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 UW-River Falls volleyball team kicked off the 2017 season by posting a record of 3-1 at the St. Olaf Invitational in Northfield, Minn., Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1-2. The Falcons defeated Bethany Lutheran, 3-0, and Hamline, 3-1, Friday. They dropped a 3-1 decision to Carleton Saturday before ending the tourney with a 3-1 victory over Macalester.
After sitting out the first meet of the season at Holmen Aug. 24, the Wildcat divers made quite a splash at Tartan five nights later. Freshmen Eva Mikla, Madison Tape and Isabelle Seyffer swept the top three spots but the Wildcats came up short to Tartan, 96-84. Head coach Dennis Dadashev said seven of the Cats' eight divers are freshmen under the guidance of diving coach Renee Seipel, who took a one-year hiatus after coaching the team in 2015.
UW-River Falls had over twice as many first downs, over four times as many rushing yards and nearly twice as many total yards as Coe College in its 2017 season opener Saturday, Sept. 2, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. They also had five times as many turnovers. Throw in two missed field goals, a missed extra point kick, and 87 yards in penalties and it all added up to a 13-9 loss to the defending Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Kohawks.
The Wildcat volleyball team may have gotten off to a slow start in its Big Rivers Conference opener at Hudson Thursday, Aug. 31, but once the Cats got rolling there was no stopping them. After falling behind early and holding off a late Hudson charge in the first set, the Wildcats settled in and swept the Raiders, 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 to improve to 11-0 on the season while still not dropping a set. Head coach Sara Kealy said the crowd support in the Hudson gym for the first dual of the season was great for both teams, something the Wildcats have yet to see.
Wildcat senior Emma Handlos loves to watch other runners at the River Falls Extreme Cross Country Meet. "It's kind of fun to watch them wipe out," she said. "They just kind of face plant and you're like, 'Oh, yeah, there's a hole there.'" Started by former Wildcat coach Rick Cleary over 15 years ago, the Extreme Meet is a 5,000-meter race consisting of two laps, starting and ending on the UW-River Falls intramural fields that takes runners through and across the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River and up and down increasingly muddy trails.
Anna Cernohous and Hannah Harper each finished in the top five to lead the Wildcat girls golf team to a second place finish at the first Big Rivers Conference meet of the season Monday, Aug. 28, at the River Falls Golf Club. Cernohous tied for fourth with a 9-hole score of 46 and Harper was right behind in fifth with a 47 to help the Cats to a team score of 201, ten strokes behind first place Eau Claire Memorial and 10 strokes ahead of third place Chippewa Falls.
The Wildcat football team has done some good things in its first two games of the season. Head coach David Crail would just like to see more of them. In their home opener Friday night, Aug. 25, against Ellsworth, the Wildcats took the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards to cut the Panther's lead to six on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by sophomore Seth Kohel. But that's as close as they could get in a 13-7 loss that dropped their record to 0-2 to start the season.
UW-Whitewater, winner of the last six regular season WIAC volleyball crowns and six of the last seven regular season soccer titles, has been picked to win both conference championships, based on a preseason poll conducted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Ellsworth Panthers made a pair of first half touchdowns passes by Drake Flom hold up in a 13-7 win over the River Falls Wildcats in high school football action Friday night, Aug. 25, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field in River Falls. Flom hit Logan Benson for a 36-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter and found Ryan McGregor from 17 yards out in the second to stake Ellsworth to a 13-0 halftime lead after a missed extra point.
The Wildcat girls golf team finished fifth at the eight-team season opening Eau Claire North Invitational Tuesday, Aug. 15, and followed that up with a third place finish at the 10-team New Richmond Invite Wednesday, Aug. 16, before posting a second place finish at the Eau Claire Memorial Invitational this past Monday, Aug. 21.