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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One loss was what it took for the New Richmond boys soccer team to come around to coach Pete Melloy's way of thinking. After strolling through three fairly unchallenging games to start the season, the Tiger boys were in for a shock when they were manhandled by Osceola last Thursday, 5-1. What the coaches hadn't been able to convince the players of, one loss did. When the Tigers played at Superior on Saturday, they looked like a completely different team.
A slow start offensively, magnified by River Falls' success playing power football, dealt the New Richmond football team a 24-8 loss in its first game of the 2009 season on Friday night. This wasn't a case where River Falls was drastically better than the Tigers. The Wildcats led 10-8 at halftime. The Wildcats' depth, especially in the line, helped them pound out two scoring drives in the second half. The Tigers had drives that had the possibility of scoring in the second half, but none came to fruition. Several of the best performances for the Tigers came from new starters.
For three years, the administration and teachers at the Somerset Elementary School have been working to modernize the school report card. Gone is the A through F lettering system. What is more significantly changed is the topics on which teachers will be grading students. Elementary principal Cherrie Wood said the A through F grading system has been in place since World War I.
Little did Ed Strom know that when he sold his snowmobile and purchased two dirt bikes for his kids, it would lead to his kids competing all over the Midwest, and even nationally. The Stroms' three children, Keenan, Tayva and Torsten, are now three of the top youth motocross racers in the Midwest. Tayva has even advanced to the national level, placing 15th among 42 racers in the girls 11-15 age division at the 28th annual Air Nautiques AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships in Tennessee.
The Somerset boys soccer team has scored its first varsity goal and is now looking to log its first varsity win. The Spartans played the first boys varsity game in school history last Thursday, losing to an experienced Osceola team 7-0. The next afternoon the Spartans were in a more competitive contest. They played evenly with Spooner for most of the game, losing 3-1. Junior Hunter Beauvais scored the first goal in Somerset team history. His goal came early in the second half after Spooner had built a 2-0 lead. Jarod Bordynoski centered a pass into middle of the field.
New Richmond's Dani Lagerstrom has been named to the 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA High School All-North Region first team. Lagerstrom was the only player from Wisconsin chosen for the team. The North Region team included girls from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania. To be eligible for the All-Region team, a player's coach must be a member of NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association). New Richmond coach Becky Ahlbrecht nominated Lagerstrom based on her offensive and defensive numbers from her junior season last spring.
There has been a reorganization at the top of the Somerset wrestling program. Mike Kappers stepped down from the varsity wrestling coach position last winter.
A fast start for the New Richmond boys soccer team would describe the 9-0 and 1-0 wins posted by the Tigers in their first games of the season last week. A fast start would also describe how the Tigers played in those games. The Tigers opened the season with a 9-0 win over Barron last Tuesday. Last Friday the Tigers scored a 1-0 win over Cumberland. Junior Patrick Hailey is out to a fast start this season for the Tigers.
Mike Schachtner of Somerset has signed a professional basketball contract to play for the Kapfenberg Bulls in Austria. Schachtner will fly to Europe on Saturday and will practice with his new team for the first time on Monday. Schachtner graduated from UW-Green Bay this summer after compiling one of the most successful careers in the Phoenix men's basketball program. Schachtner's contract is for eight months, with the Austrian League season running through April.
The Somerset School District has announced plans for open houses at each school building in preparation for the start of the 2009-10 school year. The Welcome Back event at Somerset Elementary School will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 26. There will be two sessions to help work around parents' schedules. Parents and children can attend either session. They are from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-7:30 p.m. This event is designed to help children and families make a smooth transition from summer to the first day of school.