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 volleyball team ran the table against Eau Claire North Thursday night, Oct. 12, to complete a 38-0 regular season and claim its second straight Big Rivers Conference championship. The Wildcats swept the Huskies by scores of 25-15, 25-18, 25-23 on Senior Night in River Falls.
The Wildcat boys cross country team finished fourth out of 17 teams and the girls were ninth out of 15 in the final race of the regular season Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Old Abe Invitational hosted by Eau Claire Memorial. River Falls coach Kari DeLuca said despite an all-day rain and mud-soaked course, the Wildcats rose up to the challenge. "The kids said it felt like the Extreme Meet all over again," DeLuca said. "They were in good spirits about the weather though. We've got kids on this team that are both tough and positive; it's a great combination."
Winning never gets old. Just ask River Falls volleyball coach Sara Kealy. The Wildcats took care of Ellsworth in three sets last Thursday, Oct. 5, at home before going 5-0 to win the Irondale (Minn.) Tournament Saturday, Oct. 7, to improve to 36-0 on the season. "Seems like I say this each week, but it was another fun week," Kealy said after picking up her 200th career win at Cannon Falls. "As a coach, this team is a dream come true because there are so many talented players and they all have a high volleyball IQ."
The UW-River Falls football team came back from two touchdowns down to tie UW-Platteville on Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 7, but the eighth-ranked Pioneers scored 10 points in the final eight minutes to remain undefeated with a 24-14 victory over the Falcons in front of 2,175 fans at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. Travon Hearns tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Patrick O'Leary on UWRF's first drive of the second half and Hearns scored on a 5-yard run later in the third quarter to tie the score, 14-14.
Stefan Klechefski's goal in the 86th minute snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Wildcat boys soccer team a 2-1 Big Rivers Conference victory over Eau Claire North and a season sweep of the Huskies Thursday, Oct. 5, in Eau Claire. North took a quick 1-0 lead four minutes into the match before Gage Espanet tied things up with an assist from Joe Cottrell midway through the first half. The score remained tied until Klechefski found the back of the net off an assist from Niko Zoller with less than five minutes remaining to give the Wildcats the 2-1 win.
Sophomore running back Seth Kohel ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns and River Falls' defense held Eau Claire North to just 10 yards on the ground as the Wildcat football team picked up its second straight win of the season, 35-14, Friday, Oct. 6, at Carson Park in Eau Claire.
The Wildcat girls tennis team may not have picked up any wins at subsectionals, but that doesn't mean there weren't some highlights last Monday, Oct. 2, in Eau Claire. The Cats' senior No. 1 doubles team of Olivia Kittleson and Elizabeth Radosevich were pitted against one of the top doubles teams in the state from Eau Claire Memorial, and despite losing by scores of 6-2, 6-0, gave the Old Abe duo all they could handle.
After tying for third place at the New Richmond Regional Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Wildcat girls golf team came up short in its bid for a state tournament berth by finishing sixth at the WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament in Wisconsin Rapids Monday, Oct. 2. River Falls finished with a team score of 399 to place sixth at the eight-team sectional. Onalaska won the team title with 359 and will be joined at next week's WIAA State Tournament in Madison by Eau Claire Memorial, who edged Stevens Point by one stroke with a 365 to finish second.
Travon Hearns passed for 214 yards, ran for one touchdown and threw for another, Michael Diggins ran for 158 yards and two scores, and the UW-River Falls defense continued its dominating start to the season as the Falcons clobbered UW-Eau Claire, 30-7, in the WIAC football opener for both teams Saturday, Sept. 30, at Carson Park in Eau Claire.
With the the hoopla of homecoming week last week at the high school, Wildcat volleyball coach Sara Kealy wanted her team to find a balance between enjoying the festivities and focusing on their lone match against Chippewa Falls.