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 Somerset football team has locked up its place in the WIAA playoffs. But there’s a great deal more the Spartans can accomplish this regular season. If they win out, they can grab a share of the Middle Border Conference championship. That’s what makes this Friday’s Spartan Homecoming game against Baldwin-Woodville so important. The Spartans need to win to keep their MBC title hopes alive, and they want to get better while they are doing it.
The New Richmond girls golf team has been a success all season and the Tigers carried that to a new level on Monday, winning the WIAA Division 1 sectional championship. There was plenty of drama as the scores were being recorded, because it wasn't assured the Tigers would qualify for state until the last scores were totaled. When they were, the Tigers finished with a score of 358, giving them the sectional title. Onalaska finished in second place with a 361 team score.
Nicked up and short-handed, the Somerset boys soccer team gave a staunch effort in last Friday's home game against New Richmond. The Spartans gave up two goals in each half to lose to the Tigers, 4-0. A stretch of games against Middle Border Conference opponents continues for the Spartans. They will host Amery this Thursday and they will be visited by the Barron Bears next Tuesday.
The back-loaded schedule of the New Richmond boys soccer team is testing the Tigers' endurance. The Tigers played four games last week and they have four more scheduled for this week.
Perfect conditions led to perfect results for the Somerset cross country teams at the St. Croix Falls Invitational last Thursday. Across the board, the Spartans saw their times improve, with many improved by two or three minutes. The Spartan girls placed second among six teams in the meet and the Spartan boys placed fourth.
A wall-to-wall week of tennis earned the New Richmond girls tennis program the 2018 Middle Border Conference championship. The Tigers locked up the title by winning the conference tournament, which ended up stretching out over two days due to the weather, last Tuesday and Wednesday.
The cross country coaches of the New Richmond and St. Croix Central squads have been taking similar approaches recently. The Tigers and Panthers ran against each other, and several hundred other runners, when they competed at the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota on Saturday. The Tigers and Panthers had run against each other the previous Saturday at the Milaca Mega Meet in Milaca, Minn.
The New Richmond volleyball team gave their seniors a memorable performance on Senior Night on Tuesday. Seniors Lauren Smith, Mykenzie Patten and Amelia Feuerer were able to enjoy their Senior Night sendoff, as the Tigers defeated Somerset 3-0 in the Middle Border Conference contest. The Tigers took a 5-0 in the opening set of the night and it was an indicator of how the match would go. The Tigers won the opening set 25-16. They followed it with a 25-12 win in the second set and they finished the win with a 25-16 edge in the third set.
Through 18 points, or 20 points, or even 22 points, the New Richmond volleyball team has been the equal of nearly every team it has faced this season. But getting the final points to complete wins has been very difficult for the Tigers. That was the case in both of their Middle Border Conference losses last week, against St. Croix Central and Prescott.
The wins haven't been coming readily for the Somerset volleyball team, but the Spartans have remained an enthusiastic team that plays hard. The Spartans lost Middle Border Conference matches last week against Prescott and Ellsworth. Somerset also went without a win in the four rounds of the New Richmond Invitational on Saturday, losing to Grantsburg, Altoona, Baldwin-Woodville and Cadott. In Thursday's home match against a hard-hitting Ellsworth team, the Spartans lost 25-15, 25-15, 25-15.