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 most successful season for the New Richmond wrestling team in the Middle Border Conference in many years was capped with one of the Tigers' best dual meet performances. In their final dual meet of the 2006-07 season, the Tigers thrashed Amery 61-10 in front of a Senior Night crowd last Thursday. The Tigers now have more than a week to prepare for this Saturday's Middle Border Conference Tournament, which will be held at Prescott High School. The Tigers finished the MBC dual season with a 6-1 record.
The high hopes of the Somerset girls basketball team for the Middle Border Conference season vanished last week. The Spartans went from serious contenders for the conference title to a team that will have to fight to hang on to second place in the conference standings. Last Saturday's game at Durand was supposed to be a showdown for the MBC leadership. But that plan was capsized when Baldwin-Woodville upset Somerset last Tuesday, 61-57.
The end to a decade of dominance over the Somerset hockey program was a bitter pill to swallow for the New Richmond boys hockey team last Thursday. After sweeping games with the Spartans for more than a decade, the Tiger boys lost at Somerset by a 2-1 score last Thursday. New Richmond coach Adam Swanda saw his team's record drop to 7-10 with the loss. Swanda was angry over the lack of spark the Tigers showed in the offensive end of the rink. "Everyone was waiting around for someone else to do the job," Swanda said.
A Director of Pupil Services position has been created for the Somerset Board of Education. This will be a 100 percent position in the school district. It is an expanded position, taking the place of the Special Education director position, which has been a 60 percent position that the school district hired through CESA 11. The new position was approved at the Board of Education's Jan. 15 meeting.
For several months, students at the Somerset Elementary School have anxiously been awaiting snow. They weren't just waiting for snow in the air, but they've had a prolonged wait for there to be enough snow on the ground so they could try snowshoeing. Elementary health care provider Chuck Ennis and elementary guidance counselor Penny Deakin came up with the idea to offer snowshoeing as an option to keep students active in the winter. The plan had been to get the students out using the snowshoes for much of December.
The New Richmond boys hockey team took on the top-ranked team in the state last Thursday and the Tigers nearly knocked off Eau Claire Memorial, losing 3-2. Then just when it looked like the Tigers had turned the corner to being a top level team, they took a huge step backward on Saturday. Playing at home against Hudson, the Tigers were thoroughly beaten at both ends of the ice in a 2-0 loss to the Raiders. Thursday's game against Memorial justifiably raised everyone's hopes. The Tigers fell behind 3-0, but kept putting on pressure.
An overtime win, a tie, and a loss where they outshot their opponent 46-25 shows the progress the Somerset boys hockey players are making. The overtime win came last Tuesday against Menomonie by a 4-3 score. It took a large comeback, after the Spartans fell behind 3-0 in the game. Somerset started sluggishly in the game and Menomonie was able to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the second period. The Spartans then seemed to find their intensity and this game switched completely. Suddenly all the action was happening in the Menomonie end of the rink.
Teams in the Middle Border Conference are finding, that if you are going to beat the Prescott boys basketball team, you'll have to match the Cardinals' patience. The New Richmond boys couldn't quite do that. In the battle for second place in the MBC, New Richmond's boys fell to the Cardinals 45-43 last Thursday. At the midway point in the MBC season the Tigers have a 5-2 record. They stand two games behind MBC-leading Baldwin-Woodville. Thursday's game was close the entire way.
The New Richmond wrestling team got their fill of seconds at the Shell Lake Invitational on Saturday. That had nothing to do with eating however. The Tigers finished second in the team competition and had six wrestlers finish in second place in their weight class at the tournament. The Tigers didn't have any champions at the tournament. The marquee match of the tournament resulted in New Richmond senior Israel Neumann taking his first loss of the season. Neumann entered the final round of the tournament with a 33-0 record.
The showdown is set for the lead in the Middle Border Conference for girls basketball. This Saturday Somerset plays at Durand. Somerset starts this week with one MBC loss, while Durand has yet to lose in conference play. Durand has another tough assignment to worry about before facing the Spartans. On Thursday, Durand has to play at third place Amery, the only team that has delivered a conference loss to Somerset. Somerset is now 11-1 after two decisive road wins last week. On Friday the Spartans went to Ellsworth, winning by a 67-46 score.