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 Somerset girls basketball team was expecting New Richmond's best effort last Thursday. And the Spartans were ready for it. Somerset's girls clicked immediately in the game and never let up, rolling to a 62-41 win over New Richmond. The Spartans remain in a battle with Amery and Durand for the Middle Border Conference title. All three teams began this week with two losses in MBC play. This Friday the Spartans play at Ellsworth.
The top-ranked girls hockey team in the state came to New Richmond Monday night and the Tiger girls were ready for them. The St. Croix Valley Fusion, based in River Falls, is now 15-0-1 and is ranked number one in the state. The Tigers were their equal for two periods on Monday. The game was scoreless after the first period. The teams each scored twice in the second period.
The New Richmond boys were one of the final four undefeated boys basketball teams in WIAA Division 2, but they are undefeated no longer. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season last Tuesday at River Falls, by a 58-46 score. The Tigers followed that up by winning at Somerset last Thursday, 71-58. The loss at River Falls could be a watershed moment for the Tigers. The team was 13-0 before last Tuesday's loss, but Coach Rick Montreal had been seeing flaws that were starting to show.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the New Richmond High School Dance Team. The Tigers have rebuilt their path of past seasons, all the way to the 2008 Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches State Championships, which will be held this Saturday in La Crosse. The Dance Team earned their way to state with strong performances in the Kick and Pom divisions at the 2008 Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches Western Division Championships in Eau Claire last Saturday. New Richmond placed second in the Kick Division and third in the Pom Division to earn a trip to state in each di
Earning all-state honors has opened up the doors to special football opportunities for a trio of Somerset High School seniors. Burt Geurkink, Evan Kowalski and Tony Martin have had exciting opportunities come their way following the success of the 2007 Spartans, which reached the semifinals in the WIAA Division 4 state playoffs. Geurkink and Martin have been selected to play for Team USA in the 2008 U-19 Global Challenge-Kawasaki Bowl in Japan on Saturday, March 22. Geurkink and Kowalski have been named to the North roster for the 2008 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Game.
There isn't a person in New Richmond more appropriately named than John Ball. For 30 years, Ball has led the New Richmond varsity baseball program. In that time the Tigers won 520 games. Ball's leadership made New Richmond one of the most successful baseball programs in the state during his tenure. For the past 17 years, Ball has served as athletic director at New Richmond High School. He announced last week that this will be his final year as athletic director.
The New Richmond boys hockey team has been the Middle Border Conference championship in every year that the conference has been in existence. To keep that streak alive, the Tigers will need to win at Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday in the final round of MBC play for the 2007-08 season. The Tigers kept their chances of winning this year's title alive by scoring one of their most decisive wins of the season. They went to Amery on Monday and pounded the Warriors by a 7-1 score.
The race for the Middle Border Conference girls basketball title should be a thriller, with Somerset, Durand and Amery all locked in a battle for this year's championship. Currently, the three MBC leaders are all tied for the top spot in the conference, with two losses each. Somerset suffered its second loss of the MBC last Tuesday, when Durand came to Somerset and earned a 67-57 win. The Spartans returned to the win column on Friday when they won at Prescott 63-48. This Thursday the Spartans will be playing at home, when New Richmond comes to visit.
The vote by the Somerset Board of Education on whether to propose a building referendum boiled into a discussion on whether the Board should be considering the short-term or long-term needs of the School District. After a considerable amount of wrangling on the discussion, the Board decided, on a 4-2 vote, to send a $35.4 million referendum to the voters of Somerset for the April 1 election. The referendum will ask voters for approval to build a new high school in the School District.
The Durand boys basketball team put on an incredible outside shooting show in last Friday's game in New Richmond. It still wasn't enough to deliver the first loss of the season to the Tiger boys basketball team. New Richmond's boys are now 13-0 this season after withstanding their biggest challenge in the Middle Border Conference so far this season. The Tigers rallied from a 65-61 deficit in the final three minutes of the game to beat Durand, 69-65. The Tigers had a great start to the game, jumping out to a 25-13 lead in the first quarter.