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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Fortified by a large and vocal home crowd, the New Richmond varsity volleyball team stood out in sweeping three games in its Middle Border Conference opener Thursday, Sept. 14. The Tigers took early control in the first two games, winning 25-19 and 25-16. The third game wasn't so smooth, but the Tigers battled back late in the game to earn a 29-27 win in the finale.
Terry Wells has been weightlifting for 30 years, but it wasn't until 2016 that he decided to try competitive lifting. Wells is making up for lost time. In his fourth competition, Wells set a Wisconsin state record by deadlifting 650 pounds. Wells, 47, is a 1988 graduate of New Richmond High School. He started lifting while he was in high school, saying it helped him to add 100 pounds to his frame in the first 10 years that he lifted. He has been a faithful lifter ever since.
Senior Night was celebrated by the Ellsworth girls tennis team Tuesday, Sept. 12. It was celebrated in grand style, with the Panthers earning a 7-0 win over Unity. Because Unity only has seven girls, there were only four matches played, all three of the doubles matches and the one singles match. Ellsworth earned 6-0, 6-0 wins in all four of the matches that were played.
"Now starting for the Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Witzmann." Bryan Witzmann is the toast of Somerset. The former Somerset football standout has continued to climb the ranks, all the way to the top. Starting at left guard, in the 2017 NFL season opener for the Chiefs, was Witzmann. It's been an amazing ride for a player who was lightly recruited out of high school. But there last Thursday, in front of a national audience, was Witzmann. And he earned stellar marks, as the Chiefs knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Twenty years after forming Faith Community Church in New Richmond, Pastor Mike Evans is venturing out on his next adventure. Evans has taken a position with Training Leaders International in Minneapolis. Joshua Maciel has been hired as the new pastor at Faith Community Church.
The fact the New Richmond girls tennis team went 5-0 last week is a definite highlight. But more importantly, no matter the strength of the opponent, the Tigers were on the attack, sharpening their skills against every opponent. The week started with Middle Border Conference wins against Mondovi on Sept. 5 and Ellsworth on Sept. 7. The Tigers hosted their annual quad meet on Sept. 9, scoring wins over Eau Claire North, Rice Lake and Altoona. In the five total matches, the Tigers lost a total of four individual matches.
Volleyball practice became a time for the Somerset girls to heal a bit on Monday. The Spartans were dealing with the news that freshman team member Bailey Belisle, 14, died over the weekend from a fall at Palisade Head, a landmark along the Lake Superior shore north of Duluth. Somerset varsity volleyball coach Sarah Praschak had Belisle as an elementary student, and now again as a high school freshman. Praschak said Belisle was an active, energetic girl. "She was just sweet, very nice. Fun and friendly," Praschak said.
The clear game plan the New Richmond football team had became muddied by turnovers and other mistakes, resulting in the Tigers taking a 21-14 loss at St. Croix Central last Friday. The lost was the first of the season for the Tigers and it levels their Middle Border Conference record at 1-1. The Tigers will face another unbeaten opponent this Friday when they host Prescott. The Cardinals are riding high after a 25-12 win at Somerset last Friday improved their record to 4-0.
The good news is the St. Croix Central cross country teams put together second and third place finishes in their 11-team home invitational. The unfortunate news is that Central senior Liv Moll was unable to complete the race. Even without Moll, the Central girls were able to take second place among a field of strong teams. The Central boys also faced a quality group of opponents and took third place.
The girls tennis season is relatively short, lasting approximately two months. Ellsworth tennis coach Jordan Olson and the Panthers are working at maintaining a keen focus so they can continue to make steady progress throughout the season. The Panthers lost a pair of dual matches last week. They lost 7-0 against a powerful Lake City team Tuesday, Aug. 29 and they lost a Middle Border Conference match at Amery last Thursday, 5-2.