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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From the start, there was no stopping the Somerset girls basketball team. In last Tuesday's season opener the Spartans decided the game quickly. They jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter against Bloomer. There was no catching the Spartans, who rolled to a 64-32 road victory in the non-conference game. Bloomer played a man-to-man defense in the first half. That was the perfect opportunity for the Spartans to show what their new offense can do. This offense gives the Spartans the chance to isolate a player against one defender and then beat them on the dribble to the basket.
Willis Miller, the dean of newspapermen in western Wisconsin died last week. He had been involved in the business for 68 years and was still actively involved daily in the Hudson-Star Observer when he died at the age of 89. There is a sense of awe among other newspaper people in hearing about Willis' longevity. This weekend I'll be marking 20 years at The News. I feel like I should still be considered a cub reporter when I look at all that Willis accomplished. Once you get in this business, you can understand why some people might stay involved for 68 years.
The Somerset boys soccer program will be a varsity team beginning in the 2009-10 school year. The Somerset Board of Education voted to accept the club soccer program's application to become a varsity team at the Board's Nov. 17 meeting. "The Board saw that it's an up and coming sport," District administrator Randy Rosburg said on the decision to unanimously approve the new sport. The booming interest in soccer within the community was a big reason behind the Board's decision. It was less than 10 years ago that soccer was first introduced into the Somerset community.
A monument put in place at the Somerset American Legion Post 111 last week was created to honor servicemen from all branches of the military. The idea for the monument came from Somerset Legion member Lee Meyer. There are plans in motion to hold a dedication ceremony for the momument on Memorial Day, 2009. The limestone monument was created by Gary Stelter of Rivard Stone in rural Somerset. The stone for the monument came from the Rivard Stone quarry. The monument contains nine military pictures.
Helping students with special needs to become more self reliant is the idea behind the Dog Treats Project in the Somerset school special education department. The project has quickly become successful in several ways. It has helped the students gain responsibility by doing all of the steps in the production of the dog treats.
Heidi Olson's kindergarten class has gotten the rare opportunity to brighten the Christmas season for thousands of people. And they will be doing it two ways. The Somerset Elementary School class will be one of 17 acts that performs on the holiday CD "Christmas Jam." The initial release of 5,000 copies of the CD is planned for Dec. 1. All funds raised by the sale of the CD will go to area food shelves. The CD was done at Ramblin Ranch recording studio in rural Osceola.
Religion and sports. They are a combination of images that are rarely meshed together. There is one organization that has successfully been able to blend the ideals of religion and sports. That organization is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). An FCA chapter has been started at New Richmond High School, with Tiger football coach Jason Eckert as the advisor. Eckert was the advisor for an FCA chapter at Colfax High School before being hired in New Richmond this summer. Eckert said there are chapters in the Hudson and Eau Claire high schools.
The surprise second place finish by the St. Croix Central football team this fall resulted in 10 Panthers being selected for the 2008 Dunn-St. Croix Conference Football Team. Four Panthers were named to the all-conference first team. On offense, quarterback Andrew Thomley was the only Panther named to the first team. Named to the first team on defense were senior Jesse Krizan and juniors Luke Brown and Cody Olson. The Panthers took seven spots on the all-conference second team. Seniors Brian Poulin and Jake Rock and junior Brian Aldworth were picked for the second team defense.
Ayla Mitchell has won some big races in her career, but this might rank as the biggest. So far that is. On Saturday, Mitchell won the NCAA Division III Cross Country Regional Meet, finishing first among 292 collegiate runners. The meet was held at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Ill. Mitchell is a New Richmond native who runs for UW-Oshkosh. Mitchell and her teammates will be competing in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Nov. 22 in Hanover, Ind.
A trio of Somerset players has been named to the 2008 Northwest All-Region Football Team. Somerset seniors Bryan Witzmann and Darrin Emmeck and sophomore Eric Walczak received all-district honors. Witzmann was one of three players who was named all-district for offense and defense.