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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A lifeguard isn't needed at most cross country meets. There wasn't a lifeguard at the River Falls Extreme Meet last Thursday, but you can bet a few runners wouldn't have minded seeing one on hand. In the Extreme Meet, runners cross through the Kinnickinnic River at six different points. The water at some of these points could be over a runner's head, especially when they had to duck under a downed tree or move around other obstacles along the course. New Richmond and Somerset took part in this year's meet.
Osceola may be the defending Middle Border Conference football champion. What happened last year won't matter when New Richmond and Osceola take the field this Friday to begin the 2007 Middle Border Conference season. New Richmond and Osceola have both gone 0-2 in their pre-season games and both teams have seen marginal success thus far. They are looking at Friday's game as the time to get their season rolling. "This is when you make your claim that you can contend," said New Richmond coach Joe Hutter.
The New Richmond girls golf team was hoping to creep closer to Amery in the Middle Border Conference golf race. Unfortunately, the stress of a frantic first month of the season seemed to show in the Tigers' play. The Tiger girls finished third in the meet, behind Amery and St. Croix Falls. After finishing two strokes behind Amery in their previous conference match, the Tigers were hoping this would be the time where they leapfrogged the Warriors. Instead, Amery finished 21 strokes ahead of the Tigers. St. Croix Falls was one stroke ahead of the Tigers.
There's having high hopes. Then there's backing up those high hopes. The New Richmond boys soccer team is setting its goals quite high for the 2007 season. In the first two games of the season, the Tigers have every reason to believe they'll follow through on those high hopes. The Tigers outscored their opponents 12-0 in winning the first two games of their season. Last Tuesday the Tigers went to Rice Lake and rolled past the Warriors, 5-0.
The Somerset volleyball team has opened the 2007 season on a roll. Last Tuesday the Spartans won their season opener at St. Croix Central in three games. The Panthers then went to the Spring Valley Invitational on Saturday and captured the championship by winning all five of their matches. In the tournament the Spartans scored wins over Boyceville, Clear Lake, Spring Valley, Hudson and Colfax. They lost the opening game to Spring Valley, a top quality defensive team that was digging up a high percentage of Somerset's hits.
The New Richmond cross country teams saw some of their competition of the season in their first match of the 2007 schedule. On Saturday the Tigers ran in the Husky Invitational at Eau Claire North. The Tigers got plenty of good results out of the meet, particularly concerning the depth on both varsity squads. The Tigers ran against most of the large schools in western Wisconsin in this meet, including all the Big Rivers Conference schools and the top cross country programs from the La Crosse area.
The early matches in the 2007 season are being used as auditions for the New Richmond volleyball team. The Tigers have performed well in practices, but Coach Becky Ahlbrecht is searching to see which of the girls can perform well once they get into matches. Last Tuesday the Tigers opened the season by playing in a quad meet at River Falls. The Tigers won one of three games in each of their matches, against Spring Valley, River Falls and Eau Claire Regis. "I took this opportunity to plug in a lot of players and mix up the lineups," Ahlbrecht said.
Hudson High School enrollment: 1,721. Somerset High School enrollment: 429. Football score: Somerset 22, Hudson 6. Talk about bringing down a giant. The Somerset football team celebrated like it had won a state championship (and the Spartans know a little about state championships) when they defeated Hudson by a 22-6 score last Friday. This is the first time that Somerset has beaten a Division 1 football program. Last year Somerset led for much of the game before Hudson came back for a 39-36 win. "It's every small school kid's dream.
Things went terribly wrong for the New Richmond football team in its 2007 season opener. There are no mulligans, no do-overs in football. So the Tigers must lick their wounds, correct their many mistakes, and hope this was a one-game aberration. Tiger coach Joe Hutter said the 41-14 homefield loss to River Falls last Friday was a result of the team's inexperience on both sides of the ball. "Fundamentally we did not play well, on both sides of the ball. That is something we will address daily," Hutter said. "We took a couple steps backward.
Members of the Somerset Board of Education aren't ready to talk referendum. That's because they know a large percentage of the community isn't ready to hear talk on that topic. The Board of Education held a special meeting on Aug. 6 to discuss the space crunch that is facing the district, especially at the elementary school.