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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The first Middle Border Conference win of the 2004 season was accomplished by the New Richmond volleyball team last Thursday as the team celebrated Senior Night. The Tigers overwhelmed Prescott for the win Thursday, taking all three games played in the match. The win came by scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-9. The win was accomplished with two predominant features: a nearly mistake-free by the entire team and a huge night at the net from senior Bekah Sievert. The Tigers only missed one serve in the match. Their hitting was just as flawless.
Somerset's boys nearly came away with the win in the Ellsworth Invitational Cross Country Meet last Tuesday. The Spartans finished second in the meet, nine points behind Eau Claire Regis in the seven-team meet. Somerset's boys accomplished this with two of their top runners out of the lineup. With Matt Hanzlik and Todd Lippman out due to health issues, the rest of the Spartans stepped up. Josh Hecht led for much of the boys race before finishing sixth.
St. Croix Central's Mark Sanders pulled away from the competition early and won by more than 30 seconds in the boys race in the Glenwood City Invitational last Tuesday. Central was one of six Dunn-St. Croix Conference teams competing in the meet. Central's boys placed fifth in the meet. Four of the boys had their best times of the year. "Mark (Sanders) ran his fastest time of his career and this course was more difficult than the average course," said Central coach Missy Brown.
Great pumpkins. Nobody in Wisconsin grows them greater than Joe Ailts. Ailts, of rural Deer Park, had the largest pumpkin at the Great Pumpkin Fest, held in Nekoosa on Saturday. This is the second straight year that Ailts has produced the largest pumpkin at this competition, which brings in pumpkins from all over the Midwest. Last year Ailts had the largest pumpkin with a fruit that weighed 1,056 pounds, his personal best. His largest this year was 1,016 pounds, the only fruit at the competition to clear 1,000 pounds.
Three games into the Middle Border Conference season and the Somerset Spartans are alone atop the MBC football standings. The Spartans are the only 3-0 team in the MBC after they won at Ellsworth last Friday, 48-20. Osceola suffered its first loss of the MBC season last Friday, 23-21 to Amery. With a win this Friday in their Homecoming game against Prescott, the Spartans would assure themselves a place in the 2004 WIAA state football playoffs.
Second place in the Middle Border Conference was locked up by the New Richmond girls tennis team last Friday when they won at Unity 5-2. This was the completion of a match that had been rained out at Unity three days earlier. With the win the Tigers end the Middle Border Conference dual meet season with a 6-1 record. Durand wins the MBC dual championship this season with a 7-0 record. The Middle Border Conference Tournament was scheduled to be played at Durand on Tuesday. The Tigers now move on to WIAA tournament play.
The first win of the season remains elusive for the New Richmond varsity football team. The Tigers fell to 0-5 with a 35-10 loss at Durand during the Panthers' Homecoming game last Friday. This Friday the Tigers will try for their first win when they play at Osceola. The Chieftains are coming off their first loss of the season, losing to Amery 23-21 last Friday. The Tigers were without several players due to injuries at Durand and now they will be without one of their best linemen for the rest of the season.
It's been years since the St. Croix Central football team has played for the undisputed conference lead. That's the case this Friday. Central and Elk Mound will meet in Hammond, with the winner standing alone atop the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings. The Panthers put themselves in this position by going to Boyceville and winning the Bulldogs' Homecoming game on Friday, 14-0. Central coach Tony DiSalvo said the Panthers are trying to treat Friday's game against Elk Mound like any other game.
The New Richmond girls tennis team assured that it will finish no lower than second place in the Middle Border Conference dual meet standings by beating Baldwin-Woodville 5-2 on Monday. The Tigers are now building toward the Middle Border Conference tournament, which will be played next Tuesday at Durand. In Monday's dual, New Richmond coach Teresa Kvam was expecting B-W coach Jim Rumpal to juggle his lineup. So Kvam took the same course, moving Alyssa Jerlow and Laurel Hay to the singles lineup from their usual spot as the one doubles team.
The New Richmond girls golf team holds the conference lead as the teams head into the 18-hole Middle Border Conference tournament, which will be played at Frederic this Thursday. While the Tigers will go into the tournament with the lead, they can expect several challengers to try winning the conference tournament on Thursday. The Tigers hold a slim margin over St. Croix Central in the race for the conference team title.