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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All is Wells for the New Richmond football team. Junior Danny Wells zig-zagged through Durand's kickoff coverage unit for an 80-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 27-20 lead in last Friday's game. Then with Durand trying to match for a touchdown in the final minutes, senior linebacker Tommy Wells, Danny's older brother, intercepted a Durand pass to snuff out the Panthers' final hope in the game. The win raises the Tigers to 1-1 in the Middle Border Conference.
Those booming sounds you were hearing last Thursday weren't just thunder. The volleyball match between New Richmond and Baldwin-Woodville featured some of the hardest hitting ball seen in the area in recent years. This was like two boxers standing toe-to-toe, pounding their opponent with their best shots. There were dozens of absolutely wicked spikes in the game. Just as impressive was the way that both teams were able to dig up some of those big hits. New Richmond was able to beat the Blackhawks by having more accurate hitters and a more varied attack.
One of the brightest indications of the turnaround in the Somerset volleyball program came last week. The Spartans played three matches last week and won all three. The week was completed with a sweep of a match at Ellsworth, moving the Spartans' record in the Middle Border Conference to 1-1 for the season. The win at Ellsworth showed how the Spartans are improving at their basic skills. They only had two serve receiving errors in the 15-10, 15-10, 15-8 win.
Six local high school skaters, including five players who led New Richmond's 2003 run to the Wisconsin high school state hockey tournament championship game, will try to lead the AAA Fire hockey team to a USA hockey national championship this fall.
Amery scored on plays of 74, 42 and 64 yards. The longest New Richmond play in last Friday's game was 19 yards. Amery's ability to create big plays and New Richmond's inability to finish off drives was the difference in Amery's 20-0 win over the Tigers. This was the opening game of the Middle Border Conference season for both teams. The only score of the first half was a 74-yard pass from Jordan Wold to Tom Sprester. Take away that play and it's arguable that the Tigers were the better team in the first half. Even with that catch, Amery had 83 yards offense in the half.
New Richmond's volleyball team had Durand right where the Tigers wanted their opening Middle Border Conference opponent. Durand came to New Richmond last Thursday brimming with confidence. The Panthers had just thoroughly beaten New Richmond in a tournament in Hudson. Only Durand didn't know how badly New Richmond had played in that tournament. The Tigers wanted badly to make amends when they met in Thursday's dual match.
Two second place finishes were the result for the Somerset cross country team in its 2003 season-opening meet, the Baldwin-Woodville Invitational last Tuesday. The meet was held at the Hammond Golf Club. Somerset was led by a rock-solid performance from senior Whitney Langer. She took charge of the girls race from the starting gun and never let go of the lead, winning the race in 17:10. Spartan coach Diane Belter was trying to convince Langer to have the confidence to run with the top runners in every meet.
Bringing home the Middle Border Conference championship is one of the numerous goals of the New Richmond girls tennis team this season. The Tigers took a big step toward this goal by winning the first two matches of their MBC season last week. The week started with a 7-0 win at Bloomer. Where the going got tough was on Thursday, when Baldwin-Woodville visited the Tigers. B-W is one of several MBC teams, who like the Tigers, returned nearly its entire lineup. This proved to be a most competitive battle, with all seven of the matches being close for most of the way.
The River Falls Cross Country Invitational was more like a biathlon this season. For the New Richmond and Somerset cross country teams, this meet was a great opening meet for the 2003 season. It not only tested a variety of physical skills, it gave the teams an idea of the possibilities they have for the upcoming season. New Richmond's girls finished second in their half of the meet, while the Tiger boys finished third.
When a state tournament team returns its entire lineup, there are certain expectations that go with it. The New Richmond girls tennis team is in that position and the Tigers showed they are ready to live up to any and all expectations when they began their season on Saturday. The Tigers played host to Whitewater, East Troy and Baldwin-Woodville on Saturday, with the Tigers facing East Troy and Whitewater in dual matches. In the opening round the Tigers scored a 7-0 win over Whitewater. The second match proved to be much more of a challenge.