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 Wildcat boys' basketball team picked up a pair of huge Big Rivers Conference road wins last week, defeating Hudson 53-45 last Tuesday before handing Eau Claire Memorial its first conference loss, 59-57, in triple overtime on Saturday. The win over the Old Abes vaulted the Cats into second place in the BRC, two games behind Memorial with three to play. River Falls, now 6-3 in the BRC, 14-4 overall, will visit Menomonie (1-8, 1-15) Friday night and host New Richmond (10-4) in a nonconference game Monday.
The Wildcat gymnastics team cracked the 140 point plateau in a nonconference dual victory over Stillwater, Minn., last Tuesday, then raised the bar even higher to win the Flip for a Cure Invitational Saturday in Galesville.
The Wildcat girls' basketball team took early leads in both of its games last week and never let up on its way to a pair of Big Rivers Conference victories -- 54-42 over Hudson and 55-37 over Eau Claire Memorial. Monday night the Cats dropped a 53-41 nonconference decision at Durand. River Falls, now 4-5 in the BRC, 8-8 overall, will host conference leader Menomonie (7-1, 14-1) Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.
The River Falls boys hockey team did its best Tuesday night to keep Superior from making it to a ninth straight WIAA State Tournament, but in a game that lasted nearly four hours and included a total of 96 shots on goal, the Spartans outlasted the Wildcats, 2-1, with a goal 30 seconds into the fifth overtime in a sectional semifinal in Superior. "It was just an incredible hockey game," River Falls head coach Nick Jenkins said. "It was something special to be a part of. You can't hang your heads after something like that. We lost, but those boys got after it.
Wildcat hockey coach Nick Jenkins is seeing some good things from his team, just not enough to win games lately. The Cats saw their losing streak stretch to three straight with a pair of one-goal losses last week, 3-2 to Hudson last Tuesday and 4-3 in overtime Saturday to New Richmond. "We have lost some close games, but there are bright spots," Jenkins said.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team is doing all the little things it needs to do to win. The Cats proved that in their last three games, a 38-37 win over Eau Claire North last Tuesday, a 56-42 victory over Chippewa Falls Friday, and a 64-40 win over Prescott Monday. River Falls, now 12-4 overall, 4-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, will visit Hudson (6-9, 4-4) Thursday and Eau Claire Memorial (13-3, 7-0) Saturday. Wildcat head coach Greg Gaulke said he likes the way his team is playing right now. "As I've said for years, good things take time to grow, and the boys are doing some nice things o
Karyn Bye-Dietz watched the dozen or so neighborhood kids skating on her homemade rink in the town of Troy Saturday afternoon and smiled. "I love this," she said. "It brings back memories of when I was a kid and skated all the time, weekends, after school, whenever I could." Bye-Dietz went from skating in her backyard in River Falls to winning a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, as a member of the very first U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey team. She earned a silver medal four years later at the Salt Lake City games.
The Wildcat swimmers continue to drop time as they hit the stretch run of the season. The Cats mixed things up Thursday night in a Big Rivers Conference dual against Menomonie before taking fifth place at the eight-team Husky Invitational Saturday at Eau Claire North. "The meet against Menomonie gave many guys the chance to step up and swim in events that were new to them," head coach Brady McAdams said. Among the swimmers who cut time was heath Westberg, who dropped 16 seconds in the 200 freestyle to finish second with a time of 2 minutes, 23.51 seconds.
Late goals hurt the Wildcat hockey team in its last two games, a 3-3 tie with Chippewa Falls Thursday night and a 3-2 loss to Sun Prairie Saturday. The Cardinals scored with 52 seconds remaining in regulation to forge a tie Thursday while Sun Prairie scored a shorthanded goal midway through the third period that turned out to be the game-winner Saturday. The Cats slipped to 8-4-2 overall, 4-2-2 in the Big Rivers Conference. After visiting Hudson Tuesday night, they will host New Richmond on Saturday at 7 p.m.
John Bennett has resigned as head football coach at River Falls High School. Bennett submitted his resignation to the school district last week, saying he "is leaving with a full heart and a real deep sense of gratitude for the experience." In an interview Monday afternoon, Bennett said that after a great deal of consideration and evaluation, he decided to step down after eight seasons guiding the Wildcat football program. "It's not just an in-season job," he said.