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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Blake Kretovics became the first New Richmond High School student to receive a WIAA Scholar-Athlete honor in more than 30 years when he was one of 33 Wisconsin high school students who were recognized on May 3 at the annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet. Kretovics is the fourth New Richmond student to receive a WIAA Scholar-Athlete honor. Tracy Schurtz and Steven Shumaker were honored in 1985 and Mike Hebert was honored in 1986.
Terry Wells began powerlifting in 2016. He's already breaking his own state records. On April 21, Wells competed in the fifth powerlifting meet of his career. And he broke the state deadlift record, which he set last fall. Wells, of New Richmond, set the deadlift record of 650 pounds last fall. At the April 21 meet in Maplewood, he topped it with a record-breaking lift of 655.9 pounds.
The Somerset High School music department had a successful day, with 12 students performing 14 different events at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Eau Claire on May 12. "It was an awesome day and the kids gave some wonderful performances," said Somerset choir instructor Jaimie Palbicki. Twelve of the 14 Somerset events received 1 ratings, which is the highest rating possible at state, and the other two received 2 ratings. Somerset's Kayla Huerta was nominated for an Exemplary Award for her Soprano Solo.
There is great joy and plenty of heartache when it comes to WIAA tournament time. That was evident with the WIAA track sectional meets on Thursday, along with the opening round of WIAA regional baseball action. In track, all three area high schools have athletes who have qualified for the WIAA State Track Championships at UW-La Crosse next week. In baseball, the Somerset and St. Croix Central teams saw their seasons come to an end in the opening round of WIAA Division 2 regional tournament action.
When the St. Croix Central baseball team starts the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament on Thursday, the Panther players and coaches believe they can compete with any team in the regional bracket. They've seen them all before, so familiarity is working in the Panthers' favor. Central goes into the regional bracket as the sixth seed, meaning they will play at third-seeded Ellsworth at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that game advances to the second round of regionals next Tuesday.
In their finest moment, the girls of New Richmond soccer team paid tribute to a teammate who couldn't be there to celebrate with them. The New Richmond girls soccer team clinched the 2018 Middle Border Conference championship with the 10-0 victory over Amery last Tuesday. And at halftime of the game, the Tigers paid tribute teammate Megan Bennig, who died in a car accident last October. In the halftime ceremony, the Tigers recognized Bennig's parents, Trent and Mary. The players then released 13 balloons, in recognition of Bennig's jersey number.
Speeding isn't illegal on the soccer field. And with the way the Somerset soccer team is now using its strong overall team speed, that's a good thing. The Spartans put together two dominating performances in their games last week. In their last three games, the Spartans have now scored 23 goals.
The goal for the Somerset track teams at the 2018 Middle Border Conference track meet was to finish better than they did at the 2017 meet. The Spartans took a step up this year, and they hope it's the beginning of a climb that puts them in a position to be a title contender in future seasons.
With regional softball and golf being played, plus the key baseball games around the Middle Border Conference, Tuesday was a pivotal day for a number of area teams. Let's start with golf, where one team has advanced to the sectional tournament and another team had two players who qualified for sectionals. St. Croix Central is the team that reached sectionals. The Panthers advanced by placing third at the Rice Lake Division 2 sectional tournament on Tuesday. The Panthers advanced with a 352 team score.
The power of team balance carried the New Richmond boys tennis team to second place at the Middle Border Conference tournament last Tuesday and Wednesday at Baldwin-Woodville High School. With this finish, the Tigers were able to finish second in the overall conference standings for the 2018 season.