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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There have been enough upsets in the rivalry between Somerset and St. Croix Central in different sports in recent years that records and reputations carry little weight when teams from these schools meet. That was the case again Monday night when the volleyball squads from Somerset and Central got together. Somerset is considered among the favorites in the Middle Border Conference this season, while Central is hoping to turn around its fortunes after finishing last in the Dunn-St.
The clash between the Somerset and Hudson football teams Friday was one of the most talked about pre-season games in many years. And it was worth every bit of that talk too. This was a free-wheeling offensive game that came down to the final four seconds, when Hudson's Kirk Krumrei kicked a 22-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 39-36 win over the Spartans. The game had the setting for high drama. Could Somerset, the state runner-up in Division 5 last year, go nose-to-nose with Hudson, a school with four times the student population?
The New Richmond football team put the past in the past with an impressive 14-7 win over River Falls in the 2006 season opener for both teams. The Tigers are trying to prove they are a solid team in 2006 and this game should go a long way toward providing that proof. The Tigers outgained River Falls on the ground and through the air. The Tigers didn't commit a turnover while taking the ball away from the Wildcats twice. One of those turnovers was an early turning point in the game. After an early exchange of possessions, the Tigers had River Falls backed up deep in its own territory.
The challenges will continue to elevate for the New Richmond girls tennis team. The Tigers played in their first tournament of the 2006 season on Saturday, when they took fourth place among eight teams at a tournament played in Altoona. With three girls back from last year's starting lineup, most of the girls hadn't experienced a tournament of this length and intensity.
After a seemingly endless cycle of teams filled with veteran players, the New Richmond girls tennis team is at the other end of that cycle in 2006. The Tigers return three girls with significant varsity experience, making this the youngest New Richmond lineup in many years. The debut of the 2006 Tiger girls tennis team came on Saturday. They played at Osceola in a non-conference match, losing 5-3. The three players returning to the Tiger varsity lineup are Steph Anderson, Molly Heintz and Molly O'Flanagan.
For most student-athletes, the highlight of their summer might include going to a camp or competing in a school-run league. Travelling to Europe to play in the World Youth Friendship Games ranks as a little out of the ordinary. Jordan Van Dyk and Justin Peterson were part of a contingent of United States youth athletes who travelled to Amsterdam in Holland to represent the United States in the 2006 Games. Van Dyk will be a freshman at Somerset this fall and Peterson will be a senior at St.
The alumni team of the New Richmond Millers showed that old ballplayers never forget how to hit. The second annual game between the New Richmond Millers and the Miller Alumni team proved to be another exciting event. The Millers were able to prevail 11-9 last year. This year's game was just as close, with the Millers edging their alumni team 9-7. The alumni team ended up outhitting the current Millers, 14-13, in Saturday's game, played at Citizens Field. While the alumni team got hits from eight of its nine starters, the current Millers had five players get all their hits.
It seems that in their mounting loss total, there is one different element that is missing in each loss. In last Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Spring Valley, clutch hitting was the piece that was missing in the Millers' play. The Millers got another superb pitching effort from Tim Brown in this game. Brown threw a six-hitter and all three of the Hawks' runs were unearned. The offense generated enough scoring opportunities where the Millers should have won the game.
Researchers working to battle Parkinson's Disease feel they are close to breakthroughs in the battle against the neurological disease. Connie Plourde of Somerset is trying to raise funds to help along the battle against Parkinson's Disease. Plourde, a retired nurse, is the driving force behind 'Pedal For Parkinson's, a Fund-Raiser for Research.' The 10-mile bike ride or in-line skate for all ages will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Afton, Minn. The course will go from Town Square Park in downtown Afton along the Lakeland Bike Trail and back. Registration for the event is $25.