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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St. Croix Central's trip to the 2008 WIAA State Baseball Championships was kept brief by Marathon last Wednesday. Central and Marathon squared off in the first of the two Division 3 state semifinal games. Central had many baserunners, especially early in the game, that it couldn't capitalize on. Marathon had chances that it did put to use, scoring six runs in the fifth and sixth innings, to beat Central 7-2. The loss leaves the Panthers with an 18-6 final record for the 2008 season. This was the first trip to state in baseball in school history for St.
The New Richmond Millers are trying to make some headway in trying to climb up the St. Croix Valley League standings. The Millers took a step forward when they defeated St. Croix Falls by a 9-5 count last Wednesday. But that step forward was neutralized when the Millers lost at Hudson on Sunday in a 7-2 setback. St. Croix Falls is a new addition to the SCVL and the Millers were able to pick up their second SCVL win against the new guys. Millers manager Mike Stephens elected to have this be the game where Logan Peterson received his first start for the Millers.
In many parts of the country American Legion baseball is as much a part of summer as green grass and sunshine. That has not been the case in much of western Wisconsin. It's begun creeping into the area in recent years, and this year New Richmond is fielding its first American Legion baseball team. New Richmond's Legion team played its first games last Friday. They took the field against Cumberland, in a double-header at New Richmond's historic Citizens Field. It was a victorious start for the New Richmond boys.
St. Croix Central's senior boys have been playing ball together for nearly their entire lives. The final achievement of this stalwart group of seniors will be representing St. Croix Central in the WIAA Division 3 Spring Baseball State Championships this Wednesday and Thursday in Appleton. Central's 2008 baseball team won the school's first conference baseball championship in 32 years.
Two tense wins helped the St. Croix Central advance to the WIAA sectional tournaments for the second straight year. The Panthers battled through a rough start to upend Grantsburg in the WIAA regional championship game last Wednesday, 4-3. The night before, the Panthers scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to overcome Turtle Lake-Clayton, 7-6. The tournaments often create unlikely heroes. In both of these wins, senior Andrew Erickson found himself answering the call when the Panthers needed him most. Grantsburg was the top seed in the region.
Three times in the past four years, the New Richmond softball team has advanced to the WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament. And each time, their run at the sectional tournament was ended by Rice Lake. Rice Lake defeated New Richmond in last Thursday's sectional semifinals in one of most dramatic finishes the Tigers have experienced in their highly successful careers. New Richmond trailed 4-3 entering the seventh inning. The Tigers then scored twice in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead.
The first taste of sectional play should leave the Somerset girls soccer team hungry for more in the future. Somerset was defeated in the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinals on Thursday by Washburn by a 2-0 score. Washburn was then beaten in the sectional finals on Saturday by St. Mary Central, 1-0. Somerset's girls finish their 2008 season with a 14-6 record in their third year as a varsity program. The Spartans made a huge improvement this season. The foundation of the team's rise during those three seasons was the four seniors who will graduate this season.
Megan Plourde capped one of the most successful track careers in Somerset High School history by finishing second in the Division 2 high jump event at the WIAA State Track and Field championships in La Crosse on Friday. Plourde's success was the bright spot in a state meet that largely didn't go the way that Somerset's girls or boys teams had planned. Plourde was a state placewinner in the high jump in all four of her high school seasons. She won the state championship as a freshman by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches.
New Richmond seniors Brian Figueroa and Trey Brotzler earned the first points at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday since the Tigers moved back to Division 1 three years ago. Figueroa and Brotzler just missed reaching the awards stand at state. Figueroa placed seventh in the 200 meter dash and Brotzler took eighth place in the 800 meters to lead New Richmond's efforts in the 2008 state meet. The Tigers also competed at state in the boys 1600 meter relay and the girls 800 meter relay.
St. Croix Central is being represented by senior Brad Fedie and junior Austin Johnson at the 2008 WIAA Boys State Golf Championships in Madison. Fedie and Johnson began play in the WIAA Division 2 state championships on Monday. The second round of the state championships were scheduled to be played Tuesday. The state tournament is played at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison. Fedie and Johnson shot identical scores of 87 in their first round at state on Monday.