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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"Welcome to First National Bank of River Falls Field at Hoffman Park." Those are the words that will greet people before the first pitch at the new community ballpark when it is completed as soon as next summer. The board of directors and ownership group of First National Bank of River Falls made sure of that last week when President and CEO Jeff Johnson announced the bank is committing $100,000 to the ballpark project for naming rights for the new field. "We're very excited about it," Johnson said.
Luke Jenkins was a two-time All-Big Rivers Conference player, two-year team captain and All-State selection in high school with the Wildcat hockey team. But after graduating from River Falls in 2009, he wasn't sure he'd ever play organized hockey again. Three years later, he's preparing to leave for the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Senior Ryan Kusilek and junior Alex Call lead a group of six Wildcat players named to the 2012 All-Big Rivers Conference baseball teams. Kusilek and Call were each named to the All-BRC first team while seniors Brad Erdrich and Ben Peters were named to the second team and senior Jake Kerr and sophomore Sam Barr received honorable mention. Call was also named to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-District first team and WBCA All-State third team while Kusilek received honorable mention to the All-District squad. Call ranked as one of the top outfielders in the BRC this season.
The River Falls Baseball Council moved closer to its fundraising goal for a new community ballpark on the east side of Hoffman Park with the announcement last week that Nash Finch Company and Family Fresh Market has committed $50,000 to sponsor the new ballpark's scoreboard. Josh Eidem, RFBC president, said the donation puts the project's fundraising total at $157,000. Total construction cost is estimated at $600,000. "We are humbled by the generous donation from Nash Finch and Family Fresh Market," Eidem said. "It really shows their commitment to our community here in River Falls.
Alexi Bopray scored off a corner kick in the 57th minute, and goalkeeper Paige Meyer made nine saves, including a diving stop along the left post with roughly 20 seconds remaining, to lead River Falls to a 1-0 victory over D.C. Everest in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal Thursday in Weston. The Evergreens outshot the Wildcats 10-3, but couldn't get a shot past Meyer.
The Wildcat softball team hasn't been known for the long ball this season. But they hit two home runs to defeat Hudson in a WIAA regional semifinal Tuesday, May 29. Sophomore Carlie Christensen hit a two-run shot in the third inning to erase a 1-0 Hudson lead, and senior Hayley Heschke hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh to snap a 2-1 tie and lift the sixth-seeded Wildcats to a 3-2 victory over No.
The River Falls boys' golf team moved up one spot from Monday's first round to finish eighth at the WIAA State Golf Tournament Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison. The Wildcats cut one stroke off Monday's team total of 328 to post a 327 Tuesday and finish with a two-day total of 655. Arrowhead won the state title with two-day score of 611 (307-304) while first-day leader Holmen finished second with 618 (305-313). Wildcats Garrett Loomis and Holden Ohlsen tied for 47th place with scores of 163.
The Wildcat boys' golf team finished with a score of 328 on the first day of the WIAA Division 1 State Golf Tournament Monday and sits in ninth place in the 16-team field heading into Tuesday's second round at University Ridge in Madison. Holmen leads the Division 1 field with 305 followed by Arrowhead with 307 and Marquette University School with 308. Wildcat junior Blake Heiman is currently tied for 38th place after shooting an 80 in Monday's first round.
Wildcat senior Auggie Pupungatoa broke a 42 year-old school record in the discus with a throw of 165-feet, 2-inches Saturday to earn a fourth place medal at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in La Crosse. Pupungatoa broke the River Falls' school mark of 162-4.5 set by Tim Larsen in 1970. Pupungatoa's previous best effort was 160-8 at the New Richmond Regional May 21. Sophomore Karlie Place reached the finals in the girls' long jump Saturday and finished ninth with a leap of 16-11.5.
The River Falls boys' golf team finished second at the Marshfield sectional to qualify for next week's WIAA State Tournament, and the Wildcat softball and baseball team each won one-run games in their respective playoff openers in high school action Tuesday afternoon. Garrett Loomis fired a 78 to lead all golfers at the Marshfield Sectional as the Wildcats finished second to qualify for state for the first time since 2006.