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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It was like the Somerset volleyball team had lost its way during losses to Osceola and Prescott. Last week the Spartans found their way back to the win column. The Spartans scored wins over New Richmond and Ellsworth. The wins raise Somerset's record in the Middle Border Conference to 3-2. Thursday's match against New Richmond was a rock-solid showing from both sides. Both coaches have been after their teams to cut loose and hit the ball as hard as possible whenever possible.
The New Richmond cross country girls earned the championship in the 2007 Ellsworth Invitational last Tuesday. The Tiger boys, running without three of their varsity runners, took fourth place in the meet. New Richmond's girls were led by juniors Hannah Utzman and McKenzie Kelly, who ranked third and seventh in the race field. The third and fourth runners for the Tigers in this race were the Zietlow sisters, Tess and Anna. They ran together, stride-for-stride, for much of the race.
Three Somerset High School students spent three weeks this summer teaching at a camp in northern Europe. While their main task at the camp was assisting the teachers, they learned a great deal about themselves through the experience. The trip was arranged by SHS teacher Kathy Murphy. For the past seven years Murphy has made this trip to Latvia to serve as one of the primary teachers in a school where students from all of Europe learn the English language and culture.
The New Richmond girls tennis team has completed an undefeated 2007 Middle Border Conference dual meet season. The Tigers locked up the 2007 MBC dual championship with wins on Thursday and Friday afternoons. On Thursday the Tigers scored a 6-0 win at Amery to lock up the 2007 conference title. On Friday afternoon the Tigers won on their home court, defeating Unity 6-1, to complete the conference schedule unbeaten. Last year the Tigers finished in second place in the conference.
Amery ran away with the 2007 Middle Border Conference girls golf tournament title, finishing 37 strokes ahead of second place New Richmond. The conference tournament was played last Thursday at Bristol Ridge Golf Club outside of Somerset. Amery finished the tournament with a team score of 346. New Richmond shot a 383 and St. Croix Falls finished at 386. The rest of the team scores were St. Croix Central at 451, Ellsworth at 468, Prescott at 484, Somerset at 503 and Luck-Unity at 534.
Combine these two facts: The New Richmond football team played its best defensive game of the season last week, and the Tigers didn't suffer any new injuries during Friday's game at Durand. Those two factors give the Tigers faith that they can produce their first win of the season this Friday when they play at home against Prescott. Prescott has also gone without a win thus far in the 2007 season. Last Friday the Tigers played at Durand and were defeated by a 21-7 score.
After Friday's game between Somerset and Ellsworth, one football team will stand alone as the leader in the Middle Border Conference. Somerset and Ellsworth are both 3-0 in the MBC. The winner of Friday's game will not only be the outright leader in the conference standings, they will also be assured of a place in the 2007 WIAA football playoffs. Ellsworth comes into the game after beating Amery 20-14 last Friday.
For several years the St. Croix Central volleyball program has been trying to get re-established as a force in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. In their two D-SC matches last week, the Panthers may have accomplished that goal. Last Tuesday the Panthers went to Boyceville, which has been a tough place to win for most D-SC teams in this decade. The Panthers won Tuesday's match and they did it decisively, winning in three games. That was followed by a home match on Thursday against Glenwood City. The Panthers had to overcome adversity all through the night.
The unbeaten New Richmond boys soccer team made it nine in a row on Monday, winning at Osceola 3-1. Osceola was carrying a seven-game winning streak into this game. The Chieftains hadn't lost since New Richmond had posted a 7-0 win over Osceola early in the season. This time around, Osceola proved to be a much more worthy opponent for the Tigers. Osceola has a short field, which made it difficult for the Tigers to use long lead passes to utilize their team speed. The Tigers did get their first goal off an opportunity like that.
The New Richmond boys soccer team earned its first-ever win over Amery last Tuesday, raising the Tigers' season record to 7-0. On Thursday the Tigers extended their winning streak to start the 2007 season to eight games with a 4-0 win over Barron. The Tigers beat Amery by a 3-1 score on Tuesday. The game was scoreless through the first half. As in recent games, the Tigers did their scoring in the second half. Twelve of the Tigers' last 13 goals have been scored in the second half of games. The first goal of the game was scored by New Richmond junior Jordan Anderson.