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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After a total of three weather cancellations of meets against Menomonie and Rice Lake, the Wildcats, Mustangs and Warriors finally got together for a double dual for their Big Rivers Conference regular season finales Wednesday, Feb. 13, three days before the BRC Tournament. The Cats topped the Mustangs 135.65 to 120.25 and the Warriors 136.65 to 104.38 Wednesday at Meyer Middle School before finishing second at Saturday's BRC Tournament in Chippewa Falls. Co-head coach Bridgette Lensing said despite the long layoff, the Wildcats performed with confidence in both meets.
When heavy rain wiped out the first day of the American Legion State Baseball Tournament at First National Bank of River Falls Field in 2016 volunteers had to use vacuums to suck the water from the outfield just so the tournament could continue. That won't be a problem beginning in the fall of 2019.
Senior Nathan Fuller will represent River Falls at the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament after winning the 152-pound sectional title Saturday, Feb. 16, in Menomonie. Fuller defeated second-ranked Nolan Hertel of Marshfield, 6-4, in the championship bout qualify for state for the second straight year. He placed fifth at 152 pounds last season.
The third-seeded St. Croix Valley Fusion dominated No. 6 seed Chippewa Falls from the opening face-off on their way to a 4-1 victory in a WIAA girls hockey regional final Friday, Feb. 15, in Baldwin. The Fusion move on to meet No. 2 seed Hudson in a sectional semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Hudson. St. Croix Valley went 1-0-1 against the Raiders this season, earning a 5-3 victory Dec. 13 in Hudson and playing to a 1-1 tie Jan. 17 in River Falls.
The Wildcat girls’ basketball team went toe-to-toe with first place Chippewa Falls Friday Feb. 15, in River Falls, but in the end it couldn’t stop the Cardinals from clinching their second straight Big Rivers Conference championship.
River Falls outscored Eau Claire Memorial 31-13 in a 12-minute span of the second half to break open a close game and defeat the Old Abes 67-52 Thursday night, Feb. 14, at the Cat’s Den.
River Falls High School Boys Basketball Feb. 14 Eau Claire Memorial H 7:15 Feb. 21 Chippewa Falls A 7:15
Fifth-seeded River Falls scored four goals in the final 3 minutes, 53 seconds before running out of time in a 7-6 loss to No. 4 New Richmond in a WIAA regional boys’ hockey final Thursday, Feb. 14, in New Richmond. The Tigers scored a power play goal 2:40 into the third period to open up a commanding 6-2 lead, but with their season on the line the Wildcats never let up, scoring three goals in a span of 1:31 late to make it a one goal game.
Three River Falls swimmers-- Taylor Matter, Logan McLaughlin and Ellery Ottem-- competed with the Hudson-based Mako Aquatics team at the 39th annual Schroeder A+ Meet in Brown Deer Feb. 1-3. After a week marred by practice cancellations due to snow and bitter cold, Mako swimmers had an outstanding meet with many personal best times and 19 new team records. Mako Aquatics recorded an impressive eighth place finish out of 41 teams.
The First National Bucks was the winning fourth grade team in the River Falls Mini-NBA Tournament for third and fourth graders hosted by the River Falls School District Feb. 2. Team members included, from left, Caden Ertz, coach Lori Johnson, Sawyer Deiss, Cullen Johnson, and Marshall Friese. Photo courtesy of Kevin Deiss.