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 Somerset boys track team earned its first win of the spring last Tuesday, in the Spartans final indoor meet of the 2007. Somerset's boys won an indoor meet at UW-River Falls, beating Ellsworth and Mondovi. Somerset's girls placed second in the meet, finishing behind Ellsworth. In recent years, building strong relay teams was a focus of the Spartan boys team.
The New Richmond girls soccer team may only be in its second year as a varsity program, but the Tigers have already developed a fierce rivalry with their opponents from Amery. The Tigers and Amery played two close games last year. That pattern continued last Thursday, when the first game between New Richmond and Amery stretched into nearly two full overtime periods. Amery scored with just under two minutes remaining in the second overtime to beat the Tigers 2-1.
The Somerset girls track team made a substantial impact in the UW-River Falls All-American Indoor Track Meet on Saturday. Somerset took 11 girls to the meet. Those 11 girls were able to produce 44 points, placing the Spartans seventh among the 14 teams in the meet. Leading the Spartans was junior Megan Plourde. Plourde set a career best when she cleared 5-8 in the high jump, winning the event. Her previous high came when she won the state championship as a freshman with a leap of 5-7. "She started at 4-8 and you could see right away she was on," said Somerset coach Dave Praschak.
You could hardly ask for a better start than the opening week put together by the New Richmond girls soccer season. Last Friday the Tigers opened their season in Baldwin, pounding the B-W club team by a 6-0 score. On Monday the Tigers faced a more challenging opponent. Barron was a team the Tigers split with last season. This game followed that pattern, with the game tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Megan Plourde has made her decision. The highly recruited Somerset High School junior has verbally committed to accept a full scholarship from Colorado State University to play volleyball at CSU. Megan is the daughter of Dan and Kaatje Plourde of Somerset. Colorado State is a perennial power in the national volleyball scene. The Rams are coming off a season where they won their seventh Mountain West Conference Title, and made their 12th straight NCAA Division 1 tournament appearance.
It was a smooth start to the season for the St. Croix Central softball team on Monday. Strong pitching, sharp defense and timely offense resulted in the Panthers notching a 5-0 win over Glenwood City in Hammond. With a strong group of returning players, the Panthers looked like a poised team. Glenwood City threatened to score several times, but the Panthers came up with the key play to get out of the inning each time.
He fixes skinned knees with a pat on the head; He soothes hurt feelings with a smile; It's a bird, it's a plane, no ... It's Band-Aid Guy! To the more than 650 students at the Somerset Elementary School, Chuck Ennis is known as "Band-Aid Guy." Ennis has served as the health care provider at the Elementary School the past eight years. With the scrapes and bumps that children get, the elementary health care office is like a merry-go-round of children coming through the office. Ennis said he averages treating 1,200 children a month.
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.
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.
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.