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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One hundred and forty-one of the strongest high school athletes in western Wisconsin descended on River Falls High School Dec. 15 for a Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association (WHSPA) regional meet hosted by the RFHS Powerlifting Club. Nine schools were represented at the meet, the first ever held at the high school gym, in both varsity and junior varsity competition. Athletes compete in three different events -- squat, bench press-and dead lift -- with awards based on the total weight lifted. The RFHS Powerlifting Club has been in existence for five years.
Sally Cranston scored two goals and sisters Emma and Miranda VanDell had a goal apiece as the St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over New Richmond Dec. 13 in New Richmond. The Fusion, now 3-3 on the season, will visit Rochester John Marshall Thursday, Dec. 20, before competing in the Culvers Cup Dec. 27-29 in Madison. Head coach Matt Cranston said the Fusion looked good in their win at New Richmond. "I was happy with the performance of the girls tonight," he said.
Cold shooting plagued the Wildcat boys' basketball team in its first two Big Rivers Conference games of the season last week. The Cats were able to grind out a 45-42 victory over winless Menomonie last Tuesday, Dec. 4, but weren't able to overcome a physical Rice Lake team in a 54-32 loss to the undefeated Warriors on Friday, De. 7. River Falls, now 4-1 overall, 1-1 in the BRC, returns to action this Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Former state champion and new Wildcat gymnastics coach Rachel Paulson has her old team off to a flying start after the first two tournaments of the season. The Cats took third at the season-opening Wisconsin Rapids Invitational Dec. 1 before taking first place at last Saturday's Chippewa Falls Invite. The Cats have ten days off before beginning defense of their Big Rivers Conference title Tuesday, Dec.
The Wildcat hockey team dropped a pair of games to two of the top teams in the state last week before going across the border to St. Paul and coming home with a 5-3 victory over Simley. The Cats, now 3-4 overall, 0-2 in the Big Rivers Conference, hosted Chippewa Falls this past Tuesday and will visit Onalaska Saturday, Dec. 15 before traveling to Eau Claire North Tuesday, Dec. 18. Head coach Mike Kealy said the Cats needed a win after two straight losses and played well in their 5-3 victory over Simley Saturday, Dec. 8. "This was a good win and we needed that," he said.
The Wildcat wrestling team won the final four matches of the night to score a come-from-behind 40-30 victory over Rice Lake Thursday, Dec. 6 before wrestling to a third place finish at the 12-teaam Barron Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 8. River Falls trailed Rice Lake 30-24 when Winston Bystrom picked up a 5-3 overtime decision at 152 pounds to cut the deficit in half.
Just one week in, the Wildcat boys' basketball team has already made the 2012-13 season one for the record books. After throttling Ellsworth, 94-47, in the season opener last Tuesday, the Cats earned head coach Greg Gaulke career victory No. 400 Friday, Nov. 30 with a 61-49 win over Byron, Minn. in the semifinals of the Red Wing Invitational. For good measure, they defeated the host Wingers, 63-52, Saturday, Dec. 1 to win their second Red Wing Invite title in three years and give Gaulke career victory No.
Rice Lake scored a pair of shorthanded goals in the third period that proved to be the difference as the Warriors spoiled the Wildcat hockey team's home opener with a 5-3 victory Thursday, Nov.
The Wildcat girls' basketball team couldn't overcome a pair of early double-digit deficits last week, losing at Altoona, 48-43 Tuesday, Nov. 27 and falling to Durand, 52-35, Friday, Nov. 30, at home. The Cats return to action at home this Friday, Dec. 7, in the first game of a doubleheader with Rice Lake at 5:45 p.m. Last Tuesday at Altoona, the Wildcats were held scoreless in the first quarter and fell behind 13-0.
The Wildcat boys swim and dive team kicked off the 2012-13 season with a fifth place finish at the nine-team Chippewa Falls Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 1. Head coach Kirk Gednalske said the team looked good in its first meet of the season. "We've had a great start to the season," he said. "Three weeks of focused practice helped us to some great first swims. A few of the guys beat their best times from last season.