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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Both Somerset track teams finished among the top three teams in their halves of the 2007 Amery Lions Track Invitational, held last Tuesday in Amery. Somerset's girls took second place among the 15 teams in the meet. The Spartan boys nearly matched that finish, placing third in this year's meet. Somerset's girls The Spartan girls finished one-half point ahead of Amery for second place in the meet. MBC rival Ellsworth won the meet. This was a meet where the Spartan girls took a step toward being healthier.
The Somerset baseball team was overdue for a big game and it arrived last Tuesday at Glenwood City. The Spartans pounded the ball all over the Glenwood City park, ringing up 18 hits to match their 18-run total. The final was 18-4, with the game ended after five innings on the 10-run rule. Three runs in the first inning got the Spartans rolling and they scored in each of the five innings. In the second and third innings they scored twice each inning, building a 7-0 lead. The only rocky stretch for the Spartans was the bottom of the third, when the Hilltoppers scored their four runs.
The New Richmond boys and girls track teams swept the championships at the 2007 Ellsworth Invitational last Friday in one of the most impressive combined performances in New Richmond track history. Coaches Roger Reuvers and Judy Weiss, who combined have more than 40 years experience coaching the Tigers, struggled to think of a time when both teams displayed this much firepower at one time. "It was the most unbelievable meet," Reuvers said.
There is a three-way tie at the top of the Middle Border Conference boys golf race as the teams make the turn into the May portion of the schedule. New Richmond and Amery tied for the top spot in a three-team MBC meet last Friday at Amery. With the tie, New Richmond and Amery each earn three points, giving them 35 team points in the conference standings. Durand also has 35 team points, meaning there's a three-way logjam at the top of the standings. Following them is a group battling for fourth place among the 12 teams in the MBC.
As the Middle Border Conference softball race reaches its midpoint, the New Richmond softball team remains unbeaten at the top of the conference. The Tigers scored a 12-1 win at Baldwin-Woodville, raising their record to 7-0 in the MBC. They hold a two-game lead over second place Somerset, who visits the Tigers for a game at Hatfield Park this Thursday. The Tigers and B-W were locked in a close battle for four innings Monday. The game was started in a pouring rain and Tiger pitcher Nikki Singerhouse uncharacteristically gave up three walks and a run in the first inning.
This week, the only thing that could stop the Somerset softball team was the weather. Whether it's a pitching battle or a slugfest, the Somerset softball team is finding ways to win its games. The Spartans won three straight games last week and were well on their way to a win on Monday against Prescott. That's when Mother Nature stepped in. With lightning strikes in the area, the game was called in the top of the fifth inning with the Spartans leading 14-5. Last Friday the Spartans won a pitchers duel against St. Croix Central, 3-2.
The St. Croix Central baseball team has some ground to make up in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference race. The best way to do that is beat the teams ahead of you and that's exactly what the Panthers did on Monday. Elk Mound had been unbeaten in the large school division of the D-SC until Monday, when Central took down the Mounders 8-2. The Panthers are now 4-3 in conference play and are justifying the confidence that Coach Mike Fern showed in them early in the season. "From where we started, we've improved in all areas," Fern said. "We're hitting the ball well.
One of the teams that most concerned the New Richmond boys tennis team this season was Baldwin-Woodville. So when the two teams met on Thursday on the B-W courts, one of the top spots in the Middle Border Conference was on the line. The Tigers were able to win three of the singles matches and one doubles match to carry a 4-3 win. The Tigers and B-W have two of the most experienced lineups in the conference and that played out in this match.
A 3-0 week has helped the Somerset girls soccer team get its record above the .500 level. The Spartans scored wins over Osceola, Spooner and Baldwin-Woodville during the week. The Spartans continue to play well in the defensive end, giving up one goal in the three games. Last Thursday the Spartans played at Osceola, in a battle for second place in the Middle Border Conference standings. The Spartans managed to notch a 2-0 win, raising their record to 2-1 in conference games. The first half of the game was scoreless and was evenly played.
"Keep Smiling." More than 1,000 people who took part in a series of fund-raisers for Monica (Walz) Jensen on Saturday were given that reminder throughout the day. The people who participated in the 5K walk/run, the golf tournament and the silent auction, plus dozens and dozens of volunteers and well wishers, made Saturday's events a fitting tribute to Jensen. Jensen lost her three-year battle with cancer nine days before the benefits were held.