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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Just because the New Richmond boys soccer team has started the season with three straight wins, doesn't mean the team can't get better. In an attempt to better utilize the team's veteran players, Tiger Coach Pete Melloy unveiled several lineup changes in last Tuesday's game at Hudson. The Tigers were able to score a 4-2 win in the game, their third win of the season. The Tigers were scheduled to play Hudson's JV team in this game.
The New Richmond volleyball team gave an outstanding effort when it faced Somerset in the opening round of the quadrangular meet held at Hudson last Tuesday. The Tigers weren't able to maintain that level of play in the their final two matches of the tournament however. The match against Somerset was probably the Tigers' best showing so far this season. Somerset won the opening game 25-23. The Tigers came right back to take the second game 26-24. Somerset won the match by taking the third game 15-9. "All the elements were there," said Tiger Coach Becky Ahlbrecht.
The Somerset football team starts the 2007 Middle Border Conference season looking to regain the MBC title that it lost in 2006. The Spartans had been MBC champs three years straight until last season. Getting that title back is clearly a focus for the Spartans. From the play in their two pre-season games, the Spartans showed they will be one of the contenders for this year's MBC title. After starting the season with a 22-6 win over Hudson, the Spartans went to Delano, Minn. on Friday and earned a 30-20 win. This Friday the Spartans begin their 2007 MBC schedule.
A lifeguard isn't needed at most cross country meets. There wasn't a lifeguard at the River Falls Extreme Meet last Thursday, but you can bet a few runners wouldn't have minded seeing one on hand. In the Extreme Meet, runners cross through the Kinnickinnic River at six different points. The water at some of these points could be over a runner's head, especially when they had to duck under a downed tree or move around other obstacles along the course. New Richmond and Somerset took part in this year's meet.
Osceola may be the defending Middle Border Conference football champion. What happened last year won't matter when New Richmond and Osceola take the field this Friday to begin the 2007 Middle Border Conference season. New Richmond and Osceola have both gone 0-2 in their pre-season games and both teams have seen marginal success thus far. They are looking at Friday's game as the time to get their season rolling. "This is when you make your claim that you can contend," said New Richmond coach Joe Hutter.
The New Richmond girls golf team was hoping to creep closer to Amery in the Middle Border Conference golf race. Unfortunately, the stress of a frantic first month of the season seemed to show in the Tigers' play. The Tiger girls finished third in the meet, behind Amery and St. Croix Falls. After finishing two strokes behind Amery in their previous conference match, the Tigers were hoping this would be the time where they leapfrogged the Warriors. Instead, Amery finished 21 strokes ahead of the Tigers. St. Croix Falls was one stroke ahead of the Tigers.
There's having high hopes. Then there's backing up those high hopes. The New Richmond boys soccer team is setting its goals quite high for the 2007 season. In the first two games of the season, the Tigers have every reason to believe they'll follow through on those high hopes. The Tigers outscored their opponents 12-0 in winning the first two games of their season. Last Tuesday the Tigers went to Rice Lake and rolled past the Warriors, 5-0.
The Somerset volleyball team has opened the 2007 season on a roll. Last Tuesday the Spartans won their season opener at St. Croix Central in three games. The Panthers then went to the Spring Valley Invitational on Saturday and captured the championship by winning all five of their matches. In the tournament the Spartans scored wins over Boyceville, Clear Lake, Spring Valley, Hudson and Colfax. They lost the opening game to Spring Valley, a top quality defensive team that was digging up a high percentage of Somerset's hits.
The New Richmond cross country teams saw some of their competition of the season in their first match of the 2007 schedule. On Saturday the Tigers ran in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North. The Tigers got plenty of good results out of the meet, particularly concerning the depth on both varsity squads. The Tigers ran against most of the large schools in western Wisconsin in this meet, including all the Big Rivers Conference schools and the top cross country programs from the La Crosse area.
The early matches in the 2007 season are being used as auditions for the New Richmond volleyball team. The Tigers have performed well in practices, but Coach Becky Ahlbrecht is searching to see which of the girls can perform well once they get into matches. Last Tuesday the Tigers opened the season by playing in a quad meet at River Falls. The Tigers won one of three games in each of their matches, against Spring Valley, River Falls and Eau Claire Regis. "I took this opportunity to plug in a lot of players and mix up the lineups," Ahlbrecht said.