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 season is over for the Somerset and New Richmond football teams, but the St. Croix Central football team has advanced to the third round of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs.
The second straight Mississippi Valley Conference opponent awaits the New Richmond football team in the second round of the WIAA Division 3 playoffs this Friday. The Tigers will host Sparta on Friday, Oct. 26. The Tigers are coming off a wild 20-14 win over La Crosse Logan, while Sparta achieved one of the biggest upsets in the first round of the state playoffs when it went to Ashland and sunk the Oredockers, 36-8, on Friday.
The second straight Mississippi Valley Conference opponent awaits the New Richmond football team in the second round of the WIAA Division 3 playoffs this Friday. The Tigers will host Sparta Friday, Oct. 26 after coming off a wild 20-14 win over La Crosse Logan, while Sparta achieved one of the biggest upsets in the first round of the state playoffs when it went to Ashland and sunk the Oredockers, 36-8, on Friday.
The rematch between the Somerset and St. Croix Central football teams this Friday will be an uphill challenge for the Spartans. And it's a challenge the Spartans believe they are ready for. Somerset opened WIAA Division 4 tournament play at home last Friday, defeating Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 46-6. The Spartans are the fourth seed in the regional bracket while GET was the fifth seed. Central is the top seed in the region.
The final score was 42-0, but through much of the first half on Friday, the Adams-Friendship football team gave the undefeated St. Croix Central Panthers a full-scale battle. And over the long range of things, that may be just what the Panthers needed. Central won the Division 4 opener, moving them into a second round rematch with Somerset that will be played on the Panthers' home field at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
The New Richmond boys soccer team won't be making its third straight trip to the WIAA Division 2 state championships. The Tigers went to Holmen Thursday afternoon, knowing they were major underdogs against the Mississippi Valley Champions from Holmen. The Tigers struggled to contain the high-powered Holmen offense, losing 7-1. New Richmond finishes the season with a 13-8-1 record.
The St. Croix Central boys cross country team has earned a return trip to the WIAA State Championships. So have Marie Hamlin and Mya Kizer from the Panther girls team. That happened Saturday, Oct. 20 when the Panthers hosted a wind-whipped WIAA Division 2 sectional championship meet. While that is of huge importance at Central, there's also a bit of sadness because the Panther girls team was not able to advance to state. The Panther girls were trying to qualify as a team for state for the third straight year.
New Richmond sophomore Willa Rogers continued her season-long improvement at the WIAA Division 1 sectional championship race and it has earned her a place in the WIAA state championships. Rogers will run in the state championships this Saturday at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The girls Division 1 state championship race is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on Saturday.
One volleyball match was all it took. Jett Vang was a soccer player until he saw his first volleyball match as a freshman at Somerset High School when he entered the gym after a Spartan soccer game. "It was my first experience of a volleyball game. It totally surprised me, how intense they were, how loud the cheering was," Vang recalled. Vang continued to play soccer through his sophomore season, but his heart was torn. He was the loudest fan at the Spartan volleyball matches and soon he was asked to become the manager for the volleyball team.
Six of the seven teams that defeated the New Richmond boys soccer team in 2018 have advanced to the WIAA sectional tournament level. The one who didn't? That would be River Falls, who the Tigers defeated 3-2 on Saturday, Oct. 20, propelling the Tigers to the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament for the third straight season. The Tigers will play at top-seeded Holmen at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that game will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional championship game at Tomah.