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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In last week's games the Somerset boys basketball team showed it has evolved into a reliable defensive team. So the focus for the Spartans will now be steered toward improving the team's offense. The Spartans now stand at 1-5 after a 43-33 loss at Osceola last Friday. Last Tuesday the Spartans were beaten in a non-conference game by Unity, 47-37. With the inexperience on the Spartan squad, some growing pains are to be expected. Coach Eric Olson is pleased with the progress the team is making. The Spartans were in the game with Unity until the final minutes.
The New Richmond boys basketball team played two great halves of basketball in their first two Middle Border Conference games of the 2006-07 season. Both those great halves were in the first half of their games, last Tuesday at Baldwin-Woodville and Friday in their home debut against Osceola. At Baldwin-Woodville, the Tigers saw an 11-point halftime lead disappear, with the Blackhawks coming back to win the game in overtime. The Tigers were able to hold things together better on Friday.
The New Richmond girls hockey team found its scoring touch last Friday against Viroqua. The Tigers jumped to an early lead and just kept rolling in a 7-2 win over Viroqua. In the first period the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Freshman Josie Wold started the scoring with her first varsity goal. She carried the puck into the Viroqua zone, then snapped off a shot that cleanly beat the Viroqua goalie. Wold's goal came two minutes into the opening period. The Tigers took control of the game with three goals late in the first period.
The New Richmond wrestling team put together one of its most dominating performances in years in the Tigers' home debut for the 2006-07 season. The Tigers overpowered Durand last Thursday, winning 65-10. The win raises the Tigers' record to 2-0 in the Middle Border Conference this season. The Tigers won 12 of the 14 matches wrestled, including winning nine of them on pins. The Tigers put together a string of five straight pins between the 140 and 171 weight classes. Durand had beaten Baldwin-Woodville in the opening round of MBC action.
Think of St. Croix Central boys basketball coach Mike Fern as a jockey, and his 2006-07 Panthers as a race horse. The Panthers' natural instinct is to run and they were blessed with the ability to run. But basketball is not a race, and that's where Coach Fern has pulled in the reins. Last week the Panthers pulled back on their speed, instead playing a calculated style that led to wins over Plum City and Pepin. The Panthers slowed their pace down significantly in the 47-32 win over Plum City last Tuesday.
The New Richmond boys hockey team has set goals for where it wants to be in the Middle Border Conference and the WIAA sectionals at the end of the season. The Tigers have already taken a key step in getting where they want to be in the MBC this season. But to get where they want to be in the sectionals by the end of the season, the Tigers still have some distance to cover. The big step in the MBC came last Thursday, when the Tigers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score a 5-4 overtime win at Amery. Jake Calleja scored the game-winner for the Tigers, 45 seconds into the overtime.
"Konnie Jerabek, Christmas Tree Inspector." Okay, it's not her official title. But as the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection Plant Pest and Disease Specialist for the 20-county district of northwestern Wisconsin, Jerabek is the person who makes sure every Christmas tree sold in the area meets state and federal regulatory guidelines. Jerabek, of rural Star Prairie, has been the area inspector of Christmas trees for the Department of Agriculture since she graduated from UW-River Falls in 1996.
The New Richmond wrestling team sent shock waves through the Middle Border Conference last Thursday, knocking off Osceola by a 39-32 score. Ellsworth and Osceola have been locks as the top two teams in the MBC for most of the past decade. New Richmond has been searching for a win against Osceola for nearly that long. The contest came down to the final match, where New Richmond's Israel Neumann faced Osceola's Hans Johnson. The Tigers held a 33-32 lead entering the final match. Neumann hit two takedowns in the first period to hold a 4-1 lead.
Mark Schroeder lived the bowler's dream week last week. Schroeder bowled the first 300 game of his life while bowling in the Wednesday Commercial League at Gibby's Lanes in New Richmond on Nov. 22. The next time Schroeder bowled, in the Monday night league at Gibby's, he rolled a 299 game and a 799 series. Schroeder started bowling in leagues when he moved to New Richmond 30 years ago. The closest he's come to a 300 game before was a 278. A week before his 300 game, Schroeder bought a new ball, a No Mercy ball made by Hammer.
The New Richmond girls basketball team earned its first varsity win under coach Jeff Kanewischer when they charged back in the fourth quarter to upend Baldwin-Woodville 47-45 last Friday. The Tigers trailed 38-31 entering the fourth quarter. It was the defense that got the Tigers turned around. By using high intensity defense, the Tigers were able to cut down the Blackhawks' lead. A three-pointer by Libby Jensen tied the game, then the Tigers hit two free throws to go ahead. This wasn't the Tigers' first comeback of the game.