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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With a new coach and three players with varsity experience in the lineup, the New Richmond boys tennis team started the 2005 season needing some experience. That's what they got in their opener, narrowly losing to River Falls 4-3 on the Tigers' courts last Thursday. This year's Tigers are coached by Mark Hay, who takes over after the resignation of Mike Montello. Hay said he feels confident that Tigers are on the right track for the season.
The St. Croix Central track teams couldn't have asked for much more from their season-opening meet last Thursday. The meet turned into a double-victory for the Panther teams. They both scored wins over Prescott, Plum City and Spring Valley in the meet. The Panther boys finished with a 16-point margin over second place Prescott. Central's girls had a 25-point margin over second place Prescott. Both teams showed a nice mix of talent, getting contributions from seniors through freshmen. The girls team got wins on the track and in the field events.
The St. Croix Central softball team put together a huge offensive effort in its 2005 season opener. The Panthers pasted together 17 hits and 16 walks to roll past Colfax 21-2 in their first game of the 2005 season on Monday. Their game last Thursday against Baldwin-Woodville was cancelled due to wet grounds. This Thursday the Panthers will be back in action, playing at Elk Mound. Monday's win was the first game for the Panthers under new coach Jim Anderson.
Like driving four-wheelers and playing in the mud? Have we got a magazine for you. "Mud Magazine" is a new publication being started by a local couple, Adam and Amanda Schumaker. They are tabbing the magazine as "your complete source for 4x4 ATV action." The Schumakers got interested in riding their ATVs through mud and swamps, then found there wasn't a magazine that was specifically targeted toward this part of the ATV industry. Adam came up with the idea last spring to start a magazine, and a year later, they are ready to begin publishing their magazine.
Each year, several members of the Somerset High School senior class get to speak with the district's board of education, giving their opinions on their educational experience. When this year's seniors met with the school board on March 14, the seniors gave their educational experience mostly high grades. If there was one theme in any criticism of the district, the seniors said they would like to see more diverse opportunities offered to students. The most critical of the seniors was Alex Wishard, who said the high school needs more advanced equipment for the students who a
The St. Croix Central boys basketball team thought it had cleared its greatest hurdle in reaching the WIAA Division 3 sectionals when the Panthers knocked off top-seeded Somerset last Thursday. But Grantsburg had the same thought when the Pirates saw that Central had knocked off the top seed. That led to Saturday's regional championship showdown between Central and Grantsburg, which Grantsburg pulled out in the final seconds, 57-54. Grantsburg used uncanny shooting as the backdrop of its success.
The hopes of a return trip to the WIAA Girls State Hockey Tournament didn't materialize for New Richmond's girls. The Tigers were beaten in Friday's sectional semifinals by Onalaska 4-1. Last year the Tigers reached the state tournament, where they were beaten in the state semifinals by Superior. Superior will be joining Onalaska at state after the Spartans beat Hudson 5-1 in the other sectional semifinal from this bracket. New Richmond's girls were overwhelmed from the start by a more physical Onalaska team.
Other local wrestlers all defeated in first round at state Somerset's Justin Neumann was the lone place winner among the five local wrestlers who qualified for the 2005 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships. Neumann made the awards podium by placing sixth in the Division 3 189-pound bracket at the state meet. Also competing at the state meet were New Richmond's Brian Volkert and Israel Neumann and Somerset's Andy Hecht and Drew Baillargeon. Somerset Neumann went 2-2 in his four matches at state to earn sixth place.
About the only thing that didn't go right for the Somerset boys Friday night was Osceola couldn't beat Amery. Somerset beat Ellsworth on Friday by a 64-44 score. If Osceola had knocked off Amery, it would have left Somerset and Amery as co-champions of the Middle Border Conference. But Amery held on to beat Osceola 57-53. So Somerset finishes in second place in the final conference standings with an 11-3 record. The Spartans were scheduled to begin WIAA Division 3 tournaments on Tuesday.
Facing the top seed in the regional and falling behind 12-0 at the start of the game brought about a quick end to the 2004-05 New Richmond girls basketball season. The Tiger girls were the eighth seed, playing at top-seeded Holmen last Tuesday. While the Tigers did battle back to make this a game in the second half, they ended up losing to Holmen 52-30. This year's Tigers finish the season with a 6-15 record. The Tigers were hoping for a quick start at Holmen, but that didn't materialize.