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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River Falls junior Halle Olson recorded her 1,000th career kill and the third-ranked Wildcat volleyball team swept Chippewa Falls 25-16, 25-11, 25-0 to win their third straight Big Rivers Conference title Thursday, Oct. 4, in River Falls.
Booters open WIAC play 2-0 The UW-River Falls women's soccer team opened WIAC play with a pair of one-goal victories, defeating UW-Stout, 4-3, Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Menomonie before edging UW-Platteville, 2-1, Saturday, Sept. 29 at Ramer Field. UWRF scored two goals in the final six minutes to stun Stout in their WIAC opener Wednesday. Camryn Altnau gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute, and after the Blue Devils tied the score two minutes later, Mariah Troje scored off a corner kick to put UWRF up 2-1 at the half.
Taylor Uetz set up Devlin Laidlaw for one goal and Connor Weinzirl for another as the Wildcat boys' soccer team posted a 2-0 Big Rivers Conference victory over Chippewa Falls Tuesday night, Oct. 2, in Chippewa Falls. Both Wildcat goals came within four minutes of each other in the first half, with Laidlaw scoring 15 minutes in and Weinzirl scoring four minutes later.
The UW-River Falls football team committed six turnovers, four in the second half to help UW-Oshkosh score 27 unanswered points, and the 10th-ranked Titans went on to win 48-14 in the WIAC opener for both teams Saturday, Sept. 29, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field.
River Falls took the top three spots in diving and finished one-two in the 500-yard freestyle but Rice Lake took first in every other event to defeat the Wildcats 199-63 in a Big Rivers Conference dual meet Thursday, Sept. 27, in River Falls. Sophomores Eva Mikla, Madison Berg and Isabelle Seyffer dominated the diving competition with Mikla posting a first place score of 246.25, Berg second with 211.75 and Seyffer third with 198.7.
After rain cut short their final home match of the season Thursday, Sept. 27, against Baldwin-Woodville, the Wildcat girls' tennis team faced some quality competition at New Richmond Friday, Sept. 28, and it paid off when the No. 3 doubles team of Taylor Kasten and Olivia Bell nearly upset the second-seeded team from Hudson at the WIAA Subsectional Monday, Oct. 1. The Wildcats didn't get anybody through to the sectional round, but second-year head coach Chad Forde called the season a success nonetheless.
After placing third at the Superior Regional Wednesday, Sept. 26, the Wildcat girls' golf team came up short in its bid for a state tournament berth with a fourth place team finish at a rainy New Richmond Regional Monday, Oct. 1. River Falls finished 17 strokes short of qualifying for state with a team score of 378 at the New Richmond Golf Course. The host Tigers won the team title with 358 and will be joined at state by second place Onalaska, which shot 361. Stevens Point was third with 371.
Battle tested. Those are two words the Wildcat volleyball team heard a lot at last year's WIAA State Tournament, despite being the only undefeated team in the 8-team field. "I told the girls back in March that I strengthened our schedule so that we would be more battle tested come November," Wildcat coach Sara Kealy said. "That was the phrase that I heard repeated at state last year. We weren't battle tested enough."
It may not have shown in the win-loss column, but Wildcat boys' soccer coach Marcos Rodriguez liked the way his team played in its three games last week. The Wildcats ran into a hot goalkeeper in a 2-1 loss at Rice Lake Tuesday, Sept. 25, before going toe-to-toe with defending Big Rivers Conference champion Eau Claire Memorial in a 5-1 loss in the rain Thursday, Sept. 27. But they ended the week with a dominating 5-2 victory Saturday, Sept. 29 at Menomonie to improve to 7-5-2 heading into two big matches with Holmen and Onalaska this Saturday, Oct. 6, at home.
Jeff Cogbill wasn't sure what game the kids were playing when he came across them on a 2010 trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, near Cancun. "I was driving around the back of the island," he recalled. "A lot of people don't get in their golf carts and drive back there. But there's people living in shacks. And I saw kids with stick and rocks and I finally realized they were trying to play baseball."