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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Don't look now, but the fall high school sports season gets underway in less than two months. Nearly 200 Hudson High School athletes, and over 100 middle school students, aren't wasting any time getting in shape for their respective sports. They are taking part in the second summer of the Raider Elite Strength and Conditioning Program at the high school. The students, both male and female and representing all sports in all grades, began the 10-week program last week at the high school.
Kraig Urbik and Eric Vanden Heuvel have spent plenty of time on the same sideline as teammates at Hudson High School and the University of Wisconsin. Saturday they stood on opposite sides of the field as honorary coaches for the Raider football team's first ever Navy/White spring game at Newton Field. The game concluded the Raiders' five days of unrestricted coaching contact the WIAA gives coaches with their teams each summer.
The Hudson River Rats are off to a 2-2 start in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play and host the St. Croix Falls River Bandits in a Father's Day game set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Grandview Park. The Rats defeated the Prescott Pirates 7-3 in their league opener May 22 before falling to the River Falls Fighting Fish, 7-4 in ten innings, in their home opener May 23.
Five members of the Raider baseball team have been honored by the Big Rivers Conference coaches for their play this season. Senior Kory Koller and junior Austin Lenzen were both named to the All-Big Rivers Conference Second Team while seniors Jake Hayes, Adam Dardine and Andy Edholm received Honorable Mention. Eau Claire Memorial's Tyler Sparger was named the BRC's Player of the Year while Eau Claire North's Gregory Button was named Pitcher of the Year. Koller was one of two catchers named to the Second Team while Lenzen earned a spot on the team as an outfielder.
The Raider softball team blanked River Falls, 4-0, in a WIAA regional semifinal last Tuesday before suffering a season-ending 8-1 loss to Eau Claire North in the regional final two days later. Hudson ends the year with a record of 18-5 and a number of new team records in the books. Junior Devan DuCharme set a new Raider record with six home runs this season and the team set a new record with 10 total home runs by five different players.
Hudson sophomore Max Hawksford dropped his opening round match at the WIAA State Tennis Tournament to Nicolet senior David Yarmulnik, 1-6, 2-6, last Thursday afternoon in Madison. "Max simply ran into a player with a lot more state experience and a little better skills," Raider coach Dave Dahl said. "I thought Max hit with him just fine, but Yarmulnik had a few more weapons." Yarmulnik picked up a quick win in the first game of the opening set but had to work hard to pick up a win in the second game.
The Raider baseball team didn't go down without a fight in last Tuesday's WIAA regional semifinal at Wisconsin Rapids. Trailing 3-0 in the sixth, junior Austin Lenzen crushed a pitch over the left field fence for a home run to cut the Red Raiders' lead to 3-1. It was the first home run Wisconsin Rapids pitcher Gunnar Smith had allowed all season. Hudson scored another run with two outs in the seventh on a two-out single by Kory Koller that plated Derek Krumrei.
Eau Claire North scored in the opening minute, then added an insurance goal midway through the second half to defeat Hudson, 2-0, in a WIAA girls' soccer regional semifinal game last Thursday at the middle school field. The Huskies moved on to Saturday's regional final in River Falls where they dropped a 2-1 decision to Eau Claire Memorial while the Raiders season came to an end with a record of 10-6-1. River Falls defeated Chippewa Falls, 3-1, in Saturday's other regional final and will face Eau Claire Memorial in a sectional semifinal Thursday in River Falls.
Considering the success the Raider track and field teams have had this season, it was only fitting the teams set three new school records before a record-setting crowd at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships over the weekend in La Crosse. Junior Nick Lubinski set a new school mark and picked up a fifth place medal in the triple jump Saturday with an effort of 45-feet, 2-inches, while the girls 4 x 100 meter relay team of senior Danni Krinke, junior Angela Tipp, junior Erika Tipp and sophomore Katie Thielman broke a year-old record in Saturday's finals with a time of 49.7 seconds. Sop
The Raider baseball team wrapped up the regular season with a 3-1 Big Rivers Conference victory over River Falls Friday at Grandview Park. Earlier in the week the Raiders dropped a pair of BRC games 5-3 to Eau Claire Memorial last Tuesday and 13-3 to Chippewa Falls Thursday. They opened WIAA regional play Tuesday, June 1, at Wisconsin Rapids. A win would send them to the regional final Friday at Merrill.