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 Somerset wrestling team accomplished half of its goals at the Division 2 Osceola regional meet last Saturday. The Spartans wanted to get a large group of individuals through the regional so they could compete in front of their home crowd at this Saturday's Somerset WIAA Division 2 Sectional Tournament. The Spartans succeeded in that goal, getting six wrestlers through to this Saturday's sectional meet. The second goal for the Spartans was to win the regional championship.
Five members of the 2007 Somerset High School football team have solidified their plans to play college ball. Leading the group is Evan Kowalski, who signed a national letter of intent last Wednesday to accept a scholarship package from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich. NMU is an NCAA Division II program. Kowalski is being viewed as a cornerback by the Wildcats.
This is the week the Somerset girls basketball team has been building toward all season. Not only will this week likely decide whether the Spartans will be Middle Border Conference champions, it will also decide where the Spartans will be seeding in a brutally strong WIAA Division 2 regional tournament bracket. This week began with Somerset and Durand tied for the Middle Border Conference lead, with Amery one game behind the MBC co-leaders. The Spartans were scheduled to host Osceola on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Spartans will get a visit from the Amery girls.
If the New Richmond girls basketball team can stay with an opponent through the first half, they are getting tougher and tougher to beat. The depth on the Tigers gave the team excellent energy reserves, which helped them to overcome Menomonie and Baldwin-Woodville in a pair of games last week. The wins raise the Tigers' season record to 7-9 and they now stand at 5-6 in the Middle Border Conference. That leaves them tied for fourth place in the MBC with Osceola. In Friday's 53-36 win over Baldwin-Woodville, the lead switched hands many times during the first quarter.
Tigers nearly make prediction of team championship a reality There were few believers when the New Richmond wrestling team claimed that winning the Middle Border Conference championship was the team's goal at the 2008 MBC tournament in Baldwin on Saturday. The Tigers converted a lot of wrestling fans into believers during the tournament on Saturday. The Tigers led going into the final round.
The New Richmond boys basketball team locked up a share of the Middle Border Conference title, its first conference title since 1994, when the Tigers beat Prescott 59-43 last Friday. The Tigers will be looking to lock up sole ownership of the 2007-08 MBC title in their next conference game, which will be played this Thursday at Ellsworth.
The New Richmond boys hockey team was challenged. And the Tigers rose to the challenge. Faced with the possibility of not being the Middle Border Conference champion for the first time in conference history, the Tigers made sure that didn't happen. They went to Baldwin last Thursday and decided the game early, scoring a 7-0 win over the Blackhawks. The Tigers finish the MBC season with a 5-1 record.
The Somerset girls basketball team was expecting New Richmond's best effort last Thursday. And the Spartans were ready for it. Somerset's girls clicked immediately in the game and never let up, rolling to a 62-41 win over New Richmond. The Spartans remain in a battle with Amery and Durand for the Middle Border Conference title. All three teams began this week with two losses in MBC play. This Friday the Spartans play at Ellsworth.
The top-ranked girls hockey team in the state came to New Richmond Monday night and the Tiger girls were ready for them. The St. Croix Valley Fusion, based in River Falls, is now 15-0-1 and is ranked number one in the state. The Tigers were their equal for two periods on Monday. The game was scoreless after the first period. The teams each scored twice in the second period.
The New Richmond boys were one of the final four undefeated boys basketball teams in WIAA Division 2, but they are undefeated no longer. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season last Tuesday at River Falls, by a 58-46 score. The Tigers followed that up by winning at Somerset last Thursday, 71-58. The loss at River Falls could be a watershed moment for the Tigers. The team was 13-0 before last Tuesday's loss, but Coach Rick Montreal had been seeing flaws that were starting to show.