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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One week after losing the regional title to Hudson in a one-hole playoff at New Richmond, the Wildcat boys golf team and Hudson found themselves going extra holes again at the Marshfield Sectional Tuesday, May 30.
After dropping a 3-2 decision to Division 2 sectional foe New Richmond Monday, May 22, the Wildcat girls soccer team ended the regular season on a high note with a pair of victories over Division 1 Big Rivers Conference opponents later in the week. The Cats blanked Superior, 8-0 Tuesday, May 23, before topping Eau Claire North, 2-1, Thursday, May 25, to secure the No. 2 seed in its WIAA Division 2 regional behind top-seeded New Richmond.
River Falls girls will send its 4x400-meter relay team to the WIAA State Track and Field Championships for the fifth straight season while a host of Wildcats will be making their state meet debut after qualifying Thursday, May 25, at the D.C. Everest Sectional in Wausau. The girls 4x400-meter relay team of senior Alaina Syverson, senior Tessa Rayne, sophomore Sarah Langlois and freshman Emily Banitt qualified and Banitt earned a spot in the 100-meter dash while junior Sam Krueger advanced to state in the pole vault.
RIVER FALLS — Riese Nelson was visiting his dad's family farm when he shot his first clay "bird." "He had a trap thrower on the farm when he was young," Nelson recalled. "So one weekend when I was up there I brought my shotgun, and he was throwing clays and I started shooting at them. Then my freshman year in high school they started a trap team and I thought, 'hey I just did that; I think I'll try it out and see how it goes.'"
After losing three of their final four games of the regular season to two of the best teams in the state, the Wildcat baseball team takes a fresh perspective into the WIAA playoffs beginning this week. "The best thing about playoffs is everyone is now 0-0 again," head coach Ryan Bishop said. "Records and rankings are out the door. I look forward to seeing our guys play their best baseball of the year, and hopefully we can turn a few heads in the process."
River Falls junior Hugo Schneckenberger had to work overtime to secure a berth in this week's WIAA State Boys Tennis Tournament in Madison. Schneckenberger needed to beat Onalaska's Ben Havlicek in his first match at the Eau Claire Sectional on May 24. After splitting the first two sets, 7-5, 3-6, Schneckenberger took the third-set tiebreaker, 10-7, to earn his trip to state.
The River Falls Fighting Fish bounced back from a 6-3 loss to the Prescott Pirates in the semifinals of the 26th annual Plum City Memorial Day Weekend Tournament to beat the host Blues, 11-4, in the third place game Monday, May 29, at Legion Park. The Fish opened the tournament by blanking the Ellsworth Hubbers, 6-0, Saturday, May 27, before letting a 3-0 lead slip away Sunday against Prescott.
Foursomes are the norm in golf. Some courses even allow fivesomes. But a tensome? That was the situation at the New Richmond Golf Course after River Falls and Hudson tied for the low team score with 321 each at the WIAA Division 1 Boys Golf Tournament Tuesday, May 23. That sent all 10 players, five from each team, out for a one-hole playoff with the total of each team's best four scores determining the regional champ. Hudson came in at one under-par on the hole while the Wildcats finished at two-over, giving the Raiders the regional crown and leaving the Wildcats runner-up.
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has chosen the River Falls Wildcats as the recipient of the team Sportsmanship Award for the 2017 state tournament.
River Falls wasn't even in the Big Rivers Conference when La Crosse Logan set the conference record of four minutes, 5.9 seconds in the girls 4x400-meter relay in 1981. But the Wildcats are in the record book now. Alaina Syverson, Tessa Rayne, Sarah Schneckenberger and Emily Banitt teamed up to break the Rangers' 36-year-old BRC record with a time of 4:05.29 seconds at the BRC championships Thursday, May 18, in Menomonie. Eau Claire North was second with a time of 4:14.76.