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 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.
A couple holes where the Ellsworth girls took big scores was just enough to cause the Panthers to drop to fourth place in the Middle Border Conference girls golf match played at The Links in New Richmond last Thursday, Aug. 31.
Runners of all ages are going to make an impact for the New Richmond cross country teams this fall. The New Richmond girls had five freshmen in the varsity lineup in the season-opening meet on Saturday, Aug. 26 in Eau Claire and that young group did extremely well. The Tiger boys had at least one runner from all four classes competing in the varsity lineup on Saturday and the Tiger boys also gave a solid performance.
There are five number two runners on the St. Croix Central girls cross country team. That's a sign of the competitiveness and the hunger within the Panthers after they reached the WIAA state championships for the first time in 2016. The Panthers reached the WIAA Division 2 state championships, where they placed 14th in their maiden voyage to the state meet course in Wisconsin Rapids. With many of those girls back, plus reinforcements, the Panthers are serious threats to earn a return trip to the state meet.
A 2013 Somerset High School graduate and Somerset native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the premier naval air installation in the Pacific Northwest region. Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Bucklew is an aviation machinist's mate serving with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10. A Navy aviation machinist's mate is responsible for taking care of all engines on the P-3C Orion.
F ootball is a sport that gets into your blood. For many who play football, they wanted to keep playing, whether their careers ended in high school or college.