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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Back-to-back strong performances to start the 2006 season put the New Richmond football team in a good position as the Tigers start their Middle Border Conference schedule this Friday. The Tigers play their MBC opener at 7 p.m. on Friday, when they play at Prescott. New Richmond's record stands at 1-1 after the two pre-season games.
The goal for the first two games of the 2006 season was to get the Somerset football team ready for the Middle Border Conference schedule. With the improvement the Spartans made between their first and second non-conference games, they sure look prepared for Friday's start to the MBC season. The Spartans will open their conference season with a game at Baldwin-Woodville at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Spartans are coming off a 30-18 win over Delano, Minn. last Thursday, in their second non-conference game.
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 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?
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.
Last year the River Falls team was one of the best that the New Richmond boys soccer team faced. So when the New Richmond boys opened their 2006 soccer season at River Falls, they knew it would be a major challenge. River Falls got an early jump and was able to use that advantage for a 6-2 win over the Tigers. River Falls scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the game. "River Falls has a lot of speed up front," said Tiger coach Pete Melloy. The Wildcats used that speed to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Tigers then came back to tie the score.
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.