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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Mr. Been is on duty. New St. Croix Central athletic director Nic Been (pronounced bean) stepped into his new role last week. Been succeeds Warren Van Ranst, who retired after the 2007-08 school year. Been had a special reason to seek a job in the area. He will be marrying St. Croix Central volleyball coach Kerrie Holmlund this fall. Been graduated from UW-River Falls in 2000, but has picked up a broad base of teaching and athletic experience since then.
There will be a new varsity boys basketball coach in Somerset this winter. On Monday night, the Somerset Board of Education approved the hiring of Brent Larson as the new Spartan boys varsity basketball coach. Eric Olson, who had served the past seven years as the Spartan varsity coach, was not offered a contract by the Somerset Board of Education. Larson volunteered for the past two seasons to help the Spartan boys team.
His career sprouted from a fascination with black widow spiders. His interest in spiders led Gordon Grice to write the book "The Red Hourglass, Lives of the Predators." Grice's book was published in 1997 to glittering reviews. Grice, who has lived in Somerset since 2000, will be doing a presentation at the Somerset Public Library this week as part of the library's summer series on bugs. His library presentation will be based on venomous bugs. Grice is scheduled to have another book published next spring.
Darren Kern got an offer he couldn't refuse. Kern is leaving the Somerset School District after one year filling the newly created Director of Pupil Services position. Kern's last day in Somerset will be this Friday. Kern has been hired to become the Director of Student Services in Osseo, Minn., which is the fifth largest school district in Minnesota. The Osseo district includes 19 elementary schools, four junior highs and three high schools. At Somerset, Kern was in charge of three areas. In Osseo, he will be overseeing 10 areas.
Jim McCullum has been head coach of the New Richmond Tigers girls softball team for 19 of the 20 years of the team's varsity existence. His tenure as the Tigers' head coach has come to an end. McCullum resigned his teaching and coaching positions in New Richmond to become Dean of Students at the Next Step Transition Alternative Learning Center. His new position is an administrative role in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District. "I look at this as a chance to be the man I always wanted to be," McCullum said.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2008 will have a western Wisconsin flavor. The 2008 Hall of Fame class includes: Bob Olson, former New Richmond and Somerset coach; Lindy Johnson, former St. Croix Central and UW-River Falls coach; Joe Jilek, long-time wrestling official from Glenwood City; Bill Lockington, former Arcadia coach; Ed Lenard, former Cadott coach. Induction will be held on Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Holiday Manor Inn and Convention Center in Menomonie. Social hour is at 3:30 p.m., with the dinner at 5 p.m.
Tom LeMay has resigned after coaching the Somerset girls soccer team in its first three years as a varsity program. The Spartans experienced steady progress under LeMay's coaching. This year the Spartans finished in second place in the Middle Border Conference and Somerset advanced to the WIAA Division 3 sectional tournament for the first time in team history. "Tom was the founding father of girls soccer in our school," said Somerset Athletic Director Brad Nemec. "He had a great personality with the kids.
The New Richmond American Legion baseball team is now 10-1 in St. Croix League play after winning three games last week. The Legion team got an important win in their hopes of getting a league title when they defeated Baldwin last Tuesday, by an 8-4 score. New Richmond then travelled to Amery on Thursday, scoring a sweep over the Amery Legion team. New Richmond's boys travelled to Unity for a scheduled double-header on Friday, but action was stopped in the first inning of the first game due to rain.
The future of golf in New Richmond is in good hands. Each Thursday morning this summer, more than 180 kids gather at the New Richmond Golf Club to get instruction on all of the basic skills in golf. Last year the New Richmond Golf Club completed construction of the Joe Swanda Learning Center, one of the largest and most complete teaching facilities for golf in the Twin Cities area. With this large facility, NRGC management opened the summer program to any youth ages 8-14 who is interested in learning correct golf skills. NRGC PGA professionals Scott Cole and Ross Johnson lead the program.
It was "gut check" weekend for the New Richmond Millers. The Millers faced games on Friday against Plum City and on Sunday against River Falls.