Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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The tradition continues. The Wildcat gymnastics team, under first-year coaches Rachel Paulson and Lauren Brathol, qualified for its 14th straight WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament Friday, Feb. 22 by finishing second at the sectional meet in River Falls. The Cats finished with a total score of 138.725, just behind sectional champion Rice Lake/Cumberland's score of 138.825. Paulson and Brathol were both members of Wildcat state championship teams themselves under former coaches Shelly Kahut-Loomis and Brian Whipple.
After throttling Baron/Chetek, 8-2, in a WIAA regional semifinal at home last Tuesday, Feb. 12. the Wildcat hockey team picked up right where it left off in the regional final in Superior Feb. 14, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. But the top-seeded Spartans scored five unanswered goals to end the Cats' season by a score of 5-2. River Falls' head coach Mike Kealy said the Cats prepared all season long for a strong tournament run and was proud of the way the team competed. "We were very clear on our message to the team that regular season was our test for the post season," Kealy said.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team scored just four points in the first half Friday, Feb. 15 in Hudson and trailed 17-4 before storming back to win in overtime, 52-43. "That was one of my all-time classic comebacks," River Falls' coach Greg Gaulke said. "The guys put it all on the line for the team. That's something they will remember for a long time." Gaulke said Hudson had its way with the Wildcats in the first half, limiting the Cats to a single field goal in each of the first two quarters. "We came out flat for lack of another term," he said.
Sally Cranston, Emma VanDell and Heather Shew had a goal apiece and Kalli Armagost made 36 saves to lead the St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team to a 3-1 victory over the WSFLG Blizzard in a WIAA sectional semifinal game Tuesday night, Feb. 19, in River Falls. The victory sends the second-seeded Fusion to the sectional semifinal against top-seed Hayward/Spooner Saturday at 6 p.m. in Hayward. The Hurricanes defeated Chippewa Falls, 4-1, Tuesday night. The winner of Saturday's game advances to next weekend's WIAA State Tournament in Madison. Cranston gave St.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team couldn't hold on to a third quarter lead against top-ranked Onalaska last Tuesday but came back with victories over New Richmond and St. Paul Highland Park later in the week. The Cats dropped a 57-48 decision to Onalaska before beating New Richmond, 75-45, Friday, Feb. 8 and St. Paul Highland Park, 59-57, Saturday, Feb.
The Wildcat gymnastics team picked a good time to put together its best score of the season last Thursday, Feb. 7. In the final Big Rivers Conference dual meet between the only two remaining undefeated teams in the conference, the Wildcats defeated Rice Lake/Cumberland 138.975 to 136.75 to clinch the regular season BRC championship. Both teams will be in action against this Saturday, Feb. 16 at the BRC Championship Tournament in Chippewa Falls. "What a great meet!" Wildcat coach Rachel Paulson said about last Thursday's win.
After completing a perfect season in the Big Rivers Conference, the St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team begins its quest for a WIAA State Tournament berth with a regional final game against Superior Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in Baldwin. The Fusion completed their clean sweep of BRC opponents with a 2-0 victory over the Eau Claire/Altoona Stars Tuesday night, Feb. 5 at Wildcat Centre. St.
Junior Sebastian Larson won an individual title at 170 pounds and four other Wildcats finished in the top four of their respective weight classes to keep their seasons alive at the WIAA Division 1 wrestling regional Saturday, Feb. 9 in New Richmond. Larson claimed the regional title at 170 pounds while senior Nathan Kinneman took third at 138 and senior Erik Dartsch placed third at 152. Junior Zach Radkey-Pechacek finished fourth at 126 and freshman David Hennessey took fourth at 195. All five Wildcats advanced to the WIAA sectional this Saturday in Marshfield.
Junior Zach Radkey-Pechacek finished second at 126 pounds and junior Sebastian Larson took third at 170 pounds as the Wildcat wrestling team finished ninth overall at the 12-team big Rivers Conference/Dunn-St. Croix County Conference Challenge Saturday, Feb. 2 at River Falls High School. Radkey-Pechacek defeated Chippewa Fall's Michael Gauger, 8-3, in the semifinals before losing to Hudson's Sawyer Massie, 6-4, in the championship bout.
Tom Ramquist, Isaac Dzubay and Alex Haskins each made four trips to the awards podium and Ramquist posted the Cats' best finish of the day by placing third in the 200 yard freestyle as the Wildcat boys' swimming and diving team placed fourth at the six-team Big Rivers Conference Championship Meet Saturday, Feb. 2 in River Falls. Ramquist posted a time of 1 minute, 53.75 seconds in the 200 free to place third and took seventh in the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.02 seconds.