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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Hudson's Austin Evenson provided the game-winning RBIs in both of the West team's victories at the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic June 29-30 at E.J. Schneider Field in Oshkosh. The WBCA All-Star Classic featured 72 of the finest high school seniors in the state divided into four teams -- East (Milwaukee area), South (Madison area), North (Green Bay/Fox Valley area) and West (La Crosse, Stevens Point, Eau Claire area) playing in a round-robin format.
With ravaged bird feeders, upside-down garbage cans and raided vegetable gardens, residents of St. Croix County have noticed an increased presence of black bears in the area. Indeed, the state's black bear population has tripled over the last 20 years. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there were about 9,000 black bears in Wisconsin in 1989, and by 2008, the population had grown to between 26,000 and 40,000 bears.
Hudson High School has received high marks from its fellow Big Rivers Conference schools in the 2013 BRC Spring Sportsmanship Poll. Five of the Raiders' seven spring sports programs were ranked in the top three in the voting, including baseball and both boys and girls track and field, who all earned top spots. Girls' soccer and boys' tennis were also recognized.
The summer long course season is busy for Hudson Area Swim Association (HASA) swimmers, as they participate in multiple swim meets in the Twin Cities area. Nine HASA athletes recently competed in the Star A Summer Classic at the Highland Park outdoor pool in St. Paul. This was the first long course meters meet for HASA during the 2013 season.
The Hudson River Rats battled back from a 7-1, fifth-inning deficit to the defending Wisconsin Baseball Association state champion Menomonie Eagles last Friday night in Menomonie to force extra innings and pull out an 11-10 victory at Wakanda Park and stay one game above .500 in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play.
The Hudson American Legion Post 50 17U baseball team won two of its three games last week, including a 7-6 extra-inning victory over Chippewa Falls in the first game of a doubleheader to hand Chippewa Falls its first loss of the season last Thursday. Hudson, now 3-2 on the season, will participate in the Eau Claire American Legion Tournament this weekend. Tuesday, July 9, they will visit River Falls. Last Thursday at Chippewa Falls, Ian Hutchinson and Hunter Frey combined for the victory on the mound as Hudson pulled out a 7-6 eight-inning win.
It was barely seven months ago that the most successful football season in Hudson High School history came to an end. Last week, the book opened on a new year. Over 100 members of the 2013 Raider football team took part in five days of WIAA-sanctioned practice, culminating with last Saturday's fourth annual Navy-White Spring Game at Newton Field.
Senior Kindra Witthus earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors for the fourth straight season while five other Raiders were named to 2013 All-BRC teams for the first time by the conference coaches earlier this month. Witthus, a four-year starting catcher for the Raiders, was named to the All-BRC First Team while freshman pitcher and shortstop Jordan Little and sophomore pitcher Kendra Little were named to the Second Team and senior outfielder Meghan Eisenmann, senior first baseman Serena Schultz and junior outfielder Cheyanne Massie received Honorable Mention.
The Hudson varsity club lacrosse team swept through its final three playoff games and clinched the Minnesota Boys Scholastic Lacrosse Association state championship with a 9-5 victory over St. Louis Park on Saturday, June 8, at Washburn High School in Minneapolis. Hudson reached the title game by beating Fargo, 15-4, in the MBSLA state quarterfinals June 3 and defeating Becker, 12-7, in the semifinals June 5. They fought back from a 3-0 deficit to beat St. Louis Park, 9-5, in the state title game.
Former Raider baseball teammates Chase Graskewicz and Tyler Dierke both capped their collegiate careers by earning all-conference honors at their respective schools this spring. Graskewicz, a senior at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., was named to the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team while Dierke, a senior at Kenyon College in Cleveland, Ohio, was named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference Second Team. Both are 2009 graduates of Hudson High School.