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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At the start of the season the New Richmond boys soccer team was one of the youngest teams in the Middle Border Conference. A month later, the Tigers are in the thick of the battle for the conference championship. The Tigers continued to hover in second place in the conference after wins over Barron and Somerset last week. Amery suffered its first loss in conference play last week, falling to Hayward.
Even with their two oldest runners dropping out because of problems with Saturday's humid heat, the New Richmond girls cross country team was able to take second place in the Osceola Invitational Cross Country Meet. New Richmond's boys took sixth place in Saturday's meet. Senior Mary Balow and junior Maggie Evans both were forced to drop out of Saturday's race due to the heat. That didn't stop the Tigers from putting on a textbook exhibition of pack running. Sophomore Morgan Kelly led the Tiger girls, placing ninth.
The challenge was clear for the New Richmond girls tennis team in its home quad meet on Saturday. With two Big Rivers Conference opponents and one of the best Division 2 teams in western Wisconsin coming to New Richmond, the Tigers knew they'd have to be at their best. They were too. The Tigers won all three of their matches, beating River Falls, Rice Lake and Altoona during Saturday's tournament. The Tigers opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over Rice Lake. That was followed by a 4-3 win over a tough Altoona squad.
Two outstanding quarters produced the first win of the 2009 season for the New Richmond varsity football team on Friday. The Tigers started fast, jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game. After being outplayed in the second and third quarters, the Tigers thrilled their fans with an exciting comeback. The Tigers scored twice in the final six minutes of the game to win at Durand, 28-21. This Friday the Tigers will try to start a winning streak. Friday is New Richmond's Homecoming game.
Time is running out for any team to catch St. Croix Falls in the Middle Border Conference girls golf race. The Saints earned another MBC match win on Monday, shooting a 176 to finish four strokes ahead of New Richmond. The Tigers' second place finish them pulls them up into a second place tie with Osceola in the conference standings. Monday's win gave St. Croix Falls an eight-point lead in the MBC standings. That's an almost insurmountable lead.
Now this is what the St. Croix Central football team was expecting from itself this season. The Panthers went to Cameron and put together an incredible first half on Friday. They led 43-0 by halftime and finished the night with a 43-14 win in the non-conference game. This was the ideal game for the Panthers after a crushing 6-0 loss at Boyceville that caused the team to do a great deal of soul searching. After looking inward, the Panthers put out a big effort at Cameron. The offense chewed up the turf in big chunks, gaining more than 350 yards.
A team with any hopes of winning the Middle Border Conference volleyball title knows that Osceola is the king of the hill in the MBC. Osceola had a run of seven straight MBC championships before the Chieftains were upended by Prescott for the 2008 title. Somerset has never beaten Osceola in an MBC match since Somerset joined the conference in 2003.
A proposal by Somerset teacher Lorri Baillargeon to raise taxes on the typical property in the Somerset School District by more than $200 was quickly voted down by the small crowd attending the 2009 school district annual meeting on Sept. 14. When the 2009 state budget was announced this summer, the school district found it had to deal with $550,000 less in state funding than district administration had anticipated. The school board has directed the administration to come back with a levy that will not increase taxes when the school district budget will be finalized at its Oct.
"Traumatize The Tigers" is the theme for the 2009 Homecoming Week at Somerset High School. The Spartans will be tangling with New Richmond in the 2009 Homecoming football game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. The Homecoming King candidates are Clayton Cloutier, DJ Devan, James Duggan, Ryan Irwin, Rocky Larson, Michael Rivard, Matt Sahnow, Mike Wedig and Rob Wendt.
Just how well the New Richmond cross country program is flourishing was shown in last Thursday's New Richmond Invitational. New Richmond's girls were varsity champions of the meet. New Richmond won both halves of the junior varsity meet. And the Tiger varsity boys, expected to be in a rebuilding mode this season, took second place and were nine points behind the meet champions. With this being the only varsity meet in New Richmond this season, it was the one chance for the Tiger seniors to shine.