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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Three Wildcat boys earned all-conference honors and two girls earned spots on the teams at the 2017 Big Rivers Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday, Oct. 14, on the campus of UW-River Falls. Tyler Cernohous earned a spot on the boys All-BRC second team and Brayden Richison and Mason Shea received honorable mention while Meggie Weideman and Elsa Putzier received honorable mention to the girls team. The Wildcat boys finished third in the final team standings while the girls placed fifth.
River Falls junior Michael Vitt (8) gets in the way of a shot by Hudson's Luke Johnson in the second half of the Wildcat soccer team's 3-1 loss to the Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Wildcat Field. The Cats went on to defeat Menomonie, 4-0, in their final regular season game two days later to give the Cats a record of 6-10-2 overall, 4-7-1 in Big Rivers Conference play heading into the postseason. River Falls earned the No. 3 seed in their WIAA Division 2 sectional and will host sixth-seeded Marshfield in a regional semifinal Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. at Wildcat Field.
The Wildcat football team was on the verge of making it a one-score game Friday night, Oct. 13, against Hudson when everything changed on one play. River Falls had just recovered a Hudson fumble near midfield and was driving at the Raider 16-yard line when running back Seth Kohel was hit hard at the line and lost the ball. Hudson defensive end Cole Godbout picked it up and raced 83 yards for a touchdown and just like that, instead of it being a 21-14 game the Raiders were up 28-7.
Thursday, Oct. 12, was a special night for the Wildcat volleyball team for a lot of reasons. In addition to honoring their four seniors—Izzy Barr, Elise Banitt, Sam Krueger and Marissa Stockman—the Cats were playing for their second straight Big Rivers Conference title, on their home court, with a chance to complete the first undefeated season in school history. Check, check, and check.
Northwoods League owners announced Wednesday, Oct. 11, that the Hudson-based St. Croix River Hounds will join the league as its newest expansion franchise beginning with the 2019 baseball season. The River Hounds will make their home in a new stadium that will be part of a multi-use campus planned for the old 130-acre St. Croix Meadows dog track.
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.