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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Last Thursday’s St. Croix Central Invitational reinforced what the Panthers already knew: they possess some top end track athletes. Now is the time to sort out the rest of the lineup to see what impact the Panthers can make as a team this season.
Last season, the Somerset girls soccer team lost to Eau Claire Regis 5-1 and 5-0. So you might think the Spartans would be happy to come out of last Thursday’s home game against Regis with a 1-1 tie. That assumption would be wrong.
The Somerset baseball team is a work in progress. And the Spartans want that progress to come quickly. The Spartans played their first four games of the 2017 season last week under new coach Zac Eichten. They came out of the week 1-3, with their first win of the season coming in a sharp 9-1 performance at Barron on Saturday.
The field events were the source of the most production for the Somerset track team during last Tuesday’s St. Croix Central Invitational. The Spartan girls ranked sixth among the 12 teams in their half of the event while the Spartan boys were ninth among the 13 male teams.
The first outing of the season showed many good things for the New Richmond boys tennis team. The Tigers played in the annual Eau Claire Memorial Old Abe invitational on Friday and Saturday, winning two of their four matches to place fourth overall.
The Middle Border Conference baseball and softball races are heating up quickly and there were a number of key games in both played on Thursday. The Somerset baseball team earned its first conference win of the season while Somerset and St. Croix Central both suffered losses. Somerset rode the outstanding pitching of sophomore AJ Beasley to a 4-3 win over Osceola for the Spartans' first conference win.
The New Richmond baseball and girls soccer teams earned important Middle Border Conference wins on Tuesday. The New Richmond baseball team waged a back-and-forth battle with Ellsworth at the NRHS field. The Tigers got the winning run in the seventh, with senior Jake Weiss getting the walkoff hit in the Tigers' 8-7 victory.
The destruction of the old New Richmond Middle School has now progressed into the original portion of the building. Eckert Wrecking of Rhinelander has made its way into the original portion of the structure this week. The process appears to be made difficult by the number of cables strung between the floors of the building. The demolition is currently being approached from the east side, where the gym attached to the old school.
There’s another familial connection that Somerset has with this year’s St. Paul Winter Carnival court. Johanna Smith, a 2010 Somerset High School graduate, is this year’s Princess of the North Wind in the Winter Carnival court. She and her father, Rennie, have a rare connection through their involvement in the Winter Carnival. Rennie is one of the St. Paul Vulcans this year. He was also part of the Winter Carnival court in 2002, when he was Prince of the West Wind.
When Jason Bradshaw and his family decided that he would take the King Boreas role for 2017, they decided they wanted to start having a nonprofit partner for the Winter Carnival each year. Bradshaw’s wife, Brea, thought that a children’s book about the Winter Carnival would serve a great purpose in teaching children about the event. And funds raised through the sale of the book would go to their choice as this year’s nonprofit partner, FamilyMeans, which is based in Stillwater.