I'm going to be honest here. I have never set foot in New Richmond, population 6,310. But the place looks pleasant enough. The only other thing I know about New Richmond is that in 1899, the entire town was destroyed by a F5 tornado, killing hundreds of people.
|Downtown New Richmond|
|Downtown Wausau as seen from Rib Mountain. |
(The term "mountain" is applied rather loosely here.)
New Richmond is a huge underdog numbers-wise, but the plucky town represents itself well in this all-important category. Former Wisconsin governor Warren P. Knowles once practiced law in New Richmond.
Warren P. Knowles campaigns for more consistent branding on the
New Richmond Tiger uniform design. (He lost.)
Meanwhile, Wausau West gives us Google VP Marissa Mayer, the NASCAR reaching duo of Scott and Chris Wimmer, and Survivor: Vauatu contestant Leann Slaby. I was feeling all patriotic and was ready to go with New Richmond here, but then I saw this publicity photo of Ms. Slaby:
(I have many weaknesses, two of them being breasts.)
ADVANTAGE: WAUSAU WEST (with apologies to Mr. Hayhurst)
It's the Tigers versus the Warriors. Yawn. This isn't Kansas, Dorothy (because if it was, we'd have something cool like the Cornjerkers vs. the Wooden Shoes).
New Richmond plays in the Middle Border conference. Wausau West comes to us from the Wisconsin Valley. Again, when we apply the Lord of the Rings rule, a winner clearly emerges.
ADVANTAGE: NEW RICHMOND
COOL PLAYER NAMES
It kills me to say this, but for the first time in the history of the WSHSHP, I can find not one cool name among the two squads. A sad, sad day for this storied competition.
You all know how I feel about inconsistent uniform design. Eau Claire Memorial started this nonsense with their mismatched home and away jerseys. And apparently the trend is catchier than Greg Buns Mills' favorite song of all time. Wausau West has two completely disparate jersey designs, neither one great.
Here's the white jersey:
Here's the dark jersey:
New Richmond is an enigma. Their team uniform suggests one fairly blah design:
|Bonus points for ceramic white tiger in background. Awesome!|
WTF? Is this their "white jersey"? I guess we'll find out tonight. I am sorely tempted to not name a winner here, but there are the not so small matters of that solid orange jersey being (1) pretty neat and (2) reminding me of a team very dear to my clogged heart.
ADVANTAGE: NEW RICHMOND
Both teams have been here before. New Richmond has made the Final 8 three times, racking up a respectable 2-3 record in the process, including a championship game loss in 2003. This sure ain't Wausau Wet's first trip to the rodeo, either. This is trip number eleven for the Warriors. They've gone 7-11 along the way. Both teams are still looking for their first title, though, and the Warriors, still stinging from their loss to USM last year in the championship tilt, are so close they can taste it. Several WSHSHP participants apparently agree.
ADVANTAGE: WAUSAU WEST
This might be the best game of Quarterfinal Thursday, and that is saying something, given our double overtime opening act. But I'm giving it to Wauau West, if only because, in the worlds of hockey legend Bill Clement, they have "paid the price."
WAUSAU WEST 4, NEW RICHMOND 2