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 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet will be run this Thursday. Most of the MBC teams had their final tune-up race last Tuesday, competing in the annual Amery Invitational. There had to be some improvising done at the Amery Golf Club for this race to be held. Torrential rains had hit the area that day and there was standing water all over the course, including several bunkers that were filled with water. The race path was rerouted to avoid major damage to the golf course. Once the races were started, there was plenty of action.
The New Richmond football team hopes to break into the win column for the first time since late in the 2003 season when the Tigers host Baldwin-Woodville this Thursday. Both teams are 0-5 in the Middle Border Conference. The Tigers are 0-7 overall while B-W has one non-conference win this season. The Tigers have lost 17 straight games since beating Somerset late in the 2003 season. New Richmond has been playing its opponents close in recent games. Two weeks ago they led until the final three minutes of the game in a 13-9 loss to Osceola.
You couldn't ask for a better effort from the New Richmond football team than what they gave in their 2005 Homecoming game against Osceola last Friday. Twice the Tigers took the lead, and they held the line deep into the fourth quarter. Osceola connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to deal the Tigers a 13-9 defeat. The loss puts the Tigers at 0-6 this season and 0-4 in the Middle Border Conference.
The fans watching the St. Croix Central Homecoming football game got their money's worth, and a whole lot more. The price of admission for the Homecoming game included an overtime period. In the overtime the Panthers scored, then kept Colfax out of the end zone to win a crucial Dunn-St. Croix Conference game, 20-14. The win raises the Panthers D-SC record to 2-2, while sticking Colfax with its first loss in conference play this season. Central got the ball first in the overtime and only needed two plays to score.
Entering this week, Somerset was one of three teams perched atop the Middle Border Conference standings with spotless 4-0 records. By the end of play next Tuesday, at most, only one team will remain with an unblemished record. Somerset reached the 4-0 record last Thursday by topping Prescott in four games.The Spartans were scheduled to play at Amery on Tuesday. At the same time, Osceola and Durand, the other two teams with 4-0 records, were scheduled to clash. That leads into the final two rounds of MBC play.
Two wins, including their initial Middle Border Conference win of the season, gives the New Richmond volleyball team the look of a team that is starting to roll. The Tigers got their first MBC win of the season last Thursday, beating Baldwin-Woodville in four games. The Tigers followed that up with a decisive three-game win over Unity Monday night. Right now the Tigers look like a team that is getting things in order.
Confidence seems to be the last element missing for the St. Croix Central volleyball team. On Thursday the Panthers faced Mondovi, one of the top teams in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and they gave the Lady Buffs all they could handle before the Panthers were beaten in four games. Central coach Amanda Webb said this match was similar to the Panthers' match against Somerset, where they gave a real battle to another top quality opponent. The Panthers are one of the few teams that has been able to win a game from Mondovi in conference play.
Remember when you were a little kid and you'd play with the water faucet controls? Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. That's how the Somerset and Ellsworth volleyball teams played for the first four games of last Thursday's match in Ellsworth. In the fifth game both teams decided to turn up the heat. Somerset was able to get enough of an edge to score a 16-14 win in the deciding fifth game. The Spartans played cold first, losing the opening game 25-9. That jolt of coldness must have been a wake-up call for the Spartans, because they came back with two potent games, winning 25-9, 25-18.
The New Richmond boys soccer team earned a tie against Hayward last Thursday. This came two days after the Tigers lost at Barron, 2-0. The Barron game was one of the most difficult of the season for the Tigers. They struggled to get their offense rolling and were outshot by the Bears by nearly a 10-1 margin.
While the Somerset offense learns, the Spartan defense burns. Somerset rolled to 4-0 for the 2005 season and 2-0 in the Middle Border Conference with a 26-6 win at Durand last Friday. Somerset and Durand were both state-ranked leading into the game, Somerset ranked second in Division 5 and Durand listed tenth in Division 4. The Spartan defense wouldn't let Durand's offense do anything. The Panthers were held to 106 yards of offense, including 26 yards rushing on 27 attempts.