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 dropping a 7-5 nonconference decision at Zumbrota-Mazeppa, the Raider softball team regained its winnings ways with Big Rivers Conference doubleheader sweeps of Eau Claire Memorial and Eau Claire North sandwiched around a 6-4 nonconference victory at Superior. The Raiders combined for seven home runs in their five wins, including four by Paige Meyer.
The River Falls Youth Hockey Association is offering a free learn to skate program this fall. All boys and girls 4-7 years old in the River Falls, Ellsworth and Prescott school districts that haven't skated with RFYHA before are eligible. Lessons will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 5 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 24-Nov. 18. There is no previous skating experience requirement and all equipment provided by RFYHA is free of cost. The first 30 boys and girls to register are guaranteed a spot and equipment use. Pre-register to reserve a space at rfhockey.com/learntoskate.
Seventy-nine year-old Paul Wright attended the Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club's very first Youth Day in 1950. "And he wasn't even in the young kids group," Dave Lowe quipped. Wright and Lowe were two of 30 current club members who volunteered to supervise and instruct around 150 kids between the ages of 7-15 at this year's 68th annual Youth Day on the club's 108-acre grounds in North Hudson Saturday, April 28.
Playing in the National Football League is a dream come true for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. But he'll always cherish his time in high school. That's the message Thielen opened with when he spoke to about 185 River Falls High School student-athletes in the school's gym Thursday, April 12. "I love talking to this age group of kids because I miss those days," Thielen said. "Those are the times and those are the memories that you remember the most from your athletic career, on and off the field, with your friends and your teammates."
How does a softball team practice when it can't even get outside? "We've had to be creative to come up with ideas to keep the momentum going in the gym," River Falls coach Jess Olson said. "This week we will be sliding and diving on sleeping bags to simulate being in the dirt. With being inside, it's very challenging to keep practice engaging, and to keep girls focused on the goal set earlier in the season, with the future looking so bleak and unpredictable, due to weather."
Despite losing nine seniors, including six starters, from last year's squad that finished second in the Big Rivers Conference, and having no seniors on the roster this season, Hudson girls' soccer coach Steve Sollom has plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into the 2018 season. "We will be young this season," he noted. "Having said that, the cupboard is certainly not bare."
Not many teams have eight all-conference players in one season. And even fewer get seven of those players back the next year. But that's the situation for the Wildcat girls soccer team, who finished third in the eight-team Big Rivers Conference and won its fourth straight Division 2 regional title a year ago. The Wildcats lost just two seniors from last year's squad, and head coach Charles Conley said the returners, along with a talented crop of freshman, have the Cats aiming high this season.
The UWRF men's basketball program will host a series of camps for boys elementary and high school players this summer. The Fundamental Youth Day Camp will be held June 11-14. Session 1 is for players entering grades 3-4 in Fall, 2018 and will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, and Session 2, for players entering grades 5-6, will be from 1-4 p.m.
After graduating 11 seniors from last year's squad, there will be a lot of new faces on the field for the Raider baseball team this season. One face that isn't new, albeit is in a new position, is head coach Trevor Peck. Peck, an assistant under Jason Nell in 2017, begins his first season at the helm after replacing Nell during the offseason.
The Croix Attack Volleyball Club Team 17 took first place in the Silver Division at the Viking's Classic in North Branch, Minn. March 25. Team members include, front row from left, Olivia Goulette, Ariana Zins, Eryn Herrera, Elizabeth Collinson and Madison Jones. Back row, Morgan Severson, Noelle Kiltie, Elizabeth Roeske, Shay Wassman, Abby Richardson, and coach Amanda Francescato. Photo courtesy of Ruth Francis