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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It is considered an accomplishment for wrestlers who reach the second day of big holiday tournaments. Last year, with a senior-laden lineup, New Richmond's wrestling team got seven wrestlers into the second day of action at the Bi-State Classic. This year, without a single senior competing, the Tigers were able to get six wrestlers into the second day of action at the 2009 Bi-State Classic last Monday and Tuesday in La Crosse. The top finish for the Tigers came from junior heavyweight Joel Neumann. He was able to place fourth in the 285-pound class.
Frame that first quarter, it's a keeper. And the poise shown in the last minute, that's worth remembering. What happened in between the first quarter and the final minute was largely forgettable for the New Richmond boys basketball team in their home non-conference game against Menomonie on Saturday. The sharp start and poised finish were enough to get the Tigers a 53-49 win over winless Menomonie on Saturday. With the win the Tigers stand at 3-3 for the season. After a 10-day span between games, the Tigers were chomping at the bit to play on Saturday.
The big trophy that the Somerset wrestlers brought home from the 2009 Northern Badger Invitational wasn't expected. The Spartans won the Division 2 championship of the 2009 Northern Badger, wrestled last Tuesday and Wednesday at River Falls High School. Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick said the team's goal was to do well in the tournament. "We overachieved on our goal," Flandrick said. "We didn't know if we were capable (of winning the division)." The Spartans won the title without getting any wrestler into the finals.
St. Croix Central was able to advance two wrestlers into the finals and seven wrestlers into the second day of competition at the annual Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational at River Falls High School last week. With this success, the Panthers were able to place third among the 13 teams in Division 2 of the tournament. Reaching the finals for the Panthers were senior Zack Gillis at 140 pounds and sophomore Matt Smith at 152 pounds. Gillis met Damien Luchterhand of Neillsville in the 140-pound finals.
One of the best performances in a holiday tournament from our local schools came from the New Richmond girls hockey team. The Tigers took third place in a tournament in Rochester (Minn.). They won two of their three games and their only loss came in an overtime shootout. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Dodge County (Minn.). Junior Megan Peterson, making her second varsity start, recorded the shutout and she earned it.
For most of the first half in their two games in last week's tournament in Rice Lake, the Somerset boys basketball team was able to keep the game close. In both cases, any chance for the Spartans to win slipped away in the second half. The Spartans were beaten by Rice Lake 70-49 in last Tuesday's round of the tournament. The Spartans lost to Oconto Falls 52-38 in last Wednesday's game. Rice Lake was a tough assignment for the Spartans. The Warriors have several players capable of scoring 20 or more points in any game, led by Wally Ellenson.
The Somerset boys hockey team played three prominent Minnesota programs in Simley, Prior Lake and Bloomington Kennedy in last week's St. Michael-Albertville tournament. The classy competition brought out the best in the Spartans. They took third place in the tournament, beating Simley and Kennedy and putting up a major battle against Prior Lake in the semifinals. Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said this tournament has often foretold how the Spartans will play in the second half of their season.
A group of Somerset parents has banded together to get new playground equipment for students at Somerset Middle School. The Middle School Playground Committee has been working behind the scenes for several months after recognizing a need at the school. Other than basketball courts and four-square diagrams painted on the pavement, there were no outdoor activities available to the middle school students at recess. The playground equipment was originally slated to cost $33,000.
Rick Lange's final official day as Somerset Middle School principal came last Wednesday. Lange retired after 20 years as principal and 32 years at the middle school. Lange was honored with a surprise program the previous day that included all the middle school students. Here, Lange hands over the middle school keys to his successor, Sara Eichten.
When the New Richmond wrestling team faced Park of Cottage Grove last Tuesday, the Tigers met a slightly better version of their own team. Park and the Tigers were similar, with both teams having most of their experience in the upper weights. This led to a dual meet with many close matches. Park was able to win some of the critical matches to earn a 38-33 win over the Tigers. The night's matches started at the 112-pound bout.