-Woodville last Friday. The Spartans complete their regular season schedule this Thursday, with a home game against Durand.
The New Richmond girls cross country team continued to add to its legacy of success at the 2009 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet last Thursday at Prescott. The Tiger girls achieved their third straight conference championship, winning by a 30-point margin over Amery for the 2009 title. New Richmond's boys ran one of their finest meets of the season to take third place in the boys' half of the conference meet. Girls' success What makes the Tigers' success even more remarkable is that none of the girls who ran on the conference championship team this year were on the 2007 Tiger te
For the first time since 2002, the New Richmond football team has played its way into the WIAA state football playoffs. The Tigers locked up a place in the playoffs with their 29-7 homefield win over Amery on Friday. There is still a possibility that the Tigers could get a home game in the opening round of the WIAA playoffs, which begin next Tuesday. The Tigers complete their regular season with a game at Osceola on Thursday. New Richmond and Osceola are tied for second place in the Middle Border Conference standings with 4-2 record.
The St. Croix Central boys knew they had to give every ounce of energy they had in the 2009 Dunn-St. Croix Conference Cross Country Meet last Thursday. They couldn't have asked for any better inspiration than watching the Panther girls run in the first race of the conference meet. Following the race, half the Panther girls were either crying in pain or were physically ill.