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 Somerset boys basketball has shown it can compete in the Middle Border Conference. The next step is winning. The Spartans trailed New Richmond 28-26 at the halftime break in Friday's game on the Tigers' court. The Spartan offense went ice cold in the second half, scoring 10 points, with the Tigers scoring a 53-36 win. Earlier in the week the Spartans gasped for offense in the first half at Prescott.
The Somerset hockey team was hoping this was the year it would move to the top of the Middle Border Conference. The Spartans will have to do some digging if they hope to achieve that goal. The Spartans played their first two MBC games of the season last week and both resulted in difficult losses. The MBC schedule for the Spartans started last Tuesday with a game at Amery. After falling behind 2-0, the Spartans tied the game on a pair of goals from leading scorer Mitchel Benson.
A 12-0 run at the start of the second half broke open the game for the New Richmond girls basketball team last Tuesday as they rolled to a 53-38 win over Christ Household of Faith. The win raises the Tigers' season record to 2-1. The Tigers are giving indications that this team is capable of more success than the past several editions of the team. The trio of seniors on the team is the backbone of those possibilities. Kim Bethke, Jordan Van Dyk and Kendra Mitchell all stood out in the win over CHOF, for different reasons. Bethke had a breakout game at both ends of the court.
The St. Croix Central girls basketball team has a long holiday break and they have every reason to enjoy it. The Panthers are co-leaders of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and they are 3-0 against teams from their WIAA regional following a 56-45 win over Glenwood City last Thursday. Central, Colfax and Boyceville are all undefeated in D-SC play as the teams reach the holiday break. The Panthers don't take the court again until Jan. 5, when they host Baldwin-Woodville. The Panthers are 4-1 overall. The Panthers learned a valuable lesson when they faced winless Glenwood City.
St. Croix Central's boys basketball team has shown already this season that it can light up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree. On Friday night the Panthers showed they can be as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge. The Panthers wouldn't allow the Mondovi boys any chances to score and sent the Buffaloes home with their version of a lump of coal, a 62-23 pasting. The win raises Central's record to 4-0 in Dunn-St. Croix play. Central and Colfax are the remaining unbeaten teams in conference play. Central held a cozy 25-16 lead at halftime, despite struggling to hit shots from long range.
Facing the defending conference champions is not a good time to be short-handed or dinged up. Somerset's wrestling team was both when the Spartans wrestled at Middle Border Conference powerhouse Ellsworth last Thursday. With five wrestlers at a high school band concert, three more out sick or injured, and four more competing with varying injuries, the Spartans got no mercy from Ellsworth. The Panthers inflicted a 53-15 loss on the Spartans.
To make a name in wrestling, you have to face some of the teams that have traditions of success. St. Croix Central's wrestlers tangled with some of the most established wrestling programs in northwestern Wisconsin Saturday during a dual meet tournament held in Osceola. The Panthers faced teams like Boyceville, Cumberland and Shell Lake, which have had a conveyor belt of wrestlers going to the state tournament every year.
Every time a team from a smaller school faces a larger school, you hear the "David vs. Goliath" comments. It's hard to imagine a situation where the comments would be more appropriate. The Somerset girls basketball team played host to the girls from Apple Valley on Friday night. Somerset has an enrollment of less than 500, while Apple Valley's student body is more than five times that total. While the Spartan girls put up a sizeable effort, they couldn't slay the giant.
It happens every year at about this time. A wave of giving and caring circulates through the Somerset Middle School. Students find ways to give. Some do it outwardly, others try to be anonymous. Some make it a competition. No matter how it gets done, each year it does get done. There are a number of activities at the middle school to help those less fortunate during the holiday season. One of the most popular is the Penny Wars. This year, more than $1,200 was raised through the Penny Wars.
The Somerset Partners In Education Parent-Teacher group has given out $2,200 in mini-awards to teachers in the Somerset School District. The P.I.E. organization gave out six grants, two at each of the three district buildings. One grant at Somerset High School will help purchase a rock tumbler that will be used by both art and science classes. The second high school grant will help to fund the Life Skills Peer Mentor Group. Somerset Middle School will be the regional host for the "Friendship Games" in May. One of the P.I.E. grants will help support that event.