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 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 '
Garrett Loomis earned medalist honors by six strokes over his nearest competitor and four Wildcats finished with scores of 90 or better on a wind-battered Troy Burne Golf Course as the Cats opened the season with a second place finish in the 12-team Division 1 portion of the Hudson Golf Invitational Monday, April 9. Loomis fired a score of 76 to beat second place Danny Theilman of Tartan (Minn.) by six strokes to earn Division 1 medalist honors.
Wildcat baseball coach Ryan Bishop describes 2012 as "a season of opportunity." And he's not just referring to his players. Bishop, the longest tenured coach in the Big Rivers Conference beginning his 12th season at the helm, will serve as co-head coach this season along with former NCAA Division I All-American and Arizona Diamondbacks minor leaguer Mark Hallberg. Bishop and Hallberg will guide a Wildcat team that returns just three everyday starters and one pitcher from a 2011 team that put together a record of 14-10 overall, 7-5 and tied for third place in the BRC.
The 27th annual Don Page Memorial Golf Tournament to support UW-River Falls athletics will be held Monday, June 18, at the River Falls Golf Club. Page served UWRF as a coach of several sports and as athletic director from 1970 until his retirement in 1992.
The Wildcat boys' 4x800 meter relay team combined for a first place finish and junior Paige Skorseth shattered her own school record in the indoor 1600 meter run as both the River Falls' boys and girls team finished sixth at the prestigious, 16-team, All-American Invitational Saturday, March 31, at UW River Falls' Knowles Center. Shae Taylor, Tom Ramquist, Sterling Just and Trent Powell posted the Cats' only first place finish of the day by combining for a time of 8 minutes, 41.39 seconds in the 4x800 meter relay.
Student-athletes at River Falls High School are busy preparing for the upcoming spring season, and unlike last year, this year's Wildcat teams have been able to do much of their preparation outside thanks to the mild late-winter weather. The temperature was 78 degrees Monday afternoon as sophomore Liam Danguer and his track and field teammates practiced their triple jump technique. The Wildcat track and field teams will go back inside for their first taste of competition this Saturday, March 24, at the Northern Badger Indoor Classic at UW-Stout's Johnson Fieldhouse.