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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Two years ago, over 1,300 people packed the Meyer Middle School gym to watch local personalities display their skills in a Donkey Basketball Show. This January, the event returns to River Falls and will be held at the high school gym on Saturday, Jan. 22. Four teams consisting of high school students, teachers, community members and school administrators will compete. All competitors will ride real, live donkeys while playing a game of basketball. Pre-sale tickets cost $6 each and will be available beginning Dec.
When Brooks Lockwood takes his Wildcat hockey team to Hudson to face his alma mater Dec. 14, it will be his sixth career game as a head coach. It will be Raider coach Mike Stoskopf's 500th. "He's won a lot of games," Lockwood said about Stoskopf. "I've learned a lot from him." Lockwood played his high school hockey for Stoskopf and was a junior on the Raiders' first state championship team in 2001. Last month he was named the new head hockey coach at River Falls, taking over for Nick Jenkins, who stepped down after two seasons.
The Wildcat girls' swimming and diving team will be sending four divers, one individual and one relay team to the WIAA State Championships in Madison this weekend, Nov. 12. The Cats qualified all four of their divers at the Nov. 5 sectional competition in Hudson, with Sierra Becker winning the sectional championship with a score of 367.3, Rose Tashjian runner-up with 316.3, Britta Grebner fourth with 305.3 and Megan Brown fifth with 287.05. Becker earned an automatic berth at state while Tashjian, Grebner and Brown grabbed spots as extra qualifiers.
Bob Burrows photo Wildcat cross country runners Natalie Powell (far left, partially obscured), Tia Harris, Laura Anderson, Lucy Ramquist (970), Ellie Nelson (behind Ramquist), Paige Skorseth and Aislinn Pomfret break from the starting line at the beginning of the 4,000 meter Division 1 girls' race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday afternoon, Oct. 30. The Wildcats put together a fourth place finish, their best in five trips to the state meet.
The Wildcat swimming and diving team's only loss this season during the Big Rivers Conference dual meet season was at the hands of perennial BRC powerhouse Eau Claire Memorial. Saturday, at the BRC Meet in Eau Claire, the Cats were the only team to finish even remotely close to the Old Abes, finishing second, 125 points ahead of third place Hudson, at the seven team event. Eau Claire Memorial won the conference title for the sixth straight year and 20th time in the last 21 years with a total of 697.5 points while the Wildcats finished second with 463.
Members of the Wildcat volleyball team saluted the team's young ball girls before the Cats' final home game of the season Oct. 12 and got together for a picture before taking the court against Rice Lake. The girls, in grades kindergarten through six, shagged balls during the team's warm-ups and stood on the floor and handed balls to players during all the Wildcat home matches this season.
A little rain couldn't stop the Wildcat cross country teams at the WIAA Division 1 Sectional at Hiawatha Golf Course Saturday, Oct. 23. The Wildcat girls won the sectional title to earn their second straight trip to state as a team and the boys took third to tie for their best finish ever while Ethan Genco earned a trip to state as an individual. The WIAA State Cross Country Championships will take place Oct. 30 at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. The Division 1 boys' race will begin at 12:20 p.m.
Three of the Wildcat boys' soccer team's five losses this season have come at the hands of the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes. And none stung as much as Saturday's sectional final loss in Chippewa Falls. The Cats took a 2-0 lead over Memorial, the first time all year the undefeated Old Abes had trailed by two goals. But Memorial stormed back in the second half, scoring three times to earn its third straight trip to the WIAA State Tournament and ending the Wildcats' season with a record of 18-5-1. Read more in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.
For more than half the members of the Wildcat girls' swim team, last Tuesday's home meet against Rice Lake was the last time this season they would hit the pool. But they went out in style, helping the Cats post a 130-40 victory over the Warriors in the final dual meet of the season. Up next, 17 varsity swimmers and four divers will represent River Falls in the postseason, beginning Saturday with the Big Rivers Conference meet in Chippewa Falls. "The day after this last dual meet, the entire team met one more time to discuss and celebrate so many swimmers' met goals," head coach Lynn Huiska
Wildcat football coach Jason Wolf admits there is a small part of him that wishes his team was playing in Minnesota, where every team makes the playoffs. "I think we could do some things," he said.