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 first taste of sectional play should leave the Somerset girls soccer team hungry for more in the future. Somerset was defeated in the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinals on Thursday by Washburn by a 2-0 score. Washburn was then beaten in the sectional finals on Saturday by St. Mary Central, 1-0. Somerset's girls finish their 2008 season with a 14-6 record in their third year as a varsity program. The Spartans made a huge improvement this season. The foundation of the team's rise during those three seasons was the four seniors who will graduate this season.
Two tense wins helped the St. Croix Central advance to the WIAA sectional tournaments for the second straight year. The Panthers battled through a rough start to upend Grantsburg in the WIAA regional championship game last Wednesday, 4-3. The night before, the Panthers scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to overcome Turtle Lake-Clayton, 7-6. The tournaments often create unlikely heroes. In both of these wins, senior Andrew Erickson found himself answering the call when the Panthers needed him most. Grantsburg was the top seed in the region.
New Richmond seniors Brian Figueroa and Trey Brotzler earned the first points at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday since the Tigers moved back to Division 1 three years ago. Figueroa and Brotzler just missed reaching the awards stand at state. Figueroa placed seventh in the 200 meter dash and Brotzler took eighth place in the 800 meters to lead New Richmond's efforts in the 2008 state meet. The Tigers also competed at state in the boys 1600 meter relay and the girls 800 meter relay.
St. Croix Central is being represented by senior Brad Fedie and junior Austin Johnson at the 2008 WIAA Boys State Golf Championships in Madison. Fedie and Johnson began play in the WIAA Division 2 state championships on Monday. The second round of the state championships were scheduled to be played Tuesday. The state tournament is played at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison. Fedie and Johnson shot identical scores of 87 in their first round at state on Monday.
Megan Plourde capped one of the most successful track careers in Somerset High School history by finishing second in the Division 2 high jump event at the WIAA State Track and Field championships in La Crosse on Friday. Plourde's success was the bright spot in a state meet that largely didn't go the way that Somerset's girls or boys teams had planned. Plourde was a state placewinner in the high jump in all four of her high school seasons. She won the state championship as a freshman by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches.
Somerset's track team will be well represented at the 2008 WIAA State Track and Field Championships, with four relays and five individual events advancing to this year's state meet. This is one of the largest collective groups of state entries ever between the Spartan boys and girls track teams. Somerset's boys have three relay teams and two individuals competing at state. The Spartan girls advance one relay and three individuals. An excellent sectional meet for the Somerset boys was capped by a sectional championship in the final event of the meet, the 1600 relay.
The New Richmond track teams will be five individual entries and two relays to the 2008 WIAA State Track and Field Championships, which will be run this Friday and Saturday at UW-La Crosse. The Tigers had an outstanding day at the Eau Claire North Division 1 sectional meet last Thursday, with the majority of the Tiger entries setting personal best marks at the sectional meet. New Richmond's boys had an outstanding day, finishing fifth in the team competition at the sectional meet. Advancing as individuals for the Tiger boys are senior Brian Figueroa in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, senior T
It's one of those good news, bad news situations. The New Richmond varsity baseball team finished its regular season with a pair of impressive wins last week. The bad news comes with the fact that the Tigers may have lost two of their best offensive players during those games. Last Thursday the Tigers went to Baldwin-Woodville and scored a 5-4 win over the Middle Border Conference champion Blackhawks. That win came two nights after the Tigers won an old-fashioned slugfest at Amery, 21-9. During the game at Amery, the Tigers lost senior Hayden Zimmerman and sophomore Dan Leavens.
Junior Derrek Pedersen became the first St. Croix Central boy since the 2000 season to qualify for the WIAA State Track Meet when he earned his way to state during last Thursday's WIAA Division 2 Medford sectional meet. Pedersen qualified for the 2008 WIAA Division 2 State Track Meet by placing fourth in the 800 meter run at the Medford sectional meet. Pedersen had a strategy set for the race and he stuck to it. He was the pace setter for the race, leading through the first lap of the two-lap race.
The seniors on the New Richmond softball team have one more chance to reach the WIAA Division 2 state championships. And they have a chance to deliver some payback along the way. The 2008 Tigers won a WIAA regional championship last Thursday, with a 13-0 bashing of Amery.