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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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.
The top-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team outscored its Big Rivers Conference opponents 12-3 in pair of wins last week, including a 5-2 victory over the sixth-ranked Eau Claire Area Stars Friday night in Eau Claire. Saturday afternoon Fusion co-captain Alice Cranston tallied her third straight hat trick in a 7-1 victory over Menomonie. The Fusion, now 14-2-1 overall, 5-0-0 in the BRC, headed west across the St. Croix River for a game against Breck, the No. 2 ranked Class A team in Minnesota, Tuesday night.
Halfway through the season the Wildcat boys' basketball team sports a record of 8-3. And that suits head coach Greg Gaulke just fine. "From the graduation rate that we had, I'm really proud of that," he said. "Like I tell the kids, we're nothing special, just a blue collar, hard-working team." The Cats' blue collar attitude was on full display last week as they evened their Big Rivers Conference record at 2-2 with a 50-43 win over Menomonie Tuesday before dropping a 49-48 nonconference decision to Holmen Friday. After another nonconference game at Baldwin-Woodville (6-3) Tuesday, Jan.
Wildcat gymnastics coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis hoped Thursday's Big Rivers Conference loss to Eau Claire North/Memorial would serve as a wake-up call for the team. She was right. The Cats rebounded from their first dual loss in over three years by winning the 12-team River Falls Invitational Saturday at the high school. "This meet was more like it," Kahut-Loomis said. "They performed much better than Thursday night.
The Wildcat girls' basketball team split a pair of Big Rivers Conference games last week, defeating Eau Claire Memorial, 47-30, at home last Tuesday before dropping a 68-56 decision Saturday at undefeated Menomonie. The Cats, now 5-4 overall, 2-3 in the BRC, will travel to Osceola (4-4) for a nonconference game Friday at 7:30 p.m. Last Tuesday at home against Eau Claire Memorial (1-9, 0-4), the score was tied 19-19 at halftime before River Falls outscored the Old Abes 28-11 in the second half to earn the win. Emma Purfeerst scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to spark th
The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team recovered from its only two losses of the season at the Schwan Holiday Cup by posting back-to-back shutouts last week to improve to 12-2-1 on the season. Freshman goaltender Kalli Armagost picked up her third and fourth career shutouts as the Fusion blanked Hudson, 3-0, Tuesday in a showdown between the top two teams in the Big Rivers Conference before defeating Rochester John Marshall (Minn.), 6-0 in a nonconference game Friday. The Fusion will travel to Eau Claire to take on the Eau Claire/Altoona Stars Friday at 7 p.m. at Hobbs Ice Center.
The Wildcat baseball team needed a total of just 10 innings to win its final two games of the regular season last week. The Cats disposed of Baldwin-Woodville 13-2 in five innings in a nonconference game last Tuesday before posting an 11-1 Big Rivers Conference win, also in five innings, on Thursday. Both games were played on the Wildcats' home field. River Falls finishes the regular season with a record of 14-6 overall, 7-5 and in third place in the BRC. It opened WIAA regional play Tuesday, May 30 in Hudson against the Raiders.