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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A thoroughly dominating 33-13 win by the New Richmond football team over Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday gives the Tigers something they can build on for the 2007 season. The Tigers finish the 2006 season with a 3-6 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the Middle Border Conference. They finish sixth in the MBC, their highest finish in conference play since the Tigers went 3-4 in the MBC in 2003. It took a half for the Tiger offense to get clicking against B-W, but the Tiger defense was outstanding right from the start of Thursday's game.
With a conference championship no longer a possibility, the Somerset football team had one thing to play for in its game against Middle Border Conference champion Osceola last Thursday. One of the main sources of pride for the Spartans over the past five years has been their perfect record on their home field.
It was a tumultuous tournament season for the Somerset volleyball team. In the opening round of WIAA Division 2 regionals last Tuesday, the Spartans and New Richmond locked up in one of the most heart-pounding volleyball matches seen in the area in years. The match went five games, coming down to the final points, with Somerset pulling out the victory. That advanced Somerset into the second round of regionals against Ellsworth. Somerset was playing at home, by virtue of being seeded second in the regional. It was Ellsworth that looked at home on the Spartan court however.
A seventh seed is never expected to win when facing a second seed. So when the seventh-seeded New Richmond volleyball team went to Somerset to face the second-seeded Spartans, they knew they were underdogs.
The Somerset Board of Education, in a rare split vote, decided last Monday to keep the school tax mill rate for the 2006-07 school year at the same rate that it was the previous year. In making this decision, the school board turned down the possibility of adding $60,000 to its budget for the school year. The school board, which generally has most of its discussions completed before reaching its regular meetings, had definite mixed feelings about giving up the $60,000 from its budget. Board member Marie Colbeth made the proposal to maintain the mill rate at last year's level.
When a child is hospitalized at any of four area hospitals, they will be able to wrap up in a blanket created by students at the Somerset Middle School. Last Friday the Somerset Middle School held "The Linus Project," where students created blankets that will go to children in hospitals in Hudson, Stillwater, Osceola and St. Croix Falls. The students at the school completed 136 blankets. The project was wrapped up with a parade around the middle school gym, where the students could show off all the blankets that were made. The blanket project was started by teacher Dawn Schmidt.
The three-year reign of the Somerset football team as Middle Border Conference champions officially ended last Thursday night in Amery. The Spartans suffered their second conference loss of the season, losing 26-0 at Amery. With Osceola winning at Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday, it eliminated Somerset from the MBC race. Somerset had hoped this season to become the first MBC football team to win four straight undisputed conference championships. Somerset still has a chance to have a huge impact on which teams can be the 2006 MBC champion.
A win this Thursday against Glenwood City would lock up the first Dunn-St. Croix Conference football championship for the St. Croix Central football team since the Panthers' state championship season of 1988. This Thursday's game should be a barn burner. Central needs the win to get at least a share of the conference championship. A win would also greatly improve the Panthers' chances of getting a home game in the first round of the WIAA state football playoffs, which begin next Tuesday. Glenwood City also has a great deal riding on Thursday's game.
The New Richmond boys cross country team earned its third straight Middle Border Conference championship, winning the 2006 MBC race, held last Tuesday at Pheasant Hills Golf Club near Hammond. This is the fourth time in five years that the Tiger boys earned the MBC title. New Richmond's girls placed fourth at this year's MBC meet. The boys all-conference photo was a sea of black and orange as all five of the Tigers' lead runners earned all-MBC honors. New Richmond was led by junior Zach Johnson, who took second behind Osceola's Dale Dybvig.
For more than 40 years, Stan Barr has been one of the leaders in the sport of track in western Wisconsin, including serving 26 years as the head boys track coach at New Richmond High School. Next February, Barr will be honored for his efforts, as he will be enshrined into the Wisconsin Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Barr can claim many highlights in his track coaching career. He coached two state championship teams, at Mineral Point in 1961 and the New Richmond boys' state championship in 1982.