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 girls basketball teams from Somerset and Osceola are similar in many ways. In the first meeting between the two rivals, Somerset's girls showed they were just a bit better in several of the ways where the teams are similar. Those differences were enough to carry the Spartans to a 51-45 win in Osceola last Thursday. With the wins, the Spartans stand alone in second place in the Middle Border Conference, with one loss. Durand stands alone at the top of the MBC. Somerset and Osceola are both teams that usually play the full-court game well.
Many of LeRoy "Lee" Meyer's closest friends did not know that he served in the Vietnam War. And of those who did know, most had never heard him speak of the nearly nine months that he spent in Vietnam, at the height of the Vietnam War. It was met by almost universal surprise by everyone who knows Meyer that he wrote a book on his experiences in the Vietnam War. Meyer chose to keep the book directly focused on the events he experienced as part of the Black Lion Infantry Division.
Somerset's Mitch Grahovac was one of the surprises of the 2006 Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational, beating three strong opponents to advance to the championship match at 140 pounds. The Spartans competed in the 2006 Northern Badger last Thursday and Friday, which was held at River Falls High School. Grahovac was beaten by Cody Capra of Cumberland in the 140-pound championship match, but you can bet that Grahovac had a good scouting report on the match.
New Richmond's Israel Neumann earned the 189-pound championship as the Tigers performed well in the 2006 Bi-State Classic Wrestling Tournament, held at UW-La Crosse. There were 54 teams competing in this year's Bi-State and it was one of the deepest fields ever at the tournament. Neumann's win at 189 pounds is an example. There were 14 wrestlers in the bracket who started the tournament with one loss or less. Neumann was seeded first in the 189-pound bracket, based upon his third place finish there in last year's Bi-State. Neumann, now 21-0, pinned his way to the semifinals.
Five St. Croix Central wrestlers were able to place among the top 12 wrestlers in their weight classes in the 2006 Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational, held last Thursday and Friday at River Falls High School. Senior Curtis Hinkel was the top finisher for the Panthers, placing fourth at 125 pounds in his first action of the season.
Alex Sullivan's three-pointer with 32 seconds left decided a distinctly defensive game last Friday, as Somerset's boys basketball team topped St. Croix Central, 38-36. It was fitting that a three-pointer swung the final result in Somerset's favor, because outside shooting was one of the main weapons for the Spartans. Somerset led at halftime in the game 22-18, with 15 of those 22 points coming from five three-pointers.
Mallory Rorabeck is the only senior on the Somerset girls basketball team. When the Spartans were struggling in their game last Thursday at Glenwood City, it was Rorabeck who provided the leadership to get the Spartans back on course. Glenwood City had cut Somerset's early double-digit lead down to three points in the third quarter. That's when Rorabeck got the Spartans' offense back on track.
For students looking to start a career in a woodworking industry, they can get a jump start on their career in high school. Somerset High School has become part of the WoodLinks Certification program, where students can get an early start in a wood product-related profession. Somerset technology education teacher Mark Barron got the school involved through the state technology educators association. "The sole purpose is the woodworking industry needs to retain quality workers," said Barron. He said by involving high school teachers, the industry leaders can let students know what they are
Kelly Shilts has established himself as a formidable straight-line snowmobile racer, racing all around the nation. Whether it's racing on a dirt track or on ice, Shilts has become one of the top competitors in the National Straightline Racing Association (NSRA). Shilts, 30, has been racing nationally for the past 10 years. He is consistently been among the national leaders, whether it is during dirt track or ice track seasons. The dirt track season runs every weekend from mid-August through November.
Digging a three-goal hole isn't a pattern the New Richmond boys hockey team wants to continue to do. At Hayward the Tigers outshot the Hurricanes 47-23. But a shaky first period left the Tigers facing a three-goal deficit. They were never able to overcome their slow start, losing at Hayward 4-2. "We dug ourselves into a hole by being unprepared mentally," said Tiger coach Adam Swanda.