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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There were several Middle Border Conference football teams that put together overpowering efforts in the second half of their games last Friday. No team changed the complexion of their game in the second half more than the Somerset Spartans. Osceola was ahead of Somerset 14-8 at halftime of Friday's game. The Spartans then outscored Osceola 30-0 in the second half to record a 38-14 win. With the win, the Spartans are 2-0 in MBC action and 4-0 overall. The Spartans will be playing at home this Friday in hopes of bringing their record to 5-0.
The New Richmond girls tennis team is closing in on winning the 2007 Middle Border Conference dual meet championship. The Tigers defeated Durand 6-1 on Monday to take a commanding lead in the conference race. The Tigers were scheduled to wrap up the MBC dual meet season with matches Tuesday against Unity and Thursday at Amery. The next stop for the Tigers would then be the Middle Border Conference tournament. This year's tournament will be played next Tuesday at Osceola. Durand came into Monday's match with a 4-1 conference record and a reputation for having a strong singles lineup.
A preliminary tax levy of $7.8 million was approved by Somerset School District residents at the District's 2007 annual meeting, held on Sept. 10. In a meeting that lasted just over 40 minutes, approximately 20 people were in attendance. Nearly all those attending the meeting were District employees or school Board members. The entire school District budget for the 2007-08 school year is projected at $14.8 million. The tax levy will be finalized at a district Board meeting in late October.
Osceola's vaunted running game lit up New Richmond's defense like a Christmas tree during last Friday's 41-13 Tiger loss at Osceola. Osceola's standout tandem of running backs, Jerrod Tarman and Tyler Traynor, rushed for more than 400 yards in destroying the Tigers. Tarman and Traynor combined for six touchdowns, five of them coming from 42 yards or longer. The Tigers will try to rebound this Friday when they play their Homecoming game. Baldwin-Woodville will be the opponent in this year's Homecoming game, which begins at 7 p.m.
"You score, you win. It's as simple as that." That's what Somerset football Coach Bruce Larson yelled to his offense with four minutes remaining in Friday's Middle Border Conference opener with Durand. The Spartans trailed 27-22 with 4:16 left in the game after Durand had just scored to take the lead. The Spartans clicked with high efficiency on their final drive, covering 56 yards in nine plays to get the go-ahead touchdown. Tony Martin's third touchdown of the game put Somerset in front 28-27 with 1:11 left on the clock. Durand then tried four passing plays.
Last Thursday was a banner day for the New Richmond cross country teams. The Tiger varsity teams swept the team championships in the 2007 New Richmond Cross Country Invitational. New Richmond's girls had a close battle with Amery for the team title. The Tigers won the meet with 60 points, with Amery garnering 66 points. New Richmond and Amery were also the top two teams in the boys race. New Richmond, with three of the top five runners, finished with 47 points. Amery took second place with 77 points. New Richmond senior Zach Johnson was the boys meet champion in a time of 17:46.
The Somerset volleyball team is starting to live with the fact that opponents are targeting them. In some ways, it's a measure of respect. Opponents expect the Spartans to be strong this year, so they want to play their best volleyball against the Somerset girls. The Spartans found that out when they played in a quad meet at Hudson last Tuesday. The Spartans faced three opponents, all of them fired up to knock off Somerset's girls. One team was able to do it too. Hudson, which the Spartans had beaten three days earlier, was able to beat Somerset this time around.
The New Richmond volleyball team gave an outstanding effort when it faced Somerset in the opening round of the quadrangular meet held at Hudson last Tuesday. The Tigers weren't able to maintain that level of play in the their final two matches of the tournament however. The match against Somerset was probably the Tigers' best showing so far this season. Somerset won the opening game 25-23. The Tigers came right back to take the second game 26-24. Somerset won the match by taking the third game 15-9. "All the elements were there," said Tiger Coach Becky Ahlbrecht.
Just because the New Richmond boys soccer team has started the season with three straight wins, doesn't mean the team can't get better. In an attempt to better utilize the team's veteran players, Tiger Coach Pete Melloy unveiled several lineup changes in last Tuesday's game at Hudson. The Tigers were able to score a 4-2 win in the game, their third win of the season. The Tigers were scheduled to play Hudson's JV team in this game.
The Somerset football team starts the 2007 Middle Border Conference season looking to regain the MBC title that it lost in 2006. The Spartans had been MBC champs three years straight until last season. Getting that title back is clearly a focus for the Spartans. From the play in their two pre-season games, the Spartans showed they will be one of the contenders for this year's MBC title. After starting the season with a 22-6 win over Hudson, the Spartans went to Delano, Minn. on Friday and earned a 30-20 win. This Friday the Spartans begin their 2007 MBC schedule.