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 following is an op/ed column written by Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Dave Anderson, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Tailgates. Pep rallies. Friday night lights. The new school year is here! And that's exciting news for student-athletes and high school sports fans alike.
Wildcat senior Emma Handlos loves to watch other runners at the River Falls Extreme Cross Country Meet. "It's kind of fun to watch them wipe out," she said. "They just kind of face plant and you're like, 'Oh, yeah, there's a hole there.'" Started by former Wildcat coach Rick Cleary over 15 years ago, the Extreme Meet is a 5,000-meter race consisting of two laps, starting and ending on the UW-River Falls intramural fields that takes runners through and across the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River and up and down increasingly muddy trails.
Anna Cernohous and Hannah Harper each finished in the top five to lead the Wildcat girls golf team to a second place finish at the first Big Rivers Conference meet of the season Monday, Aug. 28, at the River Falls Golf Club. Cernohous tied for fourth with a 9-hole score of 46 and Harper was right behind in fifth with a 47 to help the Cats to a team score of 201, ten strokes behind first place Eau Claire Memorial and 10 strokes ahead of third place Chippewa Falls.
The Wildcat football team has done some good things in its first two games of the season. Head coach David Crail would just like to see more of them. In their home opener Friday night, Aug. 25, against Ellsworth, the Wildcats took the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards to cut the Panther's lead to six on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by sophomore Seth Kohel. But that's as close as they could get in a 13-7 loss that dropped their record to 0-2 to start the season.
Hudson football coach Adam Kowles admitted his team might have been caught up in the fanfare and hoopla surrounding the debut of Hudson's new Raider Stadium Friday night, Aug. 25. "I'll be honest, I think the guys felt a lot of pressure on them to win since it was the opener at the new stadium," Kowles said. "I know I did. We played a little bit tight. I hope that going forward we can just get back to playing football, flying around, and having fun, because that's when we are at our best."
The newly formed Hudson Tennis Association hosted its first official event called "Rally the Family" Sunday, Aug. 13, at the St. Croix Valley Indoor Tennis Center on Brakke Drive. In conjunction with the Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern organization who provided the instructors, drills and activities, the HTA also had volunteers there to assist with programming throughout the three-hour event.
Chad Forde loved teaching and coaching tennis in Denver, but he loves doing it in River Falls even more. That's why Forde left Rangeview High School in Aurora, Colo., shortly before the 2016-17 school year to take a social studies teaching job in River Falls. This year he's taking over as head tennis coach of both the Wildcat girls' and boys' tennis programs.
Several Hudson area log rollers competed at the 2017 Lumberjack World Championships, July 20-22 in Hayward, Wis., with a number turning in podium finishes in their events. The Lumberjack World Championships is an international competition that has been called the Olympics of the North Woods, a venue where timber sport professionals compete for prizes and coveted titles. Sport divisions include sawing, chopping, climbing, log rolling and boom running.
Dan Loughney led the Hudson High School football team onto the field plenty of times as a player, but last Tuesday, Aug.1, may have been the most special. Loughney, a star fullback on the Raiders' 2011 and 2012 playoff teams, was diagnosed with a brain tumor—a grade 3 glioma—in April 2016 while attending college at UW-Stout. After months of radiation, chemotherapy and MRI's, Raider head coach Adam Kowles asked Loughney to lead the 2017 Raiders onto their new turf practice facility for the first time last Tuesday at the high school.
River Falls swimmer Sydney Fleming qualified for the Minnesota Long Course State Championships in three individual events in the Long Course Regional Championships in Winona last weekend, July 21-23, and will swim in a total of eight events at the state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center July 26-30.