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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Three Wildcat seniors got together at the high school to announce their college commitments on National Signing Day last month, bringing to four the number of River Falls student-athletes who have accepted scholarship offers from NCAA Division I or II schools. Tiano Pupungatoa signed his national letter of intent to play football for Army and Eric Wunrow announced he will play football at Bemidji State University while Paige Skorseth will run cross country at DePaul University. Last November, their classmate Alex Call signed his national letter of intent to play baseball at Ball State Univer
Senior Nathan Kinneman and juniors Sebastian Larson and Zach Radkey-Pechacek have all been named to 2012-13 All-Big Rivers Conference wrestling teams. Kinneman and Larson both earned spots on the second team while Radkey-Pechacek received honorable mention. All three Wildcats advanced to the WIAA sectional tournament. Kinneman finished his senior season with a record of 17-11 and a fourth place finish at 138 pounds at the Marshfield Sectional.
One of the biggest names in local wrestling history is coming back to coach his old team. Kevin Black, the only four-time state champion ever at River Falls High School, has been hired as the Wildcats' new head wrestling coach, according to school district activities director Rollie Hall. "I am happy and excited to announce Kevin Black has been hired as the new head wrestling coach for the 2013-14 school year," Hall said in a statement released Monday, March 11. "Kevin brings a work ethic and background of experience that is hard to match.
Seven St. Croix Valley Fusion players, including both goaltenders, have been named to 2012-13 All-Big Rivers Conference Girls Hockey teams. Senior goaltender Kalli Armagost was named the BRC Player of the Year and was joined on the all-conference first team by senior forward Sally Cranston. Senior defensemen Heather Shew and Micha Bennett were both named to the All-BRC second team while junior goaltender Carlie Christensen, freshman defenseman Maddie Rowe, and freshman forward Hanna Zevenbergen all earned honorable mention. St. Croix Valley led the conference in All-BRC picks with seven.
The River Falls gymnastics team won the Division 2 state title and Wildcat senior Riley Claude won state titles in the all-around and uneven bars for the second straight season at the WIAA Gymnastics Championships Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, in Wisconsin Rapids. The Cats posted a team score of 142.416 to win Saturday's state team championship and their sixth state title since 2002.
The Wildcat hockey teams' top two scorers this season -- Casey Jerry and Connor Maxwell -- have both been named to 2012-13 All-Big Rivers Conference Hockey teams. Jerry, a senior, was named to the All-BRC first team while Maxwell, a junior defenseman, received honorable mention. Jerry, an honorable mention selection a year ago, led the entire BRC in scoring this season with 37 goals and 32 assists for 69 points, an average of over 2.5 points per game. His 69 points is a new Wildcat single-season scoring record.
After avenging a four-point regular season loss to Holmen with a 59-38 victory in last Friday's WIAA regional semifinal in Holmen, the Wildcat boys' basketball team couldn't pull off a repeat performance against defending state champion and No.
The Wildcat girls' basketball team dropped a 48-34 decision last Tuesday at Eau Claire Memorial before defeating Menomonie, 59-46, the night of Thursday, Feb. 21 on the Mustangs home court in its final two games of the regular season. The Cats, the No. 8 seed in the 11-team WIAA sectional bracket, hosted ninth-seeded New Richmond in a regional quarterfinal game this past Tuesday, Feb. 26 and lost 36-33 in OT.
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.