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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Last year, the St. Croix Central softball team showed talent, but never was able to put all the pieces together. Those pieces appear to have come together during the off-season. In their first Dunn-St. Croix Conference game of the 2004 season, the Panthers bombarded Boyceville on Monday, beating the Bulldogs 20-4. The Panthers had opened their season last Friday in a game against Cadott. This game stretched into extra innings, where Cadott scored a 4-3 win. In Monday's win the Panthers looked far more polished than they did at any time last year.
Running in the Gold Baton indoor meet at Blaine last week gave the New Richmond and Somerset girls a better indication of where some of their strengths lie this season. Team scores weren't kept at the meet, but both teams had several strong performances to build upon. New Richmond coach Brent Aukema was particularly pleased with the showing of the girls he had running in the relay events. He started each relay with one of the team's most experienced runners.
Mitch Campeau and Emily Frank of New Richmond competed in the 2004 Wisconsin Powerlifting Championships. The championships were held in Kimberly on March 12-13. They qualified for the state meet at a powerlifting meet held in New Richmond two weeks earlier. At the state meet they both finished 15th in their weight divisions. Frank had a 195-pound squat lift, an 80-pound bench press and a 195-pound dead lift.
Comments made at the March 15 Somerset Board of Education meeting brought light to how the school district is dealing with its high-end students and how that action remains a work in progress. Somerset is one of the few districts in the area with a full-time gifted and talented teacher, Rosanne Erickson.
St. Croix Central had two players earn all-Dunn-St. Croix Conference boys basketball honors for the 2003-04 season. Junior Tyler Cody was named to the all-DSC first team and senior Garrett Ullom earned a spot on the all-DSC second team. Cody ranked third in the conference in scoring this season, averaging 13.8 points per game.
Somerset's Dylan Dabrowski and St. Croix Central's Garrett Ullom have been selected to play in the 2004 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Shrine Bowl. This game features the premier senior football players from the state of Wisconsin each year. Ullom and Dabrowski were both all-state players during the past season. Both players will be playing along the offensive line in the Shrine Bowl. Ullom will be stationed at tight end, while Dabrowski will be at guard. Dabrowski was one of the most powerful guards in the state.
The first appearance by a New Richmond team in the WIAA State Girls Hockey Championships ended in the semifinals last Friday. The Tiger girls were beaten in the state semifinals by Superior 4-2. New Richmond and Superior had split the two games that they played in the regular season. New Richmond coach Steve Gehr said the Tigers got caught up in the excitement of playing in the state tournament. "They just forgot about the game plan," Gehr said. "It wasn't a lack of effort.
At halftime the St. Croix Central boys couldn't have been sitting in a better position against Spring Valley in the WIAA Division 3 regionals last Thursday. The Panthers led 28-25 at halftime, despite having two of the team's leading scorers miss big chunks of the second quarter with foul trouble. Spring Valley then switched its approach in the second half. Instead of relying solely on the outside shooting of Ryan Stangl, the Cardinals decided to spread the court. That gave point guard Tom Sauve room to drive through the Panther defense.
How will Somerset's boys recover? That's the question being asked repeatedly around Somerset over the weekend, after the Spartan boys were thrashed by Amery Friday night, 64-33. This makes Amery the undefeated 2004 Middle Border Conference champions, while Somerset spirals down to finish in a tie for second place in the conference standings with Prescott. The Spartans were scheduled to open WIAA Division 3 play on Tuesday night against Fall Creek. The Spartans went into that game as the third seed in the regional while Fall Creek was seeded sixth.
Senior Adam Delander has joined the elite. Many schools have never had a multiple state champion. On Saturday, Delander became St. Croix Central's second two-time state wrestling champion. Delander won the Division 3 119-pound state championship at the Kohl Center in Madison on Saturday night. In the championship match Delander beat Casey Klister of Wrightstown, 2-0. Two years ago Delander was the Division 3 state champion at 103 pounds. Last year Delander finished in third place in the Division 3 112-pound state bracket.