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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The River Falls Fighting Fish remained undefeated in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play with a pair of wins over the weekend, including a big 6-3 victory over the Prescott Pirates Saturday in Prescott. The Fish posted an 8-4 win Sunday in Bay City to improve to 10-0 in league play, 23-8 overall. They visit the Hudson River Rats this Saturday at 1 p.m. and the Elmwood Expos Sunday at 1 p.m. before taking on the Spring Valley Hawks Wednesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Spring Valley. River Falls' next home game will be Saturday, July 28, at 1 p.m.
The River Falls American Legion Post 121 baseball team had a rough week, losing four games, including three at the Duluth tournament over the weekend of June 30. River Falls came out on the short end of a combined, five-inning perfect game in a 12-0 loss last Tuesday, June 26, at Menomonie.
Bill Smith of River Falls hadn't been to an organized baseball game in nearly 50 years until the Fighting Fish amateur team came to town in 2008. "When I was 11 years-old growing up in Maplewood, me and my brother used to caddie at the White Bear Lake Yacht Club and we'd work a quick nine in the morning and make $1.25, then hitchhike to the old Met Stadium and get 'knothole' seats for 50 cents," he recalled.
"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.