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 drama in New Richmond's two sectional baseball games on Friday was done quickly. The Tigers dazzled Grantsburg with six runs in the second inning of the sectional semifinal. The Tigers kept steady pressure on the Pirate pitchers, rolling to a 12-4 victory. That put the Tigers into the championship game of the Baldwin-Woodville sectional against Ashland, the top seed. This game was decided just as abruptly as the first game. Ashland scored seven runs in the first two innings and beat up the Tigers 16-1 to win the sectional championship.
Nearly all the matches from the 2005 New Richmond Tennis Open have now completed. The tournament was held Fun Fest weekend, but several matches could not be completed that weekend. Here is a rundown of the winners in each bracket. Boys 10-13 Singles 1: Grant Nelson. 2: Max Hawksford. Cons. champ: Nicholas Bradish. Boys 14-17 Singles 1: Tyler Howard. 2: Chad Weaver: Cons. champ: Jake Kleiner. Men 18-39 Singles 1: Justin Howard. 2: Geoff Basham. Cons.
The Somerset baseball team looked well on its way to a victory after scoring six times in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead on Webster in last Friday's WIAA regional game. But that feeling didn't last long. Webster came back with five runs in the top of the fourth inning and Somerset's margin for error was gone. The Spartans didn't need any more scoring however, as the pitching of senior Corey Hehling dominated the rest of the game, giving the Spartans the 6-5 victory. The win put the Spartans into Tuesday's regional final against New Richmond.
The New Richmond baseball team solidified its hold on the Middle Border Conference lead with an 8-1 win in Somerset last Thursday. With a win Somerset could have pulled into a tie in the loss column with the Tigers atop the MBC. New Richmond raises its conference record to 8-2 with the win, while Somerset tumbles to 5-4. The Spartans struggled defensively in the early innings, in a game played under an ominous gray sky and winds that gusted up to 40 miles per hour. The defensive problems finally caught up to the Spartans in the fourth inning, when the Tigers scored six runs.
The New Richmond baseball team has moved into a tie for the Middle Border Conference lead, with two weeks remaining in the MBC schedule. The Tigers are now at the top of the MBC rankings, tied with Baldwin-Woodville, with two losses. Somerset and Ellsworth wait in the weeds, one game behind the conference-leaders. New Richmond and Somerset will battle this Thursday at Somerset in a 6 p.m. game that will further define the conference leaders. The rest of the Tigers' conference schedule starts with a game next Tuesday at Clear Lake.
The New Richmond Millers picked up their third and fourth wins of the season, including placing fourth in the Spring Valley tournament over the weekend. The week started last Wednesday when the Millers scored an 8-3 home-field win over the St. Paul Mudhens. This game showed the formula the Millers had envisioned for success this season. Three Miller pitchers combined on a five-hitter, while a balanced offensive attack put the game out of reach. St. Paul scored twice in the top of the third inning, but the Millers matched those runs in the bottom of the third.
Long-time St. Croix Central teacher Warren Van Ranst has been named the new athletic director at Central. Van Ranst will be starting his 33rd year of teaching at Central this fall. When interviewing for the position, Van Ranst made one request. He wanted Elaine Starck to remain as the secretary to the athletic director. "Without her I don't know if I'd have considered the job. She's pretty effective," Van Ranst said. For the first 26 years he taught at Central, Van Ranst taught history to middle and high school students.
The youth sports associations in New Richmond for soccer, baseball, softball and football are in the process of combining to form the New Richmond Area Youth Sports Association. Soccer, baseball and softball already had well-established programs. Last fall an effort was made to begin an association for football in New Richmond. Members of the Willow River Youth Baseball Association decided to contact those people trying to start a football association, seeing if there was interest in joining forces.
It took a leap of faith.Somerset freshman Megan Plourde had severely sprained her ankle five days before she was supposed to compete at the WIAA State Track Championships. Five days later, she was being presented the gold medal as the state champion in the WIAA Division 2 girls high jump event. And her winning jump of 5-7 tied the WIAA state record. Plourde's ankle was sprained so badly the Sunday before the state meet that she was forced to use crutches.
The New Richmond boys track team reached the awards stand twice at the 2005 WIAA State Track and Field Championships in La Crosse over the weekend. The Tigers made the awards stand with their 400 and 800 meter relays teams. The 400 meter relay team took third place at the state meet and the 800 relay team took fifth place at state. These two relays teams are made up of the same four runners, Chad Aldous, Mike Martinez, Garret Fletch and Bryan Tschudy. The 800 meter relay event at state had a familiar look.