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 Somerset American Legion baseball team finished its 2008 season with an 11-10 record after playing a pair of double-headers last week. Last Tuesday Somerset's boys split a double-header with New Richmond, the St. Croix League championship team. The following night, Somerset was swept in a double-header at Osceola. Somerset and New Richmond waged close battles both times they met during the Legion season. New Richmond swept Somerset in a pair of one-run games the first time they met.
There is a new team of guidance counselors at Somerset High School for the 2008-09 school year. Jeremy Kerg and Jenna Evenson have been hired to serve as guidance counselors this year. Kerg got an early start in this role, serving as an interim guidance counselor for the final month of the 2007-08 school year. The Somerset Board of Education recently decided to convert the second guidance position from half-time to full-time. Amy Young, who had filled the half-time position, has taken a similar position at the Somerset Middle School.
It's time to look to 2009 for the New Richmond Millers after the local adult baseball team was eliminated from 2008 playoff contention. The Millers officially saw their chances of reaching the state playoffs extinguished on Friday when they lost to Hudson 6-4 at Citizens Field. The Millers did bounce back to score a 9-6 win at St. Croix Falls on Sunday. With two games remaining in St. Croix Valley League play, the Millers currently possess a 5-8 league record.
It has already been a successful summer for the New Richmond Post 80 American Legion baseball team. The New Richmond boys have locked up the championship in the Southern Division of the St. Croix League in their first year in Legion ball. This weekend the New Richmond team will try to qualify for the American Legion AA state tournament. New Richmond's team will be one of seven teams competing in a AA regional tournament this weekend in Medford. New Richmond's first game in the double-elimination tournament will be played at 10 a.m. on Friday.
For the past two-plus years, Alie Thanig has been a leukemia patient. She is now a leukemia survivor. Alie may not remember her sixth birthday more specially than any others, but her parents certainly will. On June 27, Alie's sixth birthday, she took her final chemotherapy treatment in her battle with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Alie is the daughter of Jeff and Sarah Thanig of Somerset. ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infections. It is the most common leukemia in children.
Mr. Been is on duty. New St. Croix Central athletic director Nic Been (pronounced bean) stepped into his new role last week. Been succeeds Warren Van Ranst, who retired after the 2007-08 school year. Been had a special reason to seek a job in the area. He will be marrying St. Croix Central volleyball coach Kerrie Holmlund this fall. Been graduated from UW-River Falls in 2000, but has picked up a broad base of teaching and athletic experience since then.
Casey Eckardt has been a success as an athlete, as a coach and as an official. He views the New Richmond athletic director position as the next challenge in his athletic career. Eckardt officially began his role as New Richmond's athletic director on Monday, though he was already in his office last week. New Richmond sports fans may recognize Eckardt from the basketball games that he has worked here in the past. They may also recognize him as the long-time Eau Claire Memorial baseball coach who guided the Old Abes to the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament this spring.
The Minnesota Twins have made a $5,000 donation to help in the renovations of New Richmond's historic baseball park, Citizens Field. The updating of Citizens Field began last fall and Phase I of the project is well underway. The new third base dugout has been completed and the concession stand is well on its way to being finished. Fencing and landscaping projects have been started as part of Phase I of the project. Citizens Field has been the primary baseball field in New Richmond since opening in 1937.
His career sprouted from a fascination with black widow spiders. His interest in spiders led Gordon Grice to write the book "The Red Hourglass, Lives of the Predators." Grice's book was published in 1997 to glittering reviews. Grice, who has lived in Somerset since 2000, will be doing a presentation at the Somerset Public Library this week as part of the library's summer series on bugs. His library presentation will be based on venomous bugs. Grice is scheduled to have another book published next spring.
There will be a new varsity boys basketball coach in Somerset this winter. On Monday night, the Somerset Board of Education approved the hiring of Brent Larson as the new Spartan boys varsity basketball coach. Eric Olson, who had served the past seven years as the Spartan varsity coach, was not offered a contract by the Somerset Board of Education. Larson volunteered for the past two seasons to help the Spartan boys team.