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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Cold, wet conditions didn't seem to bother the New Richmond boys tennis team last Thursday. The Tigers were able to put up plenty of offensive pressure against Eau Claire North and they were able to finish off those scoring chances, winning 4-1. Leading scorer Brian Figueroa led the Tigers with three goals in the game. Jordan Anderson also put one shot in the net in the first half of the game. Tiger coach Pete Melloy said the team played well in the game, "but we're still a work in progress," he said. The Tiger lineup was back at full strength last week.
Jeff Kanewischer has been hired as the new girls varsity basketball coach at New Richmond High School. Kanewischer has a strong basketball background. He coached two years in the system at the University of Great Falls in Montana. Last year he was a freshman coach at Goldendale High School in Washington State. Pronounced can-a-wish-er, the new Tiger coach is a newlywed. He married the former Erica Weekes, a Hudson native, in August. That's what brought Kanewischer to this area.
Nothing has been more difficult for the St. Croix Central football team in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play than beating Elk Mound. For the first time in 10 years the Panthers were able to knock off the Mounders, winning at Central last Friday by a 20-6 score. For several of those 10 years the two teams didn't meet because Elk Mound was in the small school division of the conference and Central was in the large school division, but their rivalry didn't lessen in the years they were apart. Central and Spring Valley now share the lead in the D-SC football standings with 2-0 records.
Somerset volleyball coach Sara Eichten hardly had any voice left after watching the Spartans play in Saturday's Osceola Invitational. She wasn't hoarse from yelling. She was hoarse from cheering. The Spartans won all five of their matches in the tournament, including delivering Osceola's first loss of the season, to take the championship in the tournament. Somerset's Mallory Rorabeck and Megan Plourde were named to the all-tournament team. In four of the five matches the Spartans played, they lost one game.
Tuesday's showdown between New Richmond and Osceola for the Middle Border Conference girls tennis regular season title was set up when the Tigers defeated Durand and Baldwin-Woodville last week. Osceola went into Tuesday's match with an undefeated MBC record. The Tigers' only MBC loss came in their opening match of the season, at Unity. After the match with Osceola, the Tigers will be able to take a well-deserved rest.
The Somerset-New Richmond football showdown last Friday was decided before New Richmond's offense ever touched the ball. Somerset took a 14-0 lead in the first 4:24 of the game and New Richmond was never able to get the lead down to single figures. Somerset rolled to a 40-14 win to stay in a tie for the Middle Border Conference lead. Somerset senior fullback Jake Asp was unstoppable in Friday's game.
This is the kind of game the New Richmond football team would have lost in recent seasons. Instead, every time it appeared that Prescott was going to come up with the go-ahead score, the Tiger defense found a way to stop the Cardinals. That resulted in New Richmond winning 10-6 at Prescott last Friday in the opening game of the Middle Border Conference season for both teams. The pivotal statistic that weighed in the Tigers' favor was interceptions.
In the first two games of the season, the Somerset football team's offense consisted mainly of blasting fullback Jake Asp into the middle of the line. In Friday's 52-21 win at Baldwin-Woodville, the Spartans proved that they have many more facets to their offense. The running of halfbacks Evan Kowalski and Alex Sullivan and quarterback Justin Trautmiller proved to be significant weapons as the Spartans rolled up 385 yards on the ground in this game. Kowalski and Sullivan rushed for 222 yards on 11 carries, averaging over 20 yards per carry between them.
The New Richmond Invitational was the first meeting this season between all eight Middle Border Conference cross country teams and it proved to be an enlightening meet for all teams involved. For the New Richmond teams, the news was largely quite good. The Tiger boys ranked second overall and were first among the eight MBC teams. New Richmond's Zach Johnson was the individual champion, the first race victory of his career. The Tiger girls were fifth overall and fourth among the MBC teams.
The wins are starting to pile up for the New Richmond boys soccer team. The Tiger boys rang up three wins last week, beating Hayward, Cumberland and the Hudson JV team. The week started with a 5-0 win over Hayward last Tuesday. The Tigers then beat Cumberland 3-1 on Thursday before finishing the week with a 1-0 win at Hudson on Saturday. The win over Hayward is a good measuring stick of how far the Tigers have come in one season. Last year the Tigers played evenly with Hayward.