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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The tug of war for the Middle Border Conference boys golf leadership currently stands at a draw between New Richmond and Osceola. The Tigers and Chieftains both have 41 points in the MBC golf standings after the Chieftains edged the Tigers by four strokes in an MBC quad match at Amery on Monday. Osceola won Monday's quad meet with a 159 score. New Richmond finished at 163, followed by Somerset at 170 and Amery at 183. The MBC schedule is set up so the same teams face each other in quad matches.
The Somerset baseball team is eternally grateful that last week is over. After being held scoreless in 23 innings last week, the Spartans snapped that barren offensive streak in their first inning this week. After scoring four runs in the first inning against Amery on Monday, the Spartans needed some late heroics (and a little luck) to beat Amery, 5-4. The win raises the Spartans' record to 2-4 in Middle Border Conference games this season. Spartan coach Brandon Kadlec shuffled the team's batting order and it paid quick dividends in Monday's game. Zach Warren and Sean Conrad got on base.
New Richmond and Osceola are shaping up to be the lead contenders in the Middle Border Conference boys golf race. And so far, there's very little space between them. New Richmond's boys hold a one-point lead over Osceola in the early stages of the MBC season. The two teams went head-to-head twice last week. The Tigers edged Osceola by three strokes at Bristol Ridge last Tuesday. The two teams tied in a conference match played at The Links last Friday. Last Tuesday's match was played in nightmarishly strong winds that gave players problems all through the match.
Her full name is Natalya Sergeevna Kandakova. Track fans are getting to know her as "The Russian Rocket. Somerset High School junior Tasha Kandakova came to the United States from her home in Russia just before she turned 9 years old. She moved to Somerset with her mother and stepfather when she was in seventh grade. The name Tasha is short for Natasha, the English derivation for Natalya. Kandakova spent her childhood in Yoshkar-Ola, several hours south of Moscow in Russia. She and her mother moved to the United States just before she turned 9, settling in Sheboygan.
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.