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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Jim Langer became a National Football League Hall of Famer because of his ability to be quick, direct and powerful. When Langer spoke to the assembly of high school athletes and parents at St. Croix Central High School last Monday, he again was quick, direct and powerful. Langer is best remembered as the center of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team, the only team in NFL history that went through an entire regular season and post-season undefeated. Langer is the epitome of the small town success story.
High school sports in the area begin practice for the fall season beginning next week. Several of the high school sports, including football, girls tennis and girls golf, will be meeting for the first times for their 2008 seasons next Monday. The schools require that all paperwork, including emergency cards, physical cards, etc., be completed before an athlete will be allowed to practice. Here is the basic information on when each of the local high school sports will be starting its season. New Richmond New Richmond cross country will meet for its first practice at 7 a.m.
For the second time in three years, the New Richmond boys U-18 soccer team has won a Minnesota Youth Soccer Association State Championship. New Richmond's U-18 team won the Minnesota state title, capping an undefeated summer season. The New Richmond team earned the state title by tying the Chanhassen-Chaska team 1-1 in the state finals. New Richmond had already built up a substantial lead in the state tournament standings and needed a win or a tie in the title game to assure the team of a state championship. In the first round of the state tournament New Richmond beat Chippewa Falls 3-0.
Playing in the American Legion baseball AA playoffs was a big challenge for New Richmond's first year Legion team. But it was a challenge they enjoyed. New Richmond faced two of the top six AA ranked teams in the state during the tournament over the weekend in Medford.
The Somerset American Legion baseball team finished its 2008 season with an 11-10 record after playing a pair of double-headers last week. Last Tuesday Somerset's boys split a double-header with New Richmond, the St. Croix League championship team. The following night, Somerset was swept in a double-header at Osceola. Somerset and New Richmond waged close battles both times they met during the Legion season. New Richmond swept Somerset in a pair of one-run games the first time they met.
There is a new team of guidance counselors at Somerset High School for the 2008-09 school year. Jeremy Kerg and Jenna Evenson have been hired to serve as guidance counselors this year. Kerg got an early start in this role, serving as an interim guidance counselor for the final month of the 2007-08 school year. The Somerset Board of Education recently decided to convert the second guidance position from half-time to full-time. Amy Young, who had filled the half-time position, has taken a similar position at the Somerset Middle School.
It's time to look to 2009 for the New Richmond Millers after the local adult baseball team was eliminated from 2008 playoff contention. The Millers officially saw their chances of reaching the state playoffs extinguished on Friday when they lost to Hudson 6-4 at Citizens Field. The Millers did bounce back to score a 9-6 win at St. Croix Falls on Sunday. With two games remaining in St. Croix Valley League play, the Millers currently possess a 5-8 league record.
It has already been a successful summer for the New Richmond Post 80 American Legion baseball team. The New Richmond boys have locked up the championship in the Southern Division of the St. Croix League in their first year in Legion ball. This weekend the New Richmond team will try to qualify for the American Legion AA state tournament. New Richmond's team will be one of seven teams competing in a AA regional tournament this weekend in Medford. New Richmond's first game in the double-elimination tournament will be played at 10 a.m. on Friday.
For the past two-plus years, Alie Thanig has been a leukemia patient. She is now a leukemia survivor. Alie may not remember her sixth birthday more specially than any others, but her parents certainly will. On June 27, Alie's sixth birthday, she took her final chemotherapy treatment in her battle with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Alie is the daughter of Jeff and Sarah Thanig of Somerset. ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infections. It is the most common leukemia in children.
Casey Eckardt has been a success as an athlete, as a coach and as an official. He views the New Richmond athletic director position as the next challenge in his athletic career. Eckardt officially began his role as New Richmond's athletic director on Monday, though he was already in his office last week. New Richmond sports fans may recognize Eckardt from the basketball games that he has worked here in the past. They may also recognize him as the long-time Eau Claire Memorial baseball coach who guided the Old Abes to the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament this spring.