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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Last year, the New Richmond girls soccer team finished one win short of the WIAA state tournament. The Tigers have another chance to get to state in 2018. The Tigers played their way into the WIAA Division 2 sectional tournament by winning a regional championship at La Crosse Central, 2-0, on Monday.
New Richmond HIgh School baseball standout Blake Kretovics landed another honor on Monday. Kretovics was selected to play for the West team in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic. Kretovics is one of 72 highschool senior standouts from around the state selected to play in the Classic. This year's tournament will be played at EJ Schneider Field in Oshkosh on June 29-30. Among Kretovics' teammates on the West team will be Peter Brookshaw of Prescott and Ryan McGregor of Ellsworth.
Led by two state championships by Somerset sophomore Eve Goldstein, the local teams put together very strong performances at the 2018 WIAA State Track and Field Championships in La Crosse on Friday and Saturday. Goldstein won the Division 2 state championship in the shot put on Friday and she followed that performance by leading the whole way in the Division 2 discus throw event on Saturday.
If there ever was a student meant to play a role in a school play, Zeb Rivard and the lead role in "Fiddler on the Roof" were meant for each other. Blessed with a deep, resounding baritone voice and a confident stage swagger, Rivard is a natural for school plays and singing performances. This year he played the lead character, Tevye, in the Somerset High School play, "Fiddler on the Roof." Rivard clearly enjoys performing. His renditions of the national anthem are always memorable. He takes a great deal of pride in his acting and his singing.
For two-thirds of their games against two of the top teams in the Middle Border Conference last week, the Somerset baseball team was the better team. But in both cases, the Spartans couldn't finish off the win. Last Tuesday, Somerset hosted New Richmond in a game the Tigers needed to complete a perfect MBC season. For the first half of the game, it appeared Somerset was the more inspired team. But late in the game, Somerset's pitching wore down and New Richmond came back for a 10-5 win.
Black River Falls bunted for a hit with the opening batter in Somerset's WIAA Division 2 playoff opener last Tuesday. That was a sign of how the game would go for the Spartans. The Spartans were the home team, but the aggressive play by Black River Falls from the start kept Somerset on its heels throughout the playoff game. Somerset was never able to mount any major scoring threat, losing the tournament opener, 7-0. Black River Falls faced top-seeded Ellsworth in the regional final the next day and was defeated, 9-1.
The glimpses of success from St. Croix Central were there again when the Panthers played their WIAA Division 3 playoff opener at Mondovi last Tuesday. Starting with Myah Olson hitting a homer on the first pitch of the game, the Central softball team did some things well at Mondovi. But like the previous 12 games, it wasn't enough to prevent a loss. The Panthers dropped a 13-7 decision to Mondovi, ending Central's season.
With no losses in the last seven games, the Somerset girls soccer team is in a good place heading into the WIAA playoffs. The Spartans open action this Thursday in the WIAA Division 3 regional bracket with a home game against Barron at 4:30 p.m. The Spartans take a 12-4-2 regular season record into the playoffs.
New Richmond junior Trent Ziebol was able to qualify for the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament, but was defeated in the first round of the tournament.
A score that drew a number of second glances around the area was that of the WIAA Division 1 tournament softball opener between New Richmond and Chippewa Falls last Tuesday. And in the case of the Tigers, it left a lot of people impressed. New Richmond saw its season come to an end with the 4-0 loss, but putting up that strong of a showing against a state-ranked team is an indication of how far the Tigers have come this season.