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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It's hard to imagine a more painful way of losing a conference championship. First, the St. Croix Central wrestling team was told it had won the Dunn-St. Croix Conference championship. After a full-scale celebration, with the Panthers believing they had won the first conference title since 1993, an error was found in the scoring. The WIAA rule manual had to be consulted on how to break a tie. It wasn't until the sixth criteria that a method could be found to break the tie. And this time, the tie-break went against Central.
Senior Mitch Grahovac and sophomore Darrin Emmeck each took second place in their weight classes as the top finishers for the Somerset wrestling team in the 2007 Middle Border Conference tournament. The MBC meet was wrestled Saturday at Prescott High School. The Spartans had the least experienced team in the conference this season. They finished last among the eight teams in the tournament with 65 team points. Grahovac opened action in the 140-pound bracket with a 16-0 technical fall win over Jordan Jones of Baldwin-Woodville.
Add two more top finishes to the list of state-level successes for the New Richmond High School Dance Team. The Tiger dance team placed fourth in the kick competition and seventh in the pom competition at the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches State Championships, held on Saturday at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse. The Tigers' kick routine earned 442 points. Green Bay Southwest won the championship with 469 points, followed by Hudson with 461 points and West Allis Hale with 447 points.
The New Richmond boys remain the only team that has ever won a Middle Border Conference hockey championship. This is the fifth year of hockey in the MBC and New Richmond has won all five championships. They wrapped up the 2006-07 MBC championship last Thursday with a 5-2 win over Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers finish the MBC season with a 5-1 record. They enter this week with a 9-10 overall record. Last week started on an excellent note for the Tigers, when they beat River Falls 2-1 in overtime.
For the Somerset hockey team, there's been no greater obstacle, no tougher challenge, than playing New Richmond. Somerset had not beaten New Richmond since December 1996, a fact that the Somerset skaters have been brought up hearing about. But that losing streak is now a thing of the past. Last Thursday the Spartans scored twice in the second period and prevented New Richmond from getting many good scoring chances.
The New Richmond High School dance team swept the pom/dance and kick routine championships at the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches Western Division Championships, held last Saturday at Eau Claire North High School. By winning both of these regional titles, the Tigers have earned the right to compete at the WACPC State Dance Championships, which will be held this Saturday at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse. The Tiger dance team has built quite a tradition of success. They have competed at state several times in recent years.
The New Richmond boys basketball team hated to see January end. But February holds plenty of exciting possibilities for the Tigers. The Tigers had a 6-1 record in their seven games in January, including winning a pair of Middle Border Conference road games last week. The February schedule starts this Thursday, when the Tigers host MBC leading Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers are currently tied with Prescott for second place in the MBC, two games behind Baldwin-Woodville. For the Tigers to hold onto any hopes of winning a conference title, Thursday's game looms large.
The most successful season for the New Richmond wrestling team in the Middle Border Conference in many years was capped with one of the Tigers' best dual meet performances. In their final dual meet of the 2006-07 season, the Tigers thrashed Amery 61-10 in front of a Senior Night crowd last Thursday. The Tigers now have more than a week to prepare for this Saturday's Middle Border Conference Tournament, which will be held at Prescott High School. The Tigers finished the MBC dual season with a 6-1 record.
The high hopes of the Somerset girls basketball team for the Middle Border Conference season vanished last week. The Spartans went from serious contenders for the conference title to a team that will have to fight to hang on to second place in the conference standings. Last Saturday's game at Durand was supposed to be a showdown for the MBC leadership. But that plan was capsized when Baldwin-Woodville upset Somerset last Tuesday, 61-57.
The end to a decade of dominance over the Somerset hockey program was a bitter pill to swallow for the New Richmond boys hockey team last Thursday. After sweeping games with the Spartans for more than a decade, the Tiger boys lost at Somerset by a 2-1 score last Thursday. New Richmond coach Adam Swanda saw his team's record drop to 7-10 with the loss. Swanda was angry over the lack of spark the Tigers showed in the offensive end of the rink. "Everyone was waiting around for someone else to do the job," Swanda said.