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 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.
Wildcat girls tennis coach Chad Forde said the Cats' 5-2 loss to Baldwin-Woodville in its regular season finale was disappointing, but he saw a lot of positives leading up to the beginning of postseason play this week. The Wildcats got wins from Gina Filkins and Grace Wacthtler at the No. 1 and No. 4 singles spots last Thursday, Sept. 28 in Baldwin, but let a few other close matches slip away.
After watching a 2-0 lead slip away in a 3-2 nonconference loss to St. Scholastica Wednesday, Sept. 27, the UW-River Falls women's soccer team couldn't hold on to a 1-0 lead against UW-Oshkosh Saturday, Sept. 30 and settled for a 1-1 tie in the WIAC opener against the Titans. The Falcons, 3-6-1 overall, 0-0-1 in WIAC play, will host UW-Stout at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Ramer Field before visiting UW-La Crosse Saturday, Oct. 7.
The Wildcat boys soccer team managed just one goal in a pair of Big Rivers Conference losses last week to slip to 2-6-1 against BRC opponents this season. River Falls dropped a 5-0 decision to conference-leading and third-ranked Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Eau Claire before falling 3-1 at home Thursday, Sept. 28, to Chippewa Falls.
The Wildcat girls swimming and diving team made some strides against Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Sept. 28 but couldn't keep up with the Old Abes in a 121-64 Big Rivers Conference loss. Freshman diver Madison Berg came within three points of hitting the 190-point mark for the second straight week by posting a score of 187.15, good enough for third place behind two Old Abe state qualifiers from a year ago. "That is remarkable for a girl that never got on a diving board until this season," Wildcat coach Dennis Dadashev said.
Luke Nelson had been dreaming about this moment all his life. The River Falls junior kicked a 37-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining to give the Wildcat football team a 32-30 Homecoming win over Superior Friday night, Sept. 29, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field for the Cat's first victory of the season.
It wasn't exactly ideal running conditions at the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday, Sept. 23, but the Wildcat cross country teams held their own in one of the biggest meets in the upper Midwest. With a heat advisory in place, race officials from the host University of Minnesota decided to shorten the course to two miles instead of the typical 5K. The Wildcat boys responded by finishing seventh out of 58 teams in the Maroon Division race while the girls placed 18th out of 48 teams.