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 hockey team posted a 7-3 win over Faribault Friday, Dec. 29 before losing to Coon Rapids, 4-3, Saturday, Dec. 30, at its home River Falls Holiday Quad at Wildcat Centre. The Wildcats, now 3-8-1 overall, will visit Hayward this Saturday, Jan. 6, before returning to Big Rivers Conference play Tuesday, Jan. 9, at home against Eau Claire North. Last Friday against Faribault, Taylor Rotsaert and Cody Wilson scored two goals each and Jake Bergmanis dished out three assists in a 7-3 Wildcat win.
It was a fitting end to the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic Friday night, Dec. 29, when Wildcat senior Mitchell Williamson had his arm raised in the final match of the two-day tournament after posting a 3-1 sudden victory over Noah Novotney of Boyceville in the heavyweight championship match.
Wildcat volleyball makes history River Falls was captivated by the season the high school volleyball team put together in 2017. The Wildcats won their second straight Big Rivers Conference championship, qualified for the WIAA State Tournament for the second straight year and reached the state title game for the first time before suffering their only loss of the season in a five-set thriller to Burlington.
Registration and the first session for the local snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety course will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, at the Meyer Middle School library, 230 N. Ninth St. Enter through the north doors to the school. Anyone 12-years-old and born on or after Jan. 1, 1985, must have completed the safety course and received a certificate in order to operate a snowmobile or ATV. A parent or guardian needs to attend the registration session and sign a permission form. A brief explanation of the program will be given, then parents may leave.
Chippewa Falls scored a pair of third period goals to beat the Wildcats in Big Rivers Conference action before the Cats dropped a pair of one-goal decisions later in the week, including an overtime loss to a very good Minnehaha Academy team, to slip to 2-7-1 on the season. Chippewa Falls score the go ahead goal 2:50 into the third period Tuesday, Dec. 19, then added an empty-net goal 11 seconds remaining to beat the Wildcats, 3-1, in Chippewa Falls.
Two nights after what Wildcat head coach Zac Campbell called possibly the biggest win for the program in five years at Eau Claire North, the Cats needed a three-pointer by freshman Zac Johnson with 13 seconds left and a pair of late free throws to pull out a victory at home against New Richmond. River Falls came back from ten points down midway through the second half Tuesday, Dec. 19, to knock off defending Big Rivers Conference champion and previously unbeaten Eau Claire North, 61-58.
Former Wildcat Karly Murphy, a redshirt freshman on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women's basketball team, has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks after scoring a career-best 18 points in UWGB's 72-40 win over Bradley Saturday, Dec. 16. Murphy's career afternoon came on a 7-for-10 effort from the field and saw the redshirt freshman pull down five rebounds, dole out two assists and collect one steal in 25 minutes.
The third-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion won their third straight game with a 3-0 victory over the Western Wisconsin Stars (Somerset/Amery/New Richmond/Osceola/St. Croix Falls) Tuesday, Dec. 19, in Somerset. The win boosted St. Croix Valley's record to 8-1 on the season heading into this week's Culver's Cup in Madison.
After a 10-point Big Rivers Conference loss at Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Wildcat girls went into the holiday break with a 54-51 victory Thursday, Dec. 21, at La Crosse Central. The Cats will take a record of 3-8 into the new year when they return to action Tuesday, Jan. 2, at Ellsworth. Last Tuesday at Eau Claire Memorial, River Falls scored nine points in the first minute-and-a-half but didn't score another basket for over ten minutes, allowing the Old Abes to take a 26-18 lead.
The Wildcat gymnastics team's only senior—Sam Krueger—highlighted the Cats' Senior Night win over Menomonie Tuesday, Dec. 19, but plenty of underclassmen stepped up as well in the team's final home dual of the season. Krueger took first in the vault, uneven bars and floor on her way to winning the all-around title and lead the Cats to a 137.25 to 129.65 victory.