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 early-season schedule for the St. Croix Central girls basketball team pits them against their main opponents for the top spots in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Last Tuesday the Panthers ran up against the sharp-shooting girls from Colfax. Colfax took advantage of some Central defensive lapses to build a 31-15 halftime lead. The Panthers couldn't cut into that margin at all in the second half, losing 53-35. This left both teams with a 1-1 record in the D-SC heading into this week. This week the Panthers played at Boyceville Tuesday.
Basketball fans all over the western part of the state were anxious to see what happened in Spooner last Friday night. Somerset, expected to be one of the top teams in the Middle Border Conference, was playing at Spooner. The Rails are expected to be one of the best teams the Heart O'North Conference has to offer. The game lived up to its billing.
It wasn't a successful starting week for the Somerset wrestling team, with the Spartans facing defeat in all four of the matches they wrestled within a three-day span. Somerset coach Dennis Potter took the chance with this experience to try teaching the Spartans the difference between "losing and failing." The Spartans are giving away several forfeits to start the season and have a couple of their most experienced wrestlers unable to compete at the start of the season. "We will at times this season lose, but not fail," Potter said.
The Somerset girls basketball team showed it is nearly ready to compete with the better teams in the Middle Border Conference last Friday. While the Spartans haven't won an MBC game in the two seasons they've been in the league, this season it seems to be just a matter of time before they get that accomplished. Last Friday the Spartans hosted Amery, a team loaded with seniors that is expected to be one of the finer teams in the MBC this season. The Spartans were ahead at halftime in Friday's game, 29-28.
The New Richmond wrestling team has very little varsity experience, but the Tigers met a team just as inexperienced in their 2004-05 season opener on Thursday night. The Tigers were able to score a 43-19 win over Durand in the Middle Border Conference opener for both teams. There were eight matches wrestled in the meet because of forfeits.
If New Richmond's school colors included blue, this year's Tiger girls basketball team could be called "The Smurfs." Other nicknames like "Mighty Mites" etc., might also work. The point is, the Tiger girls will likely be the smallest team on the court in every game they play this season. The Tigers opened the season last Tuesday with a game at River Falls. The Tigers trailed 23-21 at halftime.
If opponents thought the New Richmond boys hockey team would be an easy mark in the 2004-05 season because of the talent that graduated after last season, they are in for a surprise. A big surprise. The Tigers opened their 04-05 season last Friday by travelling to Milwaukee to face Marquette High School, a team they beat 4-3.
Two drivers from New Richmond earned season drag racing championships this year at Rock Falls Raceway in Eau Claire. Keith Johnson won his third consecutive title and his fifth overall Street Eliminator title. Steve Olson earned his first championship in the King of the Hill class. The 10-event bracket racing season at Rock Falls Raceway is held on the quarter-mile National Hot Rod Association sanctioned drag strip. The 2004 season was challenging for Johnson and Olson.
Somerset senior standouts Tom Hennessey and Ambrose Martell have added to the successes of the 2004 Spartan season by being named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) All-State Team. Both Spartan players were honored for their play on offense and defense. Hennessey, who has now rushed for more than 2,400 yards this season, was named as a first-team all-state player at running back and at linebacker.
The New Richmond boys soccer club team completed the 2004 season with a 5-7-2 record. The team banquet was held on Nov. 9. Phillip Gartner was named as the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 team. Lee Stovall received the award as the team's Best Defensive Player. The Best Offensive Player award went to David Edwards. Gartner, Stovall and Chad Anderson served as the captains for the 2004 team.