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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Seniors Blake Berger and Brock Peterson and junior Brian Figueroa have been selected to the 2006 Middle Border Conference football team. Berger was a two-way first team all-conference selection, as an offensive and defensive lineman. Figueroa was also named to the all-MBC first team, as the top kicker in the conference. Peterson was chosen on both offense and defense. He was chosen as a second team all-MBC defensive back and an honorable mention wide receiver. Berger was the best Tiger lineman on both sides of the ball.
The flu bug threw off the planning for New Richmond's McKenzie Kelly and Hannah Utzman for the 2006 WIAA State Cross Country Championships, but the Tiger sophomores are viewing this year's experience as a stepping stone for the future. The tandem of Tiger sophomores ran in the Division 2 state championship race on Saturday, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Utzman placed 42nd in the state race, with Kelly placing 63rd. The planning for the state race was thrown off when Kelly was hit with the flu bug on Friday.
The St. Croix Central football team was able to achieve the second of its main goals: winning a playoff game. But after beating Grantsburg in the opening round of the WIAA Division 5 playoffs last Tuesday, Central was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday, in a 35-8 loss to Fall Creek. The 14-10 win over Grantsburg last Tuesday was the first playoff win for the Panthers since Central's 1988 state championship season. The first goal that the Panthers accomplished was winning the Dunn-St.
The home winning streak and the 2006 season of the Somerset football team both ended last Tuesday. In the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 state football playoffs, the Spartans played at home against Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau. Even the vaunted home-field success of the Spartans could not prevent a defeat, as the Redmen rolled past Somerset 34-6. The loss ends Somerset's winning streak at Seibel Field at 30 games. The Spartans' final record for the season stands at 6-4. G-E-T beat Somerset at the Spartans' own game.
McKenzie Kelly and Hannah Utzman ran side-by-side through the WIAA Division 2 Osceola Sectional Cross Country Meet last Friday. They never gave up their spots among the top five runners in the sectional meet. By placing fourth and fifth, they assured themselves places in the 2006 WIAA State Cross Country Meet, which will be run this Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. The girls Division 2 state race will be run at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday, with all the state races being held at The Ridges Golf Club. All season Kelly and Utzman have been fixtures in lead packs of races.
"Conference champions." It's something members of the St. Croix Central football team haven't been able to claim in most of their lifetimes. But now, the Panthers can boast that they are Dunn-St. Croix Conference champions. The Panthers earned that right last Thursday in thrilling fashion, holding off Glenwood City in a wild finish, 21-19. With the win Central finishes at 6-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings.
A thoroughly dominating 33-13 win by the New Richmond football team over Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday gives the Tigers something they can build on for the 2007 season. The Tigers finish the 2006 season with a 3-6 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the Middle Border Conference. They finish sixth in the MBC, their highest finish in conference play since the Tigers went 3-4 in the MBC in 2003. It took a half for the Tiger offense to get clicking against B-W, but the Tiger defense was outstanding right from the start of Thursday's game.
With a conference championship no longer a possibility, the Somerset football team had one thing to play for in its game against Middle Border Conference champion Osceola last Thursday. One of the main sources of pride for the Spartans over the past five years has been their perfect record on their home field.
It was a tumultuous tournament season for the Somerset volleyball team. In the opening round of WIAA Division 2 regionals last Tuesday, the Spartans and New Richmond locked up in one of the most heart-pounding volleyball matches seen in the area in years. The match went five games, coming down to the final points, with Somerset pulling out the victory. That advanced Somerset into the second round of regionals against Ellsworth. Somerset was playing at home, by virtue of being seeded second in the regional. It was Ellsworth that looked at home on the Spartan court however.
A seventh seed is never expected to win when facing a second seed. So when the seventh-seeded New Richmond volleyball team went to Somerset to face the second-seeded Spartans, they knew they were underdogs.