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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Wildcat seniors Sarah Vitale and Emily Blasius have both been named to the 2010-11 All-Big Rivers Conference Girls' Basketball Team. Vitale earned a spot on the five-player second team while Blasius was one of 11 players to receive honorable mention. Vitale led the Wildcats in scoring with an average of 10.5 points per game. It's the second straight year she has received All-BRC honors.
Josh Eidem remembers the exact moment he fell in love with town baseball. "I came up from Rochester to play with some of my UW-River Falls teammates for the Spring Valley Hawks at the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Days Tournament in 2000," he recalled. "It was a Saturday night game and I was standing out in center field with all these people at the game cheering and having a good time and I was thinking, 'Why do I go home during the summer?' I came in to pitch at the end of the game and people were just screaming.
The River Falls High School girls' powerlifting club team took home the Division 1 Wisconsin state championship trophy at the completion of the Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Championships March 11-12 at Eau Claire North High School, ending a 9-year run for the girls' of Neenah. The boys came up just a few points short in their quest to repeat as champions after taking home the title in 2010. Competing for just the second year as a team, the girls placed enough lifters to hold off second place Eau Claire North and Manitowoc Lincoln with just two points separating the top three teams.
The Big Rivers Conference champion Wildcat boys' basketball team led the charge on the 2010-11 All-BRC team with four players honored by the conference coaches. Senior Jack Herum was named to the first team and senior Nick Zimmerman earned second team honors while seniors Zane Heinselman and Colin Pechacek both received honorable mention. River Falls had the most players selected with four.
All three Wildcat captains have been honored for their play this season by being named to the 2010-11 All-Big Rivers Conference Boys' Hockey Team. Senior co-captains Karl Andersen, Cooper Maxwell and Garrett Jensen were all named to the All-BRC second team in voting by the conference coaches. It's the second straight season Andersen and Jensen have made the All-BRC team.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team held sixth-ranked Onalaska to 34 points below their season scoring average Thursday night, but that didn't stop the Hilltoppers from advancing to their third straight sectional final. Onalaska's defense was just as stingy, holding River Falls to just nine field goals on its way to a 27-22 win in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal at Eau Claire Memorial High School. Onalaska improved to 23-2 with the victory and will face Merrill (14-11) in the sectional semifinal Saturday night in Marshfield.
Sophomore Sally Cranston scored 24 seconds into the fourth overtime to end the longest championship game in WIAA State Girls' Hockey Tournament history and lift the St. Croix Valley Fusion to a 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Central Wisconsin Storm Saturday at Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The state title is the third straight for the Fusion, a cooperative team consisting of players from River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St. Croix Central and Spring Valley high schools. St. Croix Valley advanced to the championship game with a 7-1 victory over Appleton United Friday.
Bob Burrows photo UPDATE: Fusion top Appleton, advance to championship The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team won its semi-final game against Appleton 7-1 the afternoon of March 4 at the state competition in Madison. The Fusion advance to the championship game at noon Saturday, March 5, playing the winner of a Mosinee versus Sun Prairie game. Sophomore Sally Cranston and senior Alice Cranston, sisters, each scored two goals, putting the team ahead 4-1 at the end of the second period.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team was in no mood to share Friday night in Rice Lake. The Cats had already assured themselves of at least a tie for the Big Rivers Conference championship going into the game, and a loss would have meant sharing the title with second place Rice Lake. But River Falls had three players score in double figures and held Rice Lake to 10 points below its scoring average in a 60-52 win to lock up the BRC title outright with a conference mark of 11-1.
The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team and the Wildcat gymnastics team will both look to defend their state championships after winning sectional titles the weekend of Feb. 26-27. The gymnasts won their sectional meet in River Falls by over 14 points Feb. 26 while the Fusion defeated Hayward/Spooner, 5-2, in the sectional championship game in Chippewa Falls. The gymnasts won their sectional meet in River Falls by over 14 points Five Wildcat gymnasts will compete in the individual portion of the WIAA State Gymnastics Championships this Friday, March 4, at 5:40 p.m.