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 last chance for the St. Croix Central seniors wasn't working. The Panthers were trailing two games to none to Pepin last Thursday in the last home match for the St. Croix Central volleyball seniors. It took two words from first-year Central head coach Amanda Webb: "just play." Instead of thinking too much, the Panthers went out and played, relying on their volleyball instincts. The net result was 15-8, 15-12, 16-14 wins to give the Panthers their first Dunn-St.
New Richmond's Ayla Mitchell and Alec Slocum are the 2003 Middle Border Conference individual cross country champions. For the second straight year New Richmond had the individual champions in each of the MBC races. In the team finishes, New Richmond took second place in both races. The closest finish was in the girls race, where Amery edged the Tigers by three points for the conference title. In each race this season where the Tigers faced Amery, New Richmond's girls have gotten closer to Amery.
Neither team is ready to call New Richmond and Somerset a volleyball "rivalry" yet. But with the most vocal student sections seen at a New Richmond volleyball match in years, you could tell the fans put a heavy importance on the outcome of this match. While the Somerset fans were making more noise than New Richmond's, the main competition was taking place on the court. And that's where New Richmond's play spoke volumes, sweeping the Spartans. The Tigers won the games 15-5, 15-10, 15-9. Each team has its strengths.
The Middle Border Conference football race was thrown into a three-way tie last Thursday. That's because Osceola knocked off previously unbeaten Somerset, 32-20. Somerset, Osceola and Amery are all tied at 4-1 atop the MBC with two games left to play. Somerset will play at home this Friday against winless Baldwin-Woodville. The Spartans wrap up the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 23 with a home game against New Richmond.
There's no more room for losses. St. Croix Central needs to wins its final two regular season games, or its 2003 season is done. With wins in those final two games, the Panthers would qualify for the WIAA state football playoffs. This Friday the Panthers will play at home against Colfax. The following Thursday the Panthers will complete their regular season slate with a game at Mondovi. Colfax is in the exact same situation as Central, needing to win its final two games to advance to the playoffs. "Our season boils down to two games," said Panther coach Tony DiSalvo.
The Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet is this Thursday in Durand. The last chance for most of the MBC teams to get an idea of where they stand was in the Amery Invitational, held last Tuesday. The results were encouraging for both New Richmond teams. The Tiger girls were second in the meet and the Tiger boys were fourth, but second among the MBC schools running in the meet. Somerset's girls finished fifth in the meet, while the Spartan boys placed eighth. For New Richmond girls, the meet showed them that they can compete for the MBC title.
The New Richmond girls tennis team put together one of the most devastating performances ever at tennis sectional in this area when they rolled to the 2003 WIAA New Richmond Division 2 sectional championship last Thursday. The Tigers held a two-point lead heading into Thursday's sectional meet. By the end of the meet the Tigers had built up a 20-point lead over second place Medford. With their team championship, the Tigers qualify for the WIAA Division 2 Girls State Team Tournament, which will be played at Nielsen Stadium in Madison on Oct.
When a team has more turnovers than points, you can immediately mark the game in the "bad night" category. The bad night put a big hole in St. Croix Central's football playoff hopes. Playing in their Homecoming game last Friday, the Panthers turned the ball over eight times against winless Boyceville. And now Boyceville is no longer winless, beating the Panthers 14-7. Central plays at Elk Mound this Wednesday, then plays Colfax and Mondovi in the final two rounds of the conference season.
Illness. Injuries. Accidents. Suspensions. The New Richmond football team had a majority of new starters after the team was decimated by misfortune in the week leading up to last Friday's game at Ellsworth. And while the Tigers came out on the losing end of a 10-7 score to a formidable Panther team, Tiger coach Jeff Albarado was calling this "our best team effort." The misfortune really is a two-week pattern, when two seniors were suspended. Last week the Tigers saw starters out with illness and injuries.
The New Richmond girls tennis team moved one step closer to its ultimate goal Monday. The Tigers are the total points leader heading into Thursday's WIAA Division 2 New Richmond Tennis Sectional Tournament. New Richmond was the site for the tennis subsectional tournament on Monday. The Tigers amassed 22 points in the subsectional, giving them the leading point total heading into the sectional. The team with the highest point total at the end of the sectional qualifies for the WIAA Team State Tennis Tournament.