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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It’s safe to say no other town in the state, or the country for that matter, has had a spring and summer of baseball as exciting as River Falls has. The magical season continued this Sunday, Aug. 2, when the Post 121 senior team defeated Shawano, 14-4, to win the American Legion U19 State Championship.
The Wildcat baseball team battled back to tie the score twice in its WIAA State Tournament semifinal game against Kimberly Tuesday night, June 16, in Appleton but couldn’t come back a third time in a 6-4, extra-inning loss to the Papermakers. Earlier in the day the Wildcats made local history by becoming the first River Falls team ever to win a game at the WIAA State Baseball Tournament with a 10-0, five-inning victory over Milwaukee Reagan. “These 18 high school boys played their hearts and souls out for each other,” Wildcat coach Ryan Bishop said after the Cats’ extra-inning loss to Ki
Senior co-captain Breanna Gilbertson had a hat trick and freshman Leanna Becker scored two goals to lead the Wildcat girls’ soccer team to an 8-3 victory over Tomah in a WIAA Division 2 Section 1 semifinal Thursday, June 11, on a soggy Wildcat Field. Karin Sollom, Kinsey Ruemelle and Katee Belisle added one goal each to send the Cats to the Section 1 championship game against Rhinelander this Saturday, June 13, at 4 p.m. at Wausau East High School.
The storybook season continued for the Wildcat baseball team Tuesday evening when it posted a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Chippewa Falls in the WIAA Section 1 championship game at First National Bank of River Falls Field. The win secured River Falls first appearance in the WIAA State Baseball Tournament since 1976. Brian Grove’s double off the wall in centerfield scored Ben Dumont with the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Annie Frisbie, Karly Murphy and Annie Wagner combined to win five medals for the Wildcat girls’ track and field team at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday, June 5-6, in La Crosse. Frisbie became the first River Falls girls ever to break the five minute mark in the 1600 meter run, breaking her own school record to take third place with a time of 4 minutes, 59.0 seconds.
Mason Woiwode ripped a two-run go-ahead double in the bottom of the sixth inning and James Witt closed the door on Eau Claire North in the seventh to lift the Wildcats to a 3-1 victory over the Huskies and give them their first Big Rivers Conference baseball championship in school history. Eau Claire North manufactured an unearned run on a delayed double steal in the top of the sixth to snap a scoreless tie but the Cats’, who had just one hit up to then, put three runs on the board in the bottom of the inning on Woiwode’s bases-loaded two-run double and an RBI sacrifice fly from Joe Halling
John Uchytil and Ryan Reiter won two events each for Hudson and Karly Murphy was a double winner for River Falls as the Raider boys and Wildcat girls took home team titles at the 2015 Big Rivers Conference Track and Field Championships Tuesday, May 19 in Rice Lake. Hudson’s Maddie Nelson also won two individual events and was part of two winning relay teams and freshman Kady Kochendorfer had a hand in three conference titles as the Raider girls finished fourth overall. Uchytil, who is heading to the University of Minnesota on a track scholarship in the fall, won his second straight BRC t
The River Falls High School girls soccer team will host a “Kickin’ Cancer” game against Menomonie Tuesday, April 14, at 5 p.m. at the high school’s Wildcat Field on Cemetery Road. Both the Wildcats and Mustangs will wear special “Kickin’ Cancer” jerseys and both teams will honor and remember loved ones who have lost or battled the disease.
The Wildcat girls’ basketball team’s first appearance at the WIAA State Basketball Tournament ended in a 51-41 loss to Cedarburg in a Division 2 state semifinal game Saturday, March 13, in Green Bay. The Cats fought back from a 12-point first quarter deficit to tie the score just before halftime but could never take the lead. River Falls scored the first basket of the game but trailed 16-4 at the end of one. The Cats then went on a 14-2 run to tie the score, 18-18, on a jumper by Karly Murphy with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. Cedarburg led 27-20 at halftime.
The Wildcat girls’ basketball team received quite the send-off Thursday morning, March 12, before boarding the bus to Green Bay to compete in the WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament. The team was the focus of a rally at the high school at 7:45 a.m. Thursday. The team buses then drove by Meyer Middle School and Greenwood Elementary School on their way out of town to the cheers of the school’s students and staff. River Falls (15-11) will face Cedarburg (23-2) in a Division 2 state semifinal game Friday, March 13, at 3:15 p.m.