The Wildcat gymnastics team kicked off the 2003-04 season at the same venue where it won its second straight WIAA state championship a year ago. This time, however, it found itself looking up at another team at the Wisconsin Rapids Invitational on Saturday. The team from Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau/Melrose-Mindoro/Cochrane-Fountain City (GMC) edged the Wildcats by just .7 to take first place at the eight-team tournament. GMC finished with a score of 137.825 while the Cats were right behind with 137.125. It was the first time in over a year the Cats have not finished first in a competition.
The Wildcat boys basketball team got off to a flying start in its first two games of the season last week, defeating New Richmond 63-33 last Tuesday and rolling over Ellsworth 61-39 on Friday. The Cats will open Big Rivers Conference play Friday night (Dec.12) at Chippewa Falls at 7:30 p.m. In their season opener last Tuesday at the high school gym, the Wildcats jumped out to a 12-5 lead over the Tigers and never looked back.
Wildcat sophomore Trevor Brandvold claimed the 171-pound individual championship and four Wildcats finished in the top three in their respective weight classes as the Cats wrestled to a fifth place team finish at the 40th annual Ellsworth Invitational Saturday. Saturday's invite came two days after the Cats dropped their opening dual match of the season to Hudson by a score of 49-22. The Cats travel to Chippewa Falls Thursday (Dec.11) and Eau Claire North Dec. 18 before hosting the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic Dec.
After suffering a one-point loss in their season opener against Altoona last Tuesday night, the Wildcat girls basketball team bounced back in style by winning the championship at the Red Wing Tournament Friday and Saturday. The Cats dropped a 49-48 decision to the Rails Tuesday at the high school gym, but defeated Red Wing 43-28 last Friday and knocked off Chisago Lakes 32-25 Saturday to take home the Red Wing Tourney title. River Falls, 2-1 on the season, traveled to Prescott Tuesday night before opening Big Rivers Conference play Thursday, Dec. 4 at Hudson.
Molly Loney scored 17 points and seven different Wildcats finished with at least two points as the River Falls High School girls basketball team defeated Amery 44-25 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night at Amery. The Wildcats hosted Altoona Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in their home opener. Thursday at Amery, Loney hit three 3-pointers on her way to her game-high 17 points. Kelsie Flanscha and Stacey Hamilton added seven points each while Kaitlin Blank chipped in with five.
The Wildcat boys ran to a fourth place team finish and the girls finished third at the 18-team WIAA Division 1 cross country sectional in Merrill Saturday. While neither team qualified for this Saturday's state cross country meet in Wisconsin Rapids, two individuals - juniors Megan Johnson and Logan O'Grady - qualified as individuals. The top two teams and the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the state meet.
As heart-wrenching as Friday night's last-second loss to Eau Claire Memorial was, the Wildcat football team knows it has one more game to play this season. After seeing their hopes for a playoff berth disappear when the Old Abes' Brandon Raciborski kicked a game-winning 39-yard field goal as time expired Friday night, the Cats returned to work Monday intent on finishing the season on a high note Thursday night at Ramer Field against Chippewa Falls. "That's about as difficult as a loss can get," Wildcat head coach John Bennett said.
Wildcat boys soccer captain Jake Kurczek knows it's only a matter of time before the Cats start winning the close ones. After battling both Hudson and Chippewa Falls to double overtime 1-1 ties a week earlier, the Cats dropped a 2-1 decision to Rice Lake and a 1-0 game to Menomonie in Big Rivers Conference action last week. The losses put the Cats' record at 6-13-3 overall this season, with many of their losses coming by one goal. "No team has beaten us badly," Kurczek pointed out.
Wildcat head coach John Bennett takes a simple approach when it comes to preparing for football games. "Every week we tell the team that we have to get 1-0, meaning we have to work our tails off to get the victory on Friday night," he said. The Cats did just that last week, posting a 27-19 homecoming victory over Superior. While it made the Cats 1-0 for the week, it improved their season record to 2-1 in the Big Rivers Conference (2-3 overall) and pushed them into a tie for second place in the BRC with Hudson and Rice Lake.
The Wildcat girls golf team posted its best score of the season in a Big Rivers Conference dual match at Hudson last Tuesday but it wasn't enough to beat the Raiders, who held off River Falls 173 to 178. Friday at the 17-team Cadott Invitational the Cats continued to score well, turning in an 18-hole total of 288 to finish second to Sparta's 263.