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 more than 30 years.
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The end came so suddenly, that it left most of the St. Croix Central football team and its fans stunned. The Panthers never trailed in the 2018 WIAA Division 4 state championship, until the final 12 seconds of the game. Racine St. Catherine's quarterback Da'Shaun Brown scored with 12 seconds left, and then Brown ran in the two-point conversion as the Angels defeated St. Croix Central 8-7 for the 2018 state title.
Aaron Joppru, a member of the Somerset High School Class of 2014, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Tuesday in Seattle, Wash. Joppru was living in Seattle, where he was stationed in the Coast Guard. Funeral arrangements are being planned for Saturday at Johnson Funeral Home in Thief River Falls, Minn. Joppru was a highly successful two-sport at Somerset, excelling in track and soccer.
Three hundred thirty-six wins. That is the impressive number of victories that Adam Swanda amassed in his 21 years as the varsity coach of the New Richmond boys hockey team. While that is an incredible win total, it does not include the one win that Swanda most wanted in his coaching career. "I wanted to be part of the team that won a WIAA state tournament in a one-class system," Swanda said. That won't be happening. Swanda's resignation was accepted at the Oct. 15 meeting of the New Richmond Board of Education.
There are four Wehausen sisters who play for the St. Croix Central girls golf team. There is no record in the area of four siblings having played on the same team before. Hanna Wehausen is a senior at Central. Her triplet sisters, Emily, Heidi and Jenna, are sophomores. And from the words of the Central golf coaches, they are overjoyed to have all four sisters on the team.
Fifty years ago, Bill Derrick Sr. decided to venture out on his own, beginning Derrick Construction in New Richmond. Over the next 50 years, the business has grown into one of the largest multi-dimensional construction companies in western Wisconsin and the eastern Twin Cities metro area. Last Tuesday, Derrick died at The Deerfield in New Richmond. He was 89. His death came six months after the death of his wife, Mary Ann. They were married in 1953.
Dick Sievert went to the Cleveland Browns training camp in 1968. Unfortunately, a knee injury shot down his hopes of making the Browns' roster. Sievert was one of the best linemen in the history of UW-River Falls football. After being an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 1967, Sievert was the 16th round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in the 1968 National Football League draft. Sievert and his wife, Sandy, lived in New Richmond. He died in 1997 following a heart attack. He was 51.
Girls hockey coaches from around the state recognized that the Western Wisconsin Stars have a special player in Jade Williams. Williams received honorable mention status last week when the Wisconsin Girls Hockey Coaches Association All-State honors were announced.
Girls hockey in western Wisconsin is a vastly underrated sport. Our area has been producing some of the best teams in the state for more than a decade. The top three ranked teams in the state all reside in Sectional 1. Undefeated Hudson is the top-ranked team in the state, with Eau Claire and St. Croix Valley being the second and third ranked teams. All three are highly skilled teams that possess standout players, along with deep talent pools. Any of the three teams would represent the section admirably at the state tournament.
Sectional 1 in the WIAA boys hockey tournament bracket is annually one of the best in the state. The battle to be champion of the section should again be an epic battle, with Hudson, Superior and New Richmond all fielding top quality teams. Section 1 has put a team in the state finals each of the past three years. Hudson won the title in 2017 after taking second place in 2016. Superior won the state championship in 2015. There's every reason to believe that whichever team advances out of the sectional this winter again has a great chance of reaching the state title game.
Going into its biggest game of the season, the New Richmond boys hockey team could have filled a wing of Westfields Hospital with all the illness and injuries the team was dealing with. Undaunted, the Tigers put together an incredible effort last Tuesday, playing at undefeated Hudson, with the top seed in the WIAA sectional bracket at stake. Hudson scored with 5:30 left in the game to defeat the Tigers, 3-2.