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 first time Rachel Poppy was invited to a lacrosse practice, she thought her friend was joking. She soon found out what lacrosse was about. And like many, she became hooked on what has become the fastest growing sport in America. Poppy said there are two groups of people, those who love lacrosse, and those who don't yet know about the sport. Poppy is a 2004 New Richmond High School graduate who attends Gustavus Adolphus College. Though she had never seen a lacrosse game before she went to college, Poppy started in the first game she ever played.
Even Mother Nature cooperated to help make the first New Richmond Millers Fathers' Day Tournament a success. The adult baseball tournament hosted by New Richmond's city team featured good baseball with good crowds for most of the games. The tournament started Friday night and finished early Sunday evening. The Stillwater Loggers were champions of the tournament, beating the Ellsworth Hubbers 7-0 in Sunday's championship game. New Richmond's team won once in its three games in the tournament. The Millers took over the tournament this year.
The Somerset baseball team was involved in two close finishes last week, winning one and suffering a heart-breaking loss in the other. The loss came last Thursday at Ellsworth. Somerset rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead. Ellsworth, the undefeated Middle Border Conference leader, then charged back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to topple the Spartans 7-6. The win came last Tuesday.
New Richmond pitcher Tyler Stoeklen threw the first no-hitter of his varsity baseball career last Thursday, silencing the Baldwin-Woodville offense in an 8-0 Tiger win. The win raises the Tigers' Middle Border Conference record to 5-1 for the season. Stoeklen mixed his fastball and sharp-breaking curveball well to keep the B-W hitters off stride. Stoeklen struck out 10 batters, walking three and hitting two Blackhawk batters with pitches. B-W never got a runner to third base in the game. "Tyler's becoming a pitcher, not a thrower," said New Richmond coach John Ball.
Somerset will be among the growing number of Wisconsin school districts to offer an alternative school. This fall, an alternative school will be part of the offerings at Somerset High School. An alternative school gives students who are at risk of not being able to graduate another option to receive a high school diploma. Somerset High School principal Lynn Hudnall said she hopes to have a teacher and assistant hired for the alternative school in the next few weeks.
One strike away. That's how close the New Richmond baseball team came to finishing off a 4-3 win over Ellsworth Monday night. But that final strike never arrived.
Both New Richmond and Somerset entered last Thursday's baseball showdown with spotless Middle Border Conference records. Somerset's record now looks like someone swatted a large bug on it. New Richmond climbed to 4-0 in the MBC, while delivering Somerset's first setback last Thursday.
Playing in the rain and mud at Citizens Field didn't seem to bother the New Richmond Millers at all last Friday. In fact, with these results, the Millers might become storm chasers to find more wet fields to play on. The Millers scored a 4-3 win in 10 innings over Bay City last Friday. It took outstanding pitching from Tim Brown and Matt Peterson to carry the Millers to the win. Brown pitched the first eight innings. He was at his top form again, limiting Bay City to three hits. Where Brown ran into problems was occasional wildness from trying to grip the wet ball.
Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema visited New Richmond during the past week. Killebrew, pictured above talking with the Bonde family from Red Wing, made a public appearance at Bernard's Northtown. Killebrew signed autographs for 200 people at the event. Bielema was in town for Monday's Northwest Badger Golf Classic. More than 80 golfers took part in the 14th annual tournament. Pictured in the group below (l-r) are Bob Dawson, Paul Kittel, Ron Carlson, Bielema, Bud Anderson and Diz Kronenberg.
One inning of defensive lapses proved to be the undoing of the New Richmond softball team in the 2006 WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament. New Richmond's sectional semifinal game with Rice Lake was tied 3-3 after the third inning. Rice Lake then took advantage of some indecision on the part of the Tiger defense in the fourth inning to score six runs.