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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Even the nice days have turned nasty this spring. Early last Friday it was sunny and approaching 60 degrees. But by the time the Wildcat track and field teams kicked off their annual River Falls Invitation later in the day the weather had resorted back to cold, windy and gloomy. The Cats made the best of it however, and despite the weather and a less-than-complete lineup, both the girls and boys teams finished fourth at the eight-team competition. "The weather is brutal," girls' coach Kristi Wagner said.
The Wildcat girls' soccer team continued to roll right along in its last two games, outscoring its opponents 12-0 to improve to 6-0-1 with wins over New Richmond and Menomonie. The Cats beat the Tigers 6-0 last Thursday in New Richmond and handed the Indians a 6-0 defeat Monday in Menomonie. River Falls has outscored its opposition 30-1 while recording six shutouts in seven games. The Cats, now 4-0-1 and in first place in the Big Rivers Conference, visited Chippewa Falls (7-3-0, 3-2-0) this past Tuesday night and will host Eau Claire North (4-4-0, 1-3-0) Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m.
The UW-River Falls softball team clinched the WIAC regular season championship by sweeping UW-Oshkosh Tuesday and will host the WIAC Championships Tournament this weekend at Ramer Field The top-seeded Falcons will face No. 6 seed Oshkosh in the double-elimination tournament's opening game Friday at 10 a.m. Second-seeded UW-La Crosse will take on No. 5 UW-Superior at noon before No. 3 UW-Whitewater and No.
The Wildcat softball team bounced back from a 10-5 defeat in the opening game of a doubleheader to hand Hudson its first loss of the season, 4-2, in the nightcap Thursday, April 28, at the high school field. Freshman pitcher Bailey Ullom held the Raiders to just five hits to lead the Wildcats to their first Big Rivers Conference win in two years. The split leaves the Cats with an overall record of 3-4 (1-3 in the BRC) heading into doubleheaders this week at Eau Claire Memorial (3-5, 1-1) Tuesday, May 2, and home against Menomonie (3-4, 1-3) Thursday, May 5.
The Wildcat baseball team hit the ball hard in its doubleheader with Chippewa Falls Thursday. Unfortunately, most of those hard-hit balls were right at people. River Falls' pitchers did their job as well, limiting the state's eighth-ranked Division One team to just nine hits and four runs all day. But despite the efforts of the Wildcats, the Cardinals posted a pair of 2-0 victories. "These were two very good games between two evenly matched teams," Wildcat coach Ryan Bishop said. "I was very proud of our effort in most aspects of today's games.
The Wildcat girls' soccer team continued its early season domination last week with two more shutout victories, defeating Eau Claire North 5-0 on the road April 12 before blanking Chippewa Falls, 3-0, April 14 at home. The Cats have not allowed a goal in their first three games this season while outscoring their opponents 14-0. First-year head coach Charles Conley said he's pleased with the team's good start, but would like to see the team score even more. "I am proud of where we are at and how we are playing," he said. "However, our shot total to goals scored is still a concern for us.
Goodbye, River Falls Fitness Center; hello, River City Ironworx and Community Fitness. That's the new name Todd Jenkins and his son Tanner have given to the space where the River Falls Fitness Center had operated for years at 264 N. Troy St. in the industrial park. Todd and Tanner stepped in two weeks ago when Fitness Center owner Steve Wros announced he was going to close the facility. "I contacted Dave Wolf, who owns the building, and I said I'll sit out here Friday, Saturday and Sunday just to keep the place open," Todd said after hearing about the impending closure.
Wildcat senior Karl Andersen is one of 20 state players named to the Team Wisconsin squad that will compete in this weekend's CCM Minnesota Hockey High School National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in Plymouth, Minn. The tournament will feature teams comprised of the top high school players from Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan and Massachusetts. Team Wisconsin won the inaugural NIT championship last year after competing at the now-defunct Chicago Showcase the previous 25 years.
Ten members of the River Falls High School Powerlifting Club traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, March 25-27, and found plenty of success at the 2011 High School National Powerlifting Championships. The junior varsity contingent teamed up for a fourth place finish, including three top three individual finishes, while the varsity had two individuals in the top three in their respective weight classes. Sophomore J.P. Eaton took first in his JV division after overcoming a 110-pound deficit heading into the deadlift competition and pulling 539 pounds on his final lift to claim the championship.
Five seniors on the Wildcat hockey team joined their coach Brooks Lockwood at the 29th annual Wisconsin Senior Class Tournament March 25-27, and made significant contributions to help the Section 1 team reach the title game. Garrett Jensen, Neal Edge, Cooper Maxwell, Karl Andersen and Ben Novak had a familiar face on the bench for the Section 1 team, which was coached by their own high school coach Brooks Lockwood. The Senior Class Tournament is broken up into eight teams featuring the top seniors in the state.