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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Just how well the New Richmond cross country program is flourishing was shown in last Thursday's New Richmond Invitational. New Richmond's girls were varsity champions of the meet. New Richmond won both halves of the junior varsity meet. And the Tiger varsity boys, expected to be in a rebuilding mode this season, took second place and were nine points behind the meet champions. With this being the only varsity meet in New Richmond this season, it was the one chance for the Tiger seniors to shine.
The New Richmond football team took a huge step in the right direction on Friday night. The just needed to take a small step further. After being beaten soundly in non-conference games against River Falls and Rice Lake, the Tigers played about as even as humanly possible with Baldwin-Woodville on Friday. The difference ended up being Baldwin-Woodville's ability to kick one extra point, while the Tigers couldn't convert any of its three two-point conversion attempts. That resulted in B-W scoring a 19-18 win over the Tigers. The Tigers did many things well in this game.
Sophomore Tia Belter earned the individual championship, with junior teammate Monica Emerson steps behind her in third place, in leading the Somerset girls cross country team to a fourth place finish in the 2009 New Richmond Invitational last Thursday. The Spartan girls were five points behind second place Amery and 22 points behind victorious New Richmond. Coach Diane Belter has been trying to convince the girls that they can compete with the best teams in the area. This race may have convinced them. "They see it," Coach Belter said.
The St. Croix Central boys cross country team added another title to its burgeoning lists of 2009 successes when the Panthers won the New Richmond Invitational last Thursday. The Panthers got an excellent challenge from Osceola and New Richmond, but were able to hold off both teams for the race title. Central finished with 54 points, followed by Osceola at 59 and New Richmond at 68. The importance of the fifth runner was shown in full force in Central's victory. Senior David Butler was well back in the pack for the first half of the race.
"Wonderfully terrible." That's how St. Croix Central volleyball coach Kerrie Been described the wild rollercoaster ride of a match the Panthers put up in their five-game loss to Somerset last Thursday. At times the Panthers were outstanding, playing crisp, attacking volleyball. But when the Panthers seized up, they went ice cold and it left the door open for Somerset to finish off the win. Somerset won the opening game 25-22. This was the most even of the games, with both teams making a strong opening impression. The second and third games were absolutely dominated by Central.
For the first half, the Somerset football team got all it could handle from the Osceola Chieftains. That all changed in the second half. Led by an energized defensive effort, the Spartans outscored Osceola 20-0 in the second half to win 34-14. This was the opening Middle Border Conference game for both teams. The second half was what the Spartans fans have come to expect from this team. The Spartans scored on three drives in the second half, with the drives ranging from 70 to 94 yards.
The pre-season is a time to get everything ready for the conference schedule. After last week, Somerset volleyball coach Sarah Praschak was ready to declare her team prepared for the Middle Border Conference schedule. There were a number of adjustments made to the Spartan lineup last week, including working in two new players.
The taxing schedule of the New Richmond volleyball team can only help the Tigers to continue to reach toward their potential. Last week the Tigers played a whopping eight matches. That included a quad tournament last Tuesday, the first home match of the season on Thursday and playing in a 16-team tournament in Coon Rapids on Saturday. The Tigers won five of the eight matches they played during the week.
A benefit will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 for 7-year-old Alie Thanig of Somerset, who has had a recurrence of her leukemia. The benefit will be held at General Sam's in Somerset. The benefit will run from 2-6 p.m. Top local band "The Dweebs" will be performing from 3-4 p.m. There is to be a silent auction, a live auction and several raffles held during the benefit. Volunteers will sell pizza to help raise funds. A magic show, Magic By Bruce, will be held.
The New Richmond volleyball team got the absolute maximum out of the Hudson quad tournament last week. All three of the Tigers' matches to three games. The Tigers won two of those matches, beating Somerset and Hudson. Their loss came against Durand. The first match of the day came against Somerset, who had beaten the Tigers in the River Falls the previous week. Somerset came out firing, winning the first game 25-17. The Tigers did a complete about-face in the second game, storming past the Spartans 25-12.