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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Transition was the best word to describe the spring season for the St. Croix Central FFA trapshooting club. The team started the season dealing with snow and the loss of head coach Ed Gibb. The team recovered well, placing second in its conference and sixth at the state tournament. Gibb created a firm foundation for the SCC team and it was able to withstand the snow, as well as his departure, only to continue to improve as individuals and as a team.
The New Richmond Millers were on their way to one of their best weeks in years, only to have a flop of a performance on Sunday tarnish a highly successful week. The Millers started last week by finishing a filet job on the Fish, and then they bombed the Bombers on Friday. But Sunday, with a chance to register their third St. Croix Valley Baseball League win of the week, the lost at Ellsworth.
One of the iconic coaches in Somerset athletic history has retired. Somerset volleyball coach Sarah Praschak, one of two coaches who led Spartan coaches who led Somerset teams to WIAA state championships, has retired. Dennis Potter, one of her former assistant coaches, has agreed to become the new Spartan volleyball varsity coach. Bruce Larson, who has led Somerset to three football state championships, is the only other coach to win state titles in Somerset.
The WIAA state championship won by the Somerset volleyball team in 1993 was the first team state title in Somerset School District history. A few of the players from that team were asked to comment on Coach Sarah Praschak, the influence she had on that team and the influence she had on their lives. Here are their comments. Alicia (Klinger) Anderson
The rivalry between the New Richmond and Somerset football teams has been elevated to a whole new level. Reggie Larson has been hired as the new varsity football coach in New Richmond. Larson is the son of Somerset football coach Bruce Larson, who has coached the Spartans to three WIAA state championships.
The American Legion baseball season is viewed as a learning tool by most of the teams in the area. The New Richmond Junior Legion team is being used to increase the baseball knowledge in several specific areas. Post 80 coach Mark Smith said there are three specific areas that are being targeted this season. He said aggressiveness, communication and baseball knowledge are the areas of emphasis for the team this summer. Smith said aggressiveness in all areas (hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning) is one part of the attitude the baseball program is building.
Having a small-school perspective is something that Ty Ketz hopes to use to keep the St. Croix Central girls basketball program at the top of the Middle Border Conference.
Justin Rivard's interest in the safety of his classmates led the 2018 Somerset High School graduate to own a business that is receiving worldwide attention. Rivard invented "JustinKase" a door-jamming system that prevents intruders from entering school rooms. And in less than a year, his business has grown to have customers all across the country and the planet.
The News presents The Inhuman Awards to recognize outstanding athletic achievements from the athletes at the high schools at New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central. The athletes this spring had to deal with weather conditions that threw major obstacles into their plans. That the athletes stepped up to produce the large number of successes they did speaks volumes about their fortitude. Here are the Inhuman Awards for the Spring 2018 season. Baseball Most Valuable Offense: Blake Kretovics, New Richmond.
Even though Trent Probst doesn't officially take over as athletic director at Somerset High School until July 1, he was at the school last week, using every spare minute he had to become more acclimated with his new role at SHS. And Probst didn't have a lot of time to spare. You see, he got married on Saturday. But that shows the dedication Probst has toward his new position in Somerset.