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 New Richmond High School dance team tied for fourth place in the kick division of the 2009 WACPC State Dance Championships on Saturday in La Crosse. The fourth place finish is the best placing ever for a New Richmond team at the state dance championships, according to coach Alli Gjovik. The Tigers tied with Grafton for fourth place in the Division 2 kick competition. Both teams finished with 414 points, one point behind third place Little Chute. West DePere won the Division 2 state kick title. New Richmond also competed in the Division 2 jazz competition at state.
For seven years, boys hockey has been a conference sport in the Middle Border Conference. And for seven years, the New Richmond boys have reigned supreme in the MBC. The Tigers locked up their seventh consecutive MBC title last Thursday by defeating Baldwin-Woodville, 6-3. The game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period. The Tigers acted decisively to finish off the win, scoring four straight goals during the third period. The Tigers went ahead 3-2 when Dom Peterson scored three minutes into the third period.
Somerset's girls basketball team is suddenly streaking up the Middle Border Conference standings. The Spartans are riding a five-game wave of wins, with four of those wins coming in conference play. The Spartans are now 6-5 in MBC games, one-half game behind fourth place Prescott. The Spartans are 10-6 overall. The fifth win in that streak came on Monday, when the Spartans won a make-up game at Baldwin-Woodville, 53-33. Baldwin-Woodville is at the bottom of the conference standings and is struggling to put forth any substantial offense.
The New Richmond girls basketball team won two of its three games last week and was three points short of sweeping its three games. Not bad for a team that started the week with one win for the season. The Tigers started last week by beating Spooner 44-40. Last Tuesday the Tigers played one of the most intense contests of the season. They made an excellent comeback in the final minutes, but Somerset's Kellie Ring sank two free throws with eight seconds left to beat the Tigers 46-23. Last Friday the Tigers played at home against Baldwin-Woodville.
Fans never know what they are going to get from the St. Croix Central boys basketball team. But when the Panthers play Dunn-St. Croix Conference leaders, they seem to play their best. On Monday night the Panthers upset a Dunn-St. Croix Conference leader for the second time this season, stunning Mondovi 47-46. On Jan. 20 the Panthers zapped Colfax, 57-50.
An idea to expand the weight room at Somerset High School has grown into a fund-raising effort to build a new $500,000 athletic building for the school district. Somerset football coach Bruce Larson got the idea rolling, recognizing that the current weight room space at the high school is not sufficient for the number of students now involved in weight training. Larson is spear-heading the effort and he plans to raise all of the money through donations.
By the start of the 2009-10 school year, there should be a second driveway to access the Somerset School District grounds. The Somerset Board of Education has begun the process to have a second driveway constructed on school district property. This driveway would come in from the western edge of the property, from the Somerset Meadows development, which was built on the site of the old waterslide. In its January meeting, the school board hired Cedar Corp. to draw up specs for the driveway and oversee the project. Cedar Corp.
Wins on back-to-back nights over Amery and Baldwin-Woodville have locked up a share of the Middle Border Conference championship for the New Richmond boys hockey team. The Tigers can lock up the undisputed conference championship this Thursday. That's when they play at home against Baldwin-Woodville in the final round of conference action. Last week's back-to-back games weren't part of the original schedule, but an earlier postponement meant the Tigers were going to have to test their endurance. They made it through Thursday's game with a 6-4 home-ice win over Amery.
When Osceola beat New Richmond's boys basketball team in the first game of the season, it taught the Tigers that they needed to make improvements in their perimeter defense. So when Osceola and New Richmond met on Friday, with the Middle Border Conference lead up for grabs, the Tigers showed how much their defense has improved. The Tigers defense had a wondrous night, especially in the middle two quarters, as the Tigers stung Osceola 61-48.
Somerset's Kellie Ring was clearly tickled that she was able to reach the 1,000-point destination in her high school basketball career. She was even more pleased that the mark was accomplished during an outstanding performance by the whole Spartan team. Ring reached the mark during last Thursday's game, when the Spartans upset Prescott 52-43. Prescott came into the game with a 12-1 record. For Ring, success has always been team-related. For most of her life she has been the younger member of the lineup. The Class of 2008 was one of Somerset's most talented.