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 New Richmond football players played with their hearts on their sleeves on Friday. Many of the Tiger players had their arms taped for the game. Written on the tape was "21." This was done in honor of former teammate Ross Anderson, who wore #21 the past few seasons. Anderson died the day before from injuries suffered in a car accident. Anderson graduated in 2003 and had been the starting halfback for the previous two seasons. The Tigers played with a great deal of emotion.
The football playoffs start early for the St. Croix Central football team. The Panthers are viewing this Thursday's game at Mondovi as their first playoff game. If the Panthers beat Mondovi, they lock up a place in the WIAA football playoffs. If Central loses at Mondovi, they won't be playing in the playoffs this season. Central's boys put themselves in a position to think about the playoffs by bouncing Colfax 27-14 last Friday. Both teams entered the game with 2-3 records in the Dunn-St.
The Middle Border Conference football race was thrown into a three-way tie last Thursday. That's because Osceola knocked off previously unbeaten Somerset, 32-20. Somerset, Osceola and Amery are all tied at 4-1 atop the MBC with two games left to play. Somerset will play at home this Friday against winless Baldwin-Woodville. The Spartans wrap up the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 23 with a home game against New Richmond.
The Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet is this Thursday in Durand. The last chance for most of the MBC teams to get an idea of where they stand was in the Amery Invitational, held last Tuesday. The results were encouraging for both New Richmond teams. The Tiger girls were second in the meet and the Tiger boys were fourth, but second among the MBC schools running in the meet. Somerset's girls finished fifth in the meet, while the Spartan boys placed eighth. For New Richmond girls, the meet showed them that they can compete for the MBC title.
The New Richmond girls tennis team put together one of the most devastating performances ever at tennis sectional in this area when they rolled to the 2003 WIAA New Richmond Division 2 sectional championship last Thursday. The Tigers held a two-point lead heading into Thursday's sectional meet. By the end of the meet the Tigers had built up a 20-point lead over second place Medford. With their team championship, the Tigers qualify for the WIAA Division 2 Girls State Team Tournament, which will be played at Nielsen Stadium in Madison on Oct.
There's no more room for losses. St. Croix Central needs to wins its final two regular season games, or its 2003 season is done. With wins in those final two games, the Panthers would qualify for the WIAA state football playoffs. This Friday the Panthers will play at home against Colfax. The following Thursday the Panthers will complete their regular season slate with a game at Mondovi. Colfax is in the exact same situation as Central, needing to win its final two games to advance to the playoffs. "Our season boils down to two games," said Panther coach Tony DiSalvo.
Illness. Injuries. Accidents. Suspensions. The New Richmond football team had a majority of new starters after the team was decimated by misfortune in the week leading up to last Friday's game at Ellsworth. And while the Tigers came out on the losing end of a 10-7 score to a formidable Panther team, Tiger coach Jeff Albarado was calling this "our best team effort." The misfortune really is a two-week pattern, when two seniors were suspended. Last week the Tigers saw starters out with illness and injuries.
When a team has more turnovers than points, you can immediately mark the game in the "bad night" category. The bad night put a big hole in St. Croix Central's football playoff hopes. Playing in their Homecoming game last Friday, the Panthers turned the ball over eight times against winless Boyceville. And now Boyceville is no longer winless, beating the Panthers 14-7. Central plays at Elk Mound this Wednesday, then plays Colfax and Mondovi in the final two rounds of the conference season.
The St. Croix Central and Somerset girls golf teams both have advanced to the WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament level. St. Croix Central's girls placed second at the WIAA Division 2 Amery Regional Tournament last Wednesday. Somerset's girls placed fourth. The top four teams at each regional advanced to the sectional level. Those two teams will be playing in the WIAA Division 2 Luck Sectional Tournament this Wednesday. Central qualified for sectionals by shooting a 436 score at the Amery regional.
The New Richmond girls tennis team moved one step closer to its ultimate goal Monday. The Tigers are the total points leader heading into Thursday's WIAA Division 2 New Richmond Tennis Sectional Tournament. New Richmond was the site for the tennis subsectional tournament on Monday. The Tigers amassed 22 points in the subsectional, giving them the leading point total heading into the sectional. The team with the highest point total at the end of the sectional qualifies for the WIAA Team State Tennis Tournament.