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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Throughout the season, any obstacles or problems faced by the New Richmond girls cross country team were handled so smoothly that there was no hint there was a ever problem. That was the case again at the 2008 WIAA State Cross Country Championships in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday. There was a possibility that two of the team's leading runners would not be able to run at state because of health issues that kept them out of practice all week. Even when it was decided those two girls would run, the rest of the Tigers knew they would need to throttle up their performance.
The plan that worked for the Somerset football team in its first matchup with Baldwin-Woodville came back to bite the Spartans in the second round of WIAA Division 4 tournament play on Saturday. When the two teams met in the final game of the regular season, the Spartans used a stunting defensive front to shut down Baldwin-Woodville's running game. On Saturday the tables were turned. It was B-W that was using the stunting defenses and it shut down Somerset's running game. The Spartans were held to 75 yards rushing and were beaten by the Blackhawks 19-0. The loss ends Somerset's season.
There are athletes that emerge every year and become forces within their sport. Somerset sophomore Monica Emerson is a prime example. In her first year of competing in cross country, Emerson qualified for the 2008 WIAA State Cross Country Championships that were held on Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. Emerson continued to advance her skills, placing 70th among 152 runners in the girls Division 2 state race. The Middle Border Conference girls gave an outstanding showing at the state meet and Emerson was part of that success.
Pancake is a football term where one player barrels over an opponent, knocking them flat as a pancake. The Somerset football team collected a team pancake by pounding St. Croix Central 43-0 in the opening round of WIAA Division 4 tournament action last Tuesday. Both teams ended the game with 7-3 records. It was Somerset's seventh consecutive win. The loss stopped Central's five-game winning streak. The difference in the game early on was the two teams' ability to finish drives. Twice in the first quarter, Central drove inside the Somerset 25-yard line.
Students at Somerset High School will soon be able to take online classes. The School District is becoming involved with the Wisconsin Virtual School, which is a clearinghouse for online classes in the state. Two sessions were held at the High School on Oct. 16 to introduce students to online options that will soon be available to them. Making the presentation was Dawn Nordine, director of the Wisconsin Virtual School. Somerset students can begin taking classes through the Wisconsin Virtual School in the second term of the school year, which begins on Nov. 4.
The season of firsts for the St. Croix Central boys cross country team continued when the Panthers won the championship in the 2008 Unity Division 2 Cross Country Sectional Meet on Friday. This means the Panthers will be competing at the WIAA State Meet for the first time this Saturday. Central senior Steve Zerwas was the first Panther boy to run at the state meet when he competed there last year. The state meet will be run at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday. The Division 2 boys meet will begin at 10:40 a.m.
Running as a team has been the motto of the New Richmond cross country teams and that was never more evident than at the 2008 WIAA Division 2 Unity Sectional Meet on Friday. New Richmond's girls team was able to repeat as sectional champions and the Tiger boys were able to qualify two individuals for state during Friday's sectional meet. The Tiger runners advance to the 2008 WIAA State Cross Country Championships, which will be held at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids this Saturday. New Richmond's girls won the sectional championship by scoring 74 points.
The championships have become a tradition for the Somerset football team. The Spartans earned their fifth Middle Border Conference championship in the past six years when they upended previously unbeaten Baldwin-Woodville by a 22-14 score last Thursday. A conference championship appeared to be a remote possibility when the Spartans started the season with three losses. Under the team's veteran coaching staff, the Spartans abruptly and completely turned their season around.
The New Richmond boys soccer team upset River Falls in a shootout in the opening round of WIAA Division 1 regional tournament play on Thursday. This is the first win in WIAA tournament play for the Tigers since they became a varsity team. That win put the Tigers into the regional finals against number one seed Hudson on Saturday. The Raiders showed why they were the top seed in the area, overwhelming the Tigers 5-0. Eau Claire Memorial topped Eau Claire North in the other regional final game in Hudson on Saturday.
Eight seconds. That's how much time was left on the clock when the New Richmond football team saw its hope of reaching the 2008 WIAA State Playoffs snuffed out by the Amery Warriors last Thursday. New Richmond scored five minutes into Thursday's game and the Tigers led the rest of the night, until the fateful final drive. Amery drove 93 yards in the final three minutes, scoring with eight seconds left on the clock, to beat the Tigers 25-20. The Tigers and Warriors finish the season with 3-4 records in the Middle Border Conference.