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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A half a meet is better than no meet. As difficult as it's been to get any track meets in this spring, coaches have to be philosophical on the point. Last Tuesday the St. Croix Central track teams were competing at Ellsworth when the meet was called off midway through the event due to lightning. The meet had been going well for both Central teams when the meet was called off. The Panther girls were winning the meet, while the boys were third among the five teams competing. The Panther girls had won six of the 11 events that were completed in the meet.
Experience is the biggest need for the New Richmond boys tennis team, so playing three matches in a tournament at La Crosse on Saturday was exactly what the Tigers needed. In the tournament the Tigers faced Black River Falls, Menomonie and La Crosse Central. The Tigers opened with a 6-1 win over Black River Falls. They then lost to a much improved Menomonie team 5-2.
The recognition for a strong season came in the way of the all-state first team selections for the New Richmond girls hockey team. Junior goalie Molly Gehr and sophomore Steph Kendrick were among the six first-team all-state members. The Wisconsin High School Girls Hockey Coaches Association All-State Team was announced last week. Gehr has been the Tiger goalie since her freshman season. This season she had an .886 save percentage and recorded two shutouts. Kendrick was the Tigers' leading scorer this season.
The St. Croix Central team came up with a couple big hits in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 16-15 win over Cadott last Friday. This non-conference game was the first win of the season for the Panthers. The Panthers went into the seventh inning trailing 15-14. Annette Zwald led off the seventh with a walk. After a flyball out, Marie Nelson put down a sacrifice bunt that moved Zwald to second base. Justina Bisch then ripped a double down the leftfield line to score Zwald and tie the game. Freshman Ella Olson then drove a shot down the rightfield line.
New Richmond boys basketball coach Jim Kannel announced Monday that he is stepping down from his head coaching position after four seasons. The Tigers are coming off a difficult season where they finished 4-17. The Tigers started this season with high expectations, making their return to the Middle Border Conference. The Tigers tried to offset being the shortest team in the conference by being a running team early in the season. That resulted in the team starting the season 0-10. The Tigers then slowed their pace and played under more control.
The season that ended with St. Croix Central's first-ever trip to sectionals brought three of the Panthers all-Dunn-St. Croix Conference honors. Nathan Fern and David Reyzer were named to the all-conference first team. Mark Arneson was an honorable mention all-DSC selection. All three are seniors. Fern and Reyzer have been the leading 1-2 punch for the Panthers for several years, giving them an inside-outside attack that was tough to defend. Fern was one of the leaders in assists in the area, finishing with 106 assists in 18 conference games.
Sophomore Rachel Anderson and freshman Ella Olson were the only members of their class named to the all-Dunn-St. Croix Conference girls basketball team. Anderson was named to the all-DSC second team while Olson was an honorable mention all-conference choice. Anderson and Olson both ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring this season. Their performance is a big part of the reason why the Panthers believe their future is bright in the conference. Anderson averaged 14.7 points per game.
With two indoor meets already in, the New Richmond girls track team is showing it is ready to build on last year's success. The Tigers ran in two indoor meets at UW-River Falls, last Tuesday and Saturday. Tuesday's meet was a quad event against River Falls, Hudson and Osceola. Saturday's meet was the 14-team All-American Invite. In the two meets the Tigers had a good mix. Many of the girls who established themselves last season showed they are ready to take another step up in their success.
The gentle, grandfatherly manner of Jim Landes immediately made students in the Somerset Elementary School feel comfortable. Landes is retiring after 13 years as the principal at the elementary school. It completes a 34-year career in education, which Landes began after a term in the military. For the Somerset Class of 2003, Landes is the only elementary principal they have known. They began at the school together, when this year's seniors were attending junior kindergarten. "I'm graduating too," Landes said.
Jodi Duffe never got to reach her dream of playing in the WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament in her years with the New Richmond High School girls team. In the 2003 WIAA girls state tournament, Duffe got to fulfill her dream. Duffe was one of three female officials who worked in this year's girls state tournament. Duffe is a seventh and eighth grade physical education and health teacher in the Howard-Suamico school district, which is a suburb of Green Bay.