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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After Friday's game between Somerset and Ellsworth, one football team will stand alone as the leader in the Middle Border Conference. Somerset and Ellsworth are both 3-0 in the MBC. The winner of Friday's game will not only be the outright leader in the conference standings, they will also be assured of a place in the 2007 WIAA football playoffs. Ellsworth comes into the game after beating Amery 20-14 last Friday.
For several years the St. Croix Central volleyball program has been trying to get re-established as a force in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. In their two D-SC matches last week, the Panthers may have accomplished that goal. Last Tuesday the Panthers went to Boyceville, which has been a tough place to win for most D-SC teams in this decade. The Panthers won Tuesday's match and they did it decisively, winning in three games. That was followed by a home match on Thursday against Glenwood City. The Panthers had to overcome adversity all through the night.
The unbeaten New Richmond boys soccer team made it nine in a row on Monday, winning at Osceola 3-1. Osceola was carrying a seven-game winning streak into this game. The Chieftains hadn't lost since New Richmond had posted a 7-0 win over Osceola early in the season. This time around, Osceola proved to be a much more worthy opponent for the Tigers. Osceola has a short field, which made it difficult for the Tigers to use long lead passes to utilize their team speed. The Tigers did get their first goal off an opportunity like that.
A preliminary tax levy of $7.8 million was approved by Somerset School District residents at the District's 2007 annual meeting, held on Sept. 10. In a meeting that lasted just over 40 minutes, approximately 20 people were in attendance. Nearly all those attending the meeting were District employees or school Board members. The entire school District budget for the 2007-08 school year is projected at $14.8 million. The tax levy will be finalized at a district Board meeting in late October.
The New Richmond girls tennis team is closing in on winning the 2007 Middle Border Conference dual meet championship. The Tigers defeated Durand 6-1 on Monday to take a commanding lead in the conference race. The Tigers were scheduled to wrap up the MBC dual meet season with matches Tuesday against Unity and Thursday at Amery. The next stop for the Tigers would then be the Middle Border Conference tournament. This year's tournament will be played next Tuesday at Osceola. Durand came into Monday's match with a 4-1 conference record and a reputation for having a strong singles lineup.
There were several Middle Border Conference football teams that put together overpowering efforts in the second half of their games last Friday. No team changed the complexion of their game in the second half more than the Somerset Spartans. Osceola was ahead of Somerset 14-8 at halftime of Friday's game. The Spartans then outscored Osceola 30-0 in the second half to record a 38-14 win. With the win, the Spartans are 2-0 in MBC action and 4-0 overall. The Spartans will be playing at home this Friday in hopes of bringing their record to 5-0.
The New Richmond football team had its crowd buzzing at halftime of Friday's Homecoming game against Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers trailed 26-24 at halftime, exchanging scores throughout the half with a potent B-W offense. The Tigers' hopes of getting a win for the large Homecoming crowd were sunk by turnovers in the second half. The turnovers allowed B-W to score four times in just over six minutes in the third quarter. The game ended with the Tigers suffering a 61-24 loss. New Richmond entered the game with numerous injuries and the list grew substantially during the game.
The New Richmond boys soccer team earned its first-ever win over Amery last Tuesday, raising the Tigers' season record to 7-0. On Thursday the Tigers extended their winning streak to start the 2007 season to eight games with a 4-0 win over Barron. The Tigers beat Amery by a 3-1 score on Tuesday. The game was scoreless through the first half. As in recent games, the Tigers did their scoring in the second half. Twelve of the Tigers' last 13 goals have been scored in the second half of games. The first goal of the game was scored by New Richmond junior Jordan Anderson.
Last Thursday was a banner day for the New Richmond cross country teams. The Tiger varsity teams swept the team championships in the 2007 New Richmond Cross Country Invitational. New Richmond's girls had a close battle with Amery for the team title. The Tigers won the meet with 60 points, with Amery garnering 66 points. New Richmond and Amery were also the top two teams in the boys race. New Richmond, with three of the top five runners, finished with 47 points. Amery took second place with 77 points. New Richmond senior Zach Johnson was the boys meet champion in a time of 17:46.
"You score, you win. It's as simple as that." That's what Somerset football Coach Bruce Larson yelled to his offense with four minutes remaining in Friday's Middle Border Conference opener with Durand. The Spartans trailed 27-22 with 4:16 left in the game after Durand had just scored to take the lead. The Spartans clicked with high efficiency on their final drive, covering 56 yards in nine plays to get the go-ahead touchdown. Tony Martin's third touchdown of the game put Somerset in front 28-27 with 1:11 left on the clock. Durand then tried four passing plays.