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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Rest In Peace, Tiger softball winning streak. After more than three years, the New Richmond softball team suffered its first loss in Middle Border Conference play on Monday. Playing in the cold, windy conditions at Prescott, the Tigers got behind early and never recovered. Prescott finished with the 10-5 win. This game marked the end of the Tigers' 45-game conference winning streak. "That's quite a heartbreak for the kids," said Tiger coach Becky Ahlbrecht.
There wasn't a senior in the lineup as the New Richmond varsity baseball team started its 2009 schedule last week. The lack of seniors didn't seem to impede the Tigers. Not at all. The Tigers opened their season with a 12-4 win over Osceola, which has already played three games. Last Thursday's game was moved from New Richmond to Osceola after it was decided that New Richmond's Citizens Field wasn't dry enough for use. In Thursday's opener the Tigers had two players starting in the same positions they played last season.
The lineup is nearly completely new, but the New Richmond softball team continues to add to its old tradition of success. With a new coach and just two starters returning from last season, the Tiger softball team showed no signs of letting the team's tradition of winning come to an end. The Tigers opened their 2009 season under coach Becky Ahlbrecht last Thursday on their home field at Hatfield Park. After a few unsteady moments in the opening inning, the Tigers settled in to defeat the Osceola Chieftains 11-1. On Monday the Tigers played their first road game of the season.
For 21 years, Cynthia Isaac's classroom has been the safe place at the Somerset Elementary School for children with emotional issues. Isaac will be retiring at the end of the school year after her 21st year as the emotional and behavioral disabilities teacher at the elementary school. In dealing with children in kindergarten through fourth grade, Isaac has worked to make her room a safe and peaceful place for children struggling to control their emotions.
Dunn-St. Croix Conference softball teams, take notice. The St. Croix Central girls are finding a groove. The Panthers opened Dunn-St. Croix Conference play last Thursday with a smothering performance, defeating Colfax 10-0 in five innings. That came two days after the Panthers delivered an 18-3 thumping to Ellsworth's team. In the D-SC opener, Central sophomore pitcher Nikki Brooks fired a no-hitter at the Vikings. Brooks walked three batters in the game.
You can't get any closer to winning than the New Richmond girls soccer team did in its last two games. In both games, the Tigers battled into a second overtime, only to lose in each instance. The second of those games came on Monday, when the Tigers lost 5-4 to Superior on the Starr Elementary field. Monday's loss had its good and bad stretches for the Tigers. While they were able to possess the ball for much of the first half, they didn't get things done in the defensive end. Superior led 3-1 by halftime.
The long-awaited first track meet, especially in the view of the St. Croix Central athletes, was a promising performance for the Panthers. The opener for the Panthers came on their home track last Thursday, in a 10-team invitational meet. While it was a hectic event for the Panthers, it produced the opportunities the Central coaches were looking for. Amanda Webb and Ben Lamb are serving as co-head coaches for the Panther track teams this season. Webb said the coaching staff saw a number of positives from this meet.
Losing cleanup hitter Josh Baillargeon for a week due to strep throat seemed to bring the Somerset baseball team to a grinding stop last week. After starting the season with three wins, the Spartans lost both of their games last week. They lost a non-conference game to St. Croix Falls by a 12-8 score last Tuesday. In the Spartans' Middle Border Conference opener last Thursday, they lost at Durand, 3-1. The Spartans offense looked sluggish in the loss at Durand. The Spartans' only run came in the sixth inning. Ben Kieckhoefer started the inning with a single and Jered Deal walked.
The softball action was surprisingly sharp in last Friday's softball season opener between Somerset and St. Croix Central. Central was held scoreless for six innings by Somerset freshman Bethany Starry. The Panthers were able to come up with some clutch hitting in the seventh inning, scoring two runs to sneak past the Spartans, 2-1. This game was the varsity coaching debut for Somerset coach Carrie Kjellberg and she was able to face her alma mater. Kjellberg (Carrie Blomker) graduated from Central in 1993.
Millions of people in the United States are involved in outdoor activities like camping, hunting and fishing. Somerset High School has a class that helps students develop their interest in these activities. Outdoor Education 1 and 2 are elective classes in the physical education curriculum. The class is taught by Grant Belisle. Before starting the class, he went to outdoor classes taught in River Falls, St.