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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After seeing their Middle Border Conference win streak of more than three years come to an end, the New Richmond softball team got busy to start a new win streak. The Tigers got back on the winning track last Thursday, beating Somerset 19-8. They followed that up with a 14-4 win at Ellsworth on Monday. The power hitting of Tiger senior Elise Ulrich took center stage in the Tigers' win over Somerset. Ulrich crushed two homers in the game, driving home six runs. Ulrich's first homer came during the Tigers' seven-run second inning.
Clutch play and impressive pitching has kept New Richmond in the thick of the Middle Border Conference baseball race. The Tigers rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh on Monday night to score a 6-1 win over Ellsworth in a game that was played at Hager City. Last Friday the Tigers got a nine-inning shutout from sophomore Jake Zajkowski to outlast Somerset 1-0. In a big non-conference win, the Tigers knocked off Eau Claire Memorial 13-5 last Thursday.
Rick Lange and Sara (Trautmiller) Eichten both arrived in Somerset in 1977. Lange was hired as a middle school math teacher and arrived in July that year. Eichten was born in Somerset in February 1977 and graduated from Somerset High School. She returned to the school district seven years ago as a teacher. Lange and Eichten are in the midst of a transition in the leadership at the Somerset Middle School. Lange is the only principal Somerset has had since the building was converted to a middle school in 1997.
New Richmond High School senior Ashley Peterson signed a national letter of intent last Friday to accept a tennis scholarship to attend Upper Iowa University. Peterson is expected to step immediately into the Peacocks' varsity lineup next fall. Upper Iowa is an NCAA Division 2 program that competes in the Northern Sun (NSIC) Intercollegiate Conference. Peterson played for the Tiger varsity for the past three years. For the past two years she teamed with Courtney Kvam as the number one doubles team for the Tigers.
Nancy Klaas is known as an upbeat, nurturing teacher who has been immensely popular with her students. That popularity was acknowledged when Klaas was recently honored with a 2009 Kohl Fellowship. Klaas is a special education teacher at Somerset Middle School. This is her 22nd year teaching in the Somerset schools. Klaas was honored March 22 at Chippewa Falls High School during the regional Herb Kohl Educational Foundation luncheon. She was nominated for a Kohl Fellowship by being the special services teacher of the year for the school district.
You might think that an expert fly tier might be someone who has been fishing for decades and decades. Grant Ehlenfeldt blows that image right out of the water. Ehlenfeldt was the champion in the streamers division in the fly tying contest held by the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. last month. Ehlenfeldt isn't someone who has been fishing for decades. He's barely been alive for a decade.
The New Richmond boys golf team took the early advantage in the Middle Border Conference boys golf race, winning a six-team meet at Pheasant Hills Golf Club last Friday. The Tigers bring back a veteran lineup this season and it showed as they won this meet by 14 strokes. You don't often see these low scores or this consistency throughout a lineup this early in the year. All five Tigers finished their rounds with scores between 37 and 40. Jake Bourassa was the meet medalist, shooting a 37 to lead the Tigers.
The Somerset softball team has been playing well enough to win. In the cold and sleet on Monday, they finally got their win. The Spartans rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Ellsworth 4-3. It appeared the Spartans might take care of the win early in this game when their first four batters all came through with hits. Kelsey Rorabeck led off the bottom of the first with a double. Bethany Starry, Cede Breault and Slammin' Sammi Smith followed with singles and the Spartans quickly had a 2-0 lead. Ellsworth got one run back on a Spartan throwing error in the second inning.
Somerset's girls 400 and 800 meter relay teams broke school records last week. In fact, the 400 meter relay team broke the school record in both of the Spartans' meets last week. The Spartan track teams competed in a large field of talented teams at Osceola last Tuesday. They went up against another top quality group of opponents on Friday at the annual Hudson True Team Meet. The Spartan girls knocked off several team records during the two meets.
The New Richmond baseball team is out to a 3-2 start, which isn't bad considering the first five games of the season were used as pitching auditions. On Saturday the Tigers took part in a tournament at Baldwin. They faced Hayward and Barron, two of the top programs out of the Heart O'North Conference. The Tigers split those games. They clubbed Barron, which made the WIAA state tournament last spring, by a 17-3 score in five innings. Hayward then beat the Tigers 9-6. Tiger coach John Ball is trying to sort through pitchers to determine a pitching rotation.