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 new year got off to a bumpy start for the Wildcat hockey team. The Cats slipped to 2-4-0 in Big Rivers Conference play with a 4-1 loss to Chippewa Falls on the road Thursday, Jan. 3 before getting shut out by Hayward, 3-0, in a nonconference game Saturday, Jan. 5, at Wildcat Centre. River Falls, now 5-9-0 overall, will visit BRC leader Eau Claire North (8-5-1, 5-0-0) Thursday, Jan. 10 before hosting Providence Academy (Minn.) Saturday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m.
Nathan Fuller won an individual title at 170 pounds and 10 Wildcats reached the semifinals in their respective weight classes to lead the Cats to a first place team finish at the 50th annual New Richmond Invitational Saturday, Jan. 5, at New Richmond High School. River Falls topped the 10-team field with 265 points. Amery took second with 250.5 and Osceola was third with 227.5.
Falcons start 0-2 in WIAC The 12th ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and never looked back on its way to an 88-69 win over UW-River Falls Saturday, Jan. 5, at Page Arena. The Pointers shot over 70 percent from the field in the first half on their way to a 47-31 lead that UWRF couldn't overcome. Stevens Point hit 7-of 10 three-pointers in the first half while the Falcons were just 12-of-29 from the field, including 4-of-9 from three-point range.
It's good to be home. That was the sentiment of the Wildcat gymnastics team after it posted a season-high score of 134.775 in a Big Rivers Conference victory over Chippewa Falls Thursday, Dec. 20, at Meyer Middle School. "Being that we were at home had great enthusiasm and fan support that rubbed off on the girls," said coach Bridgette Lensin. "Being at our home gym and on our own equipment, it brings out a different confidence which reflected on their great performances." Lensing said there were a number of great efforts turned in by the Cats.
After playing one of their best offensive games of the season in a five-point nonconference loss at Woodbury Thursday, Jan. 3, the Wildcat girls' basketball team overcame a cold spell midway through the second half to pull out a 60-56 Big Rivers Conference win in overtime against Eau Claire Memorial two nights later. The Cats got 31 points from Kylie Strop and 19 from Abby Doerre Thursday at Woodbury but it wasn't enough in a 72-67 loss to the Royals.
The Wildcat gymnastics team scored high enough to top Superior but wasn't quite good enough to beat Hudson in a Big Rivers Conference double dual Friday, Jan. 4, in Hudson. The Raiders totalled 135.1 while River Falls finished with 134.525 and Superior had 109.2. Wildcat assistant coach Jordan Maier said the Cats showed high energy but it wasn't enough to keep pace with Hudson.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team turned up the defense after intermission, holding Rice Lake to 17 second-half points while erasing a double-digit deficit to post a 52-48 victory over the Warriors Friday night, Jan. 4, in River Falls. Rice Lake led by nine, 31-22, at the break and by 11 early in the second half before the Wildcat's went to work, outscoring the Warriors 30-15 the rest of the way to move into a tie for first place in the Big Rivers Conference with Eau Claire Memorial, each at 3-1.
Lilly Accola registered a hat trick and Sydney Seeley stopped all 16 shots she faced to record her fourth straight shutout in the St. Croix Valley Fusion's 7-0 Big Rivers Conference victory over Chippewa Falls/Menomonie Thursday night, Jan. 3, at Wildcat Centre in River Falls.
River Falls Gymnastics Club vice president Julie Bruns pointed to a plaque on the donor wall and read the Coretta Scott King quote it contained. “ The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” “That pretty much sums it up,” Bruns said. “This community has gone above and beyond that. It's amazing actually.”
The sixth-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team steamrolled its way to the Culver's Cup title in Madison Dec. 27-29. The Fusion posted three straight shutouts, outscoring its opponents 17-0 and outshooting them 136-43, to win the tournament title. St. Croix Valley rolled over Lakeland 7-0 Thursday, Dec. 27, beat Onalaska 4-0 Friday, Dec. 28, before blanking Superior 6-0 in the championship game Saturday, Dec. 39.