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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Sophomore Garrett Loomis won his second straight Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year award and the Wildcat golf team's second place finish was good enough to give them the overall BRC title at the BRC Tournament Thursday at Lake Wissota Golf Course in Chippewa Falls. Loomis earned tournament medalist honors with a score of 73 to clinch his second straight Player of the Year honor.
The Wildcat girls soccer team leap-frogged Eau Claire Memorial in the Big Rivers Conference standings last week with a 5-1 victory over Eau Claire North Tuesday, May 8, and a 2-0 shutout Thursday, May 10 against Chippewa Falls. Saturday, May 11, the Cats dropped a pair of 2-1 nonconference decisions to D.C. Everest and West Bend East at the D.C. Everest Quad in Schofield. The two BRC victories improved the Wildcats' record to 7-1-1 in conference play (8-5-1 overall), one point ahead of Eau Claire Memorial (7-0-0, 16-0-2).
Hudson and River Falls swept the top two spots in both the boys' and girls' competition at the 2012 Big Rivers Conference Track and Field Championships Tuesday at Eau Claire North High School. The Raider boys won all four relay events on their way to their fourth straight BRC title while Hudson's girls posted a total of eight first place finishes to win their eighth straight conference championship. Hudson's boys finished with 173.5 points to take first while River Falls was second with 132.
Former Wildcat state champs and University of Wisconsin All-Americans Trevor Brandvold and Kevin Black did their best to represent the United States at this summer's Olympic Games in London, but came up just short at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in Iowa City April 21-22. Brandvold, a volunteer assistant coach with the Badgers this season after earning All-American honors in 2010 and 2011, was trying to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic wrestling team in men's freestyle at 96 kilograms.
The Wildcat boys' tennis team picked up a little momentum heading into the final week of the regular season by sweeping all three of its matches against Durand, South St. Paul and Menomonie at the inaugural River Falls Invitational Saturday, May 5. The Cats hosted Eau Claire North Tuesday and will visit Chippewa Falls Thursday, May 10, before the Big Rivers Conference Tournament Saturday, May 12, in Chippewa Falls. "Eau Claire North and Chippewa are both teams we can compete with," Wildcat coach David Markson said.
One thing this certain after winning a state championship -- you will have a target on your back the following season. That's what the River Falls Fighting Fish face when they open the 2012 season this Saturday, May 5, at 1 p.m. at the high school field against the Blaine Fusion. Player-manager Josh Eidem said the team is up to the challenge. "Our team played with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder last year, and it's still there," he said. "We've heard some whispers that maybe 2011 was a fluke.
The Wildcat girls' soccer team posted its fourth and fifth shutouts of the season last week and ran its Big Rivers Conference unbeaten streak to 15 games with a 1-0 victory Tuesday at Chippewa Falls and a 5-0 win Thursday at Hudson. The two victories improved the Cats' record to 4-1-1 overall, 3-0-1 in the BRC and one point ahead of Eau Claire Memorial (3-0-0) for first place in the conference standings.
The Wildcat boys' golf team won a pair of tournament championships last week and tied for first place in two Big Rivers Conference meets to continue its hot start to the season. The Cats won the Tartan Invitational last Monday, April 16, and took first at the Chippewa Falls Invitational this past Saturday, April 21. In between, they tied Hudson for first place in the first two BRC meets of the season last Tuesday at Wild Ridge in Eau Claire and Thursday at Clifton Hollow. The Wildcats will compete in the Wayzata, Minn.
With back-to-back Big Rivers Conference championships, and a 2011 state tournament appearance under its belt, the Wildcat girls' soccer program has set the bar high in recent years. The Cats return four seniors among the eight players who earned the program's first state tournament appearance a year ago, including second leading scorer Bailey LaPoint, who tallied 14 goals and 12 assists on her way to earning first team All-BRC honors.
Junior Carlie Christensen steals third base with a head-first slide in the third inning of the Wildcat softball team's 5-3 loss to St. Croix Central in the season opener for both teams two weeks ago, April 5, at the high school field. Read more about what's happening in River Falls sports and see photos in the print editions of the River Falls Journal. To purchase or see what's in our photo galleries go here: River Falls Journal Photo Galleries '