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 River Falls High School cross country team's season starts Thursday, Aug. 23, when the Wildcats will host their annual Extreme Meet on the campus of UW-River Falls. And this year the team is offering spectators a chance to see what it's like to run through the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River. The race starts and ends on the UWRF intramural fields and consists of two laps with each lap consisting of two sections that take runners across and through the South Fork behind the UWRF power plant.
Hannah Harper's round of 89 was good enough for fourth place individually but no other Wildcat broke 100 as the Cats placed second at the seven-team New Richmond Invitational Wednesday, Aug. 15. Jaden Woiwode shot a 102 to place tenth as the Cats finished with a team score of 406, nine strokes better than third place Eau Claire Memorial. Host New Richmond ran away with the team title on their home course with 359.
It may still be the dog days of summer, but student-athletes at River Falls High School are kicking off their respective fall sports seasons. The big game on the agenda is the Wildcat football team's season opener against the New Richmond Tigers this Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. The Wildcats have been practicing since Aug. 1 and took part in a scrimmage in Osceola last Friday, Aug. 10.
Second-year River Falls football coach David Crail promised one thing to Wildcat fans who turn out to watch this Friday's season opener against New Richmond. "They're going to see a team that's raring to go," he said. "I know that." The Wildcats return a host of starters from last year, including all the skill positions on offense and most of the defense with the exception of a few lineman. He said those players, also with the newcomers, have been working since the day the 2017 season ended to improve on the team's 2-7 record.
Hannah Harper shot a team-low score of 86 and four River Falls players finished in the top ten to lead the Wildcat girls' golf team to a first place finish at the season-opening Eau Claire North Invitational Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Mill Run. Harper's 86 was good for fourth place and Makaylin Harer placed sixth with 93 while Madison Grundstrom took eighth with a 97 and Jaden Woiwoide was tenth with a 99.
Seven individuals and one team will be inducted into the River Falls Wildcat Hall of Fame during the high school's homecoming weekend, Sept. 21-22. Athletes John Page, Russ Brown, Doug Branigan and Jennifer Keenan will join the hall along with coach Tom Linehan. Gerald "Bud' Manion will be honored as the Legacy inductee while Ed Cina is the 2018 Distinguished Citizen. The Wildcat 1976 baseball team will also be honored.
After defeating the La Crescent Cardinals 6-4, in the opening game of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs in Strum Friday, Aug. 10, the River Falls Fighting Fish and Osseo Merchants were locked in a scoreless tie through six innings in Sunday's second round before the Merchants scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to post a 4-0 victory. River Falls starter T.J. Wink allowed just two hits through the first six innings before he developed a finger blister in the seventh and the Merchants, champions of the Chippewa River Valley Baseball League, took advantage.
While the other teams were still sleeping or playing video games in their hotel rooms at the American Legion Class AA Baseball Tournament last week, the River Falls Post 121 team was out hiking the trails and bluffs around Baraboo. These players have spent the last four months doing those kinds of things together, dating back to the start of the high school season in March. It's part of what head coach Ryan Bishop calls River Falls Baseball, and culminated with the players celebrating an American Legion state championship together.
Seven individuals and one team will be inducted into the River Falls Wildcat Hall of Fame during the high school's homecoming weekend, Sept. 21-22. Athletes John Page, Russ Brown, Doug Branigan and Jennifer Keenan will join the hall along with coach Tom Linehan. Gerald “Bud' Manion will be honored as the Legacy inductee while Ed Cina is the 2018 Distinguished Citizen. The Wildcat 1976 baseball team will also be honored.
Despite winning the St. Croix Valley Baseball League North Division and finishing third overall in the 12-team league standings, the River Falls Fighting Fish earned a No. 3 seed in their four-team bracket for the opening round of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs. The Fish will open postseason play in Strum Friday, Aug. 10, against the No. 2 seed La Crescent Cardinals. The winner will face either the top-seeded Osseo Merchants or the No. 4 Medford Moon Dogs Sunday, Aug. 12, at noon for a berth in the eight-team WBA finals Aug. 17-19 in Osseo.