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 two main roadblocks to New Richmond's hopes of a Middle Border Conference girls tennis championship stood in the Tigers' way last week. When the Tigers faced Baldwin-Woodville last Tuesday, it was a faceoff between the two undefeated leaders of the MBC. The Tigers smashed through this roadblock like a semi going 100 miles per hour, beating the Blackhawks 5-2. That meant a win over Osceola last Thursday would likely assure the Tigers of the conference championship.
The Osceola Invitational couldn't have gone any sweeter for the New Richmond cross country teams on Saturday. Both Tiger teams were meet champions and New Richmond senior Alec Slocum was the meet champion in Saturday's races. The Tiger boys won by six points over Rice Lake and seven points over Osceola, which is even more impressive with the fact that the Tigers were missing two of their varsity runners for the meet. New Richmond's girls also pulled off a narrow win, with a nine-point margin over second place Mahtomedi. Slocum was the meet champion, winning by nine
The New Richmond volleyball team got out to a fast start in the 2005 renewal of its rivalry with Somerset. But it was the Spartan girls that had the stronger finish. New Richmond won the opening game by a 25-17 score. Somerset then won the next three games 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 to capture the match in the first round of Middle Border Conference play this season. The difference in the final three games was consistency. New Richmond had bursts where it looked like a top quality team.
28-0. That wasn't the final score. It was the score with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter as the Somerset football team devoured the Barron Bears, 41-0 last Thursday. After the first quarter the Somerset coaches showed their merciful side, with most of the starters out of the game already early in the second quarter. This Friday the Spartans will begin their attempt to win their third consecutive Middle Border Conference title.
After playing a competitive first half against Hudson last Friday, the New Richmond football team couldn't match that effort in the second half. The Tigers trailed 13-10 at halftime in Hudson last Friday. Hudson then overpowered the Tigers in the second half, driving for three touchdowns to beat New Richmond 34-10. The non-conference schedule is now completed for the Tigers.
For the second straight tournament, the New Richmond volleyball team started slowly, then built up steam through the rest of the tournament. Last Tuesday the Tigers played in a tournament in Hudson, facing Boyceville, Durand and Hudson in the meet. The Tigers came away with one win in their three tournament matches. The Tigers were expecting to face Middle Border Conference rival Durand in the opening round of the tournament. But when they arrived in Hudson, the schedule had been changed, and they instead faced Boyceville in the opening round.
The members of the Somerset cross country know well ahead of time when the River Falls Invitational is scheduled. They don't want to miss it. The River Falls Invitational is a true cross country meet. Runners leap over logs and bales of hay on the course. They churn their legs through deep weeds.
It was good, old-fashioned hard-nosed football. The St. Croix Central team opened its season with a top-quality team effort, beating Ellsworth 24-8 last Thursday. The game was part of the annual Gridiron Classic played on the artificial turf at UW-Stout. This year's Panthers are a team that prides itself on playing tough, basic football. To do that, the Panthers need to execute better than their opponents. That was the case against Ellsworth.
Winning four of their five matches in the Spring Valley Invitational on Saturday gave an indication of the firepower the Somerset volleyball team brings into the 2005 season. The Spartans scored wins over Boyceville, Clear Lake, Hudson and Colfax in the tournament, with their only loss coming against Spring Valley. The first opponent of the day was Boyceville. The Spartans lost the opening game 26-24, but then came back to get the final two games 25-21 and 15-6.
The New Richmond girls tennis team got off to a promising start in the 2005 Middle Border Conference season last Thursday, scoring a 6-1 win at Mondovi in their MBC opener. The Tigers swept the four singles matches, with Kristen Holle, Ellen Railsback, Molly O'Flanagan and Val Poppy winning their matches without giving up a set. In doubles, the Tigers got wins at the one and three levels, with Mondovi's only win coming at two doubles. Tiger coach Teresa Kvam said this match showed a pattern that is causing her concern. "I'm realizing about half our team is slow star