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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Rick Montreal said all the right things after being hired as the varsity boys basketball coach in New Richmond last week. After going through five coaches in five years, the best thing Montreal could say is that he plans to stop the coaching merry-go-round. "One of the first things I'm going to tell the kids is I'm going to be there a while. The kids need to know I'm there to build something," Montreal said in a phone conversation from his Rhinelander home last week. Montreal spent the last three years teaching and coaching in Rhinelander.
A total of $200,000 will be wiped off the Somerset tax levy over the next 13 years after the Somerset Board of Education approved the refinancing of the remaining debt on the Somerset Elementary School. The school board voted to refinance the bonds on the elementary school, which will now stand at $4.58 million in debt on the building. The convergence of two factors helped the school save this money.
One of the goals set by the New Richmond baseball team is to reach the 20-win milestone. The Tigers were able to reach that win total last week. The Tigers ended their regular season with wins over Frederic and the Amery Legion team. The Tigers now have a 20-5 record and finish second in the Middle Border Conference with a 12-2 record. This week the Tigers started WIAA tournament play. On Tuesday they were scheduled to host Unity in a regional final game.
Many of the New Richmond varsity baseball players had never seen coach John Ball get mad. So when Ball got upset and started yelling at his players in the dugout between innings during this weekend's tournament in Cumberland, the message got across. The Tigers throttled up their play, winning all three of their games to take the tournament championship. While there are coaches in the area who yell and scream on a nightly basis, Ball's style is more of a calm method of teaching.
The hopes of a state playoff berth remain alive for the New Richmond Millers. The Millers kept those hopes alive with a sterling performance Saturday night, beating Hudson 3-1. It took outstanding pitching from Tim Brown and Luke Meier for the Millers to win Saturday. Brown and Meier combined to throw a two-hitter in the win. The Millers were facing Hudson's top hurler, Paul Johnson, who pitches at St. Olaf College. The Millers couldn't do anything against Johnson for the first seven innings of the game.
The hopes of a Middle Border Conference championship were buried during the first four innings of last Thursday's showdown with Ellsworth. The Tigers dug themselves a 7-1 hole in those early innings. They made a hearty comeback, but fell short in an 8-7 loss to Ellsworth. This locks up the MBC title for Ellsworth. It is the first non-wrestling boys sports title won by an Ellsworth team in the MBC since 1999. Neither team played well in the field in this game. The Tigers committed seven errors, six of them coming in the first four innings.
Somerset High School standout hockey player Brock Montpetit has verbally committed to play for the University of Wisconsin men's program. Montpetit accepted the commitment offer from the Badgers last Tuesday. Montpetit has played the past two years at Somerset High School, leading the state in scoring as a sophomore. Tuesday was the first time the Badgers had made the offer to Montpetit and he jumped at the chance to play with the team he's been following for most of his life. This fall, Montpetit will be attending school in Faribault, Minn. at Shattuck-St. Mary's School.
It was do-or-die for the New Richmond and Somerset baseball teams last Thursday. Both teams knew the losing team would see their chances of a Middle Border Conference championship all but disappear. It was New Richmond that kept its hopes of an MBC championship alive, with an 8-1 win over Somerset. With the win, New Richmond remains one game behind undefeated Ellsworth in the conference standings.
Freshman Nick Widing twirled a three-hitter to lead Somerset's baseball team to a 3-2 win over Frederic last Tuesday. Widing pitched the complete game for the Spartans. At times he clearly overpowered Frederic's hitters.
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.