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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With the shift of several summer programs to the spring season, the WIAA spring baseball season will have a much different look in the area for the 2007 season. For the past several years the Middle Border Conference schools that played spring ball were part of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. This year, the Middle Border and Dunn-St. Croix will each have their own separate spring baseball conferences. The Middle Border Conference baseball race will consist of six teams.
Some people are blessed with artistic talent. They have a style and a creative sense that makes them stand out. Dayna Smith is one of those people. And people at some of the most prominent art schools in the country have noticed the Somerset High School senior. Smith has already been accepted to attend Purdue, Columbus College of Art and Design and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she has a $40,000 scholarship waiting. Smith is keeping her options open.
Want a good measuring stick of the quality of teaching students are receiving in local schools? The 2007 Kohl Fellowships were announced last week. There were nine fellowships awarded to teachers in the 41 districts within CESA 11. Of those nine awards, three were given to local instructors. New Richmond High School teacher Dave Schleh, Somerset Middle School teacher Sara Eichten and Somerset Elementary School teacher Ann Jauquet were selected as Kohl Fellowship recipients this year.
The annual Somerset Fine Arts Festival showcased the talented artists and musicians within the Somerset School District. The Festival was held on March 13 at the Somerset Middle School. The visiual arts display was set up in the Middle School commons. Artwork from students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade was shown. The display showed the many materials the students have the opportunity to be creative with. There were pencil drawings and paintings. There was work with clay and yarn.
Athletes with special needs from western Wisconsin and the eastern edge of the Twin Cities have found a home in Stillwater. The St. Croix Valley Lumberjacks are Special Olympics athletes who participate in bowling in the fall, alpine skiing, basketball, and aquatics in the winter, tennis and athletics in the spring, golf and equestrian in the summer. This winter there is a group more than 50 who are competing in one of six different basketball teams offered through the Lumberjacks program. The basketball teams and all the other sports are geared toward differing ability levels.
When Jake Bell walked into General Sam's last Wednesday, he was met by a group of more than 50 flag-waving family and friends, with the song "The Ballad of The Green Beret" playing in the background. Bell recently completed training in the Army Special Forces, to become one of the elite members of the force known as "The Green Berets." The Green Berets are the nickname for the Army's 5th Special Forces Group, which is based in Fort Campbell, Kent. After some time at home, Bell returned to Fort Campbell on Sunday. Bell is a 1999 graduate of Somerset High School.
A series of benefits will be held on April 21 for New Richmond native Monica Jensen, who is battling cancer. Monica (Walz) Jensen graduated from New Richmond High School in 1991. She is best known for the success that she and her twin sister, Missy, had in track. They set numerous NRHS track records, some of which are still in existence. Monica and Missy have continued their passion for competing into the area of distance running. They have competed in numerous races, fund-raisers and marathons. Three years ago Monica was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affected one of her eyes.
Megan Haugen was one of the shortest point guards in Minnesota women's college basketball. That didn't stop her from leading the Hamline women to one of the three best seasons in team history. Haugen, a senior from New Richmond, led Hamline to a 13-12 record.
The youth of the Somerset boys basketball team showed in its playoff loss at Spooner last Tuesday, but it doesn't lessen the lengths by which the Spartans have improved this season. The Spartans were beaten by Spooner 55-39 in the opening round of Division 2 playoffs last Tuesday. In the opening minutes of the game the Spartans were playing sharply, leading during parts of the first quarter. They led at the end of the quarter 10-8. At one point the Spartans had a four-point lead and hit a three-pointer that would have enlarged the lead to seven.
The last thing the St. Croix Central boys basketball team could afford to do against Prescott in last Friday's WIAA regional game was fall behind early. But that is exactly what happened. The Panthers were limited to two field goals in the first half as Prescott rolled to a 23-7 halftime lead. Central's play improved markedly in the second half, but the Panthers weren't able to catch Prescott, losing 52-36. That moved Prescott into Monday's Division 3 regional final against Regis.