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 Raider gymnastics' team overcame illness and injury to post its second highest score of the season and take first place at the seven-team Hudson Invitational Saturday at Willow River Elementary School. Without Paige Kazak due to illness, and with Sarah Monette limited to just two events with a sprained wrist, the rest of the Raiders stepped up and posted a team score of 133.65 -- its second highest score of the season -- to win the team title. The Raider junior varsity also fared well, placing second in its portion of the event.
For the first half of last Tuesday's game against River Falls, the Raider boys' hockey team completely outplayed the Wildcats but had just a scoreless tie to show for it. But when Beau Hommes scored the first goal of the game midway through the second period, Hudson had a lead it would never relinquish and went on to a 3-2 Big Rivers Conference victory. Up until Hommes' goal, Wildcat goaltender Garrett Jensen had kept the Raiders off the scoreboard despite Hudson outshooting River Falls 21-5 through the first 24 minutes.
Karyn Bye-Dietz watched the dozen or so neighborhood kids skating on her homemade rink in the town of Troy Saturday afternoon and smiled. "I love this," she said. "It brings back memories of when I was a kid and skated all the time, weekends, after school, whenever I could." Bye-Dietz went from skating in her backyard in River Falls to winning a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, as a member of the very first U.S. Women's Olympic Hockey team. She earned a silver medal four years later at the Salt Lake City, Utah, games.
Raider boys' hockey coach Mike Stoskopf said the Raiders played hard in five of the six periods they played last week. That was good enough to post a 6-3 Big Rivers Conference victory at Menomonie Thursday, but it cost the Raiders in their 2-1 loss to Somerset Saturday at home. "Against Menomonie we played real hard for three periods," Stoskopf said about the Raiders' six-goal outburst, their highest scoring game of the season. "When the puck goes in the net, it just feels like you're playing well.
The Raider boys' basketball team hosted a pair of Minnesota opponents in back-to-back nonconference games over the weekend and came away with a split. Hudson defeated Edina, 54-50, Friday night before falling to North St. Paul, 41-38, Saturday. The Raiders, now 5-8 overall, 3-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, begin the second half of their BRC schedule with road games at Eau Claire Memorial (11-3, 6-0) on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Menomonie on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. (0-12, 0-6) this week. They return home to host River Falls (9-4, 2-3) on Thursday, Feb.
When the final team scores were announced at the end of Thursday night's Big Rivers Conference gymnastics dual meet between Hudson and River Falls, Raider coach Holly Stewart said it was hard to tell which team won. Two-time defending BRC champion River Falls took first with a score of 138.125. But Stewart said the Raiders' score of 136.05 was a season-high that gave the team plenty to be excited about. "The girls had a great meet," Stewart said. "They have been working hard and setting goals as a team.
The Raider girls' basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start and dropped a 60-36 nonconference decision to Ellsworth last Tuesday night at the high school gym. Ellsworth jumped out to a 15-8 first quarter lead and widened the gap to 33-21 at halftime and 50-29 at the end of three. Hudson, now 1-11 overall, 1-5 in the Big Rivers Conference, will host BRC leader Menomonie (12-1, 5-1) Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. and travel to River Falls (6-6, 2-4) Tuesday, Feb. 2. Kaitlyn Haag led the Raiders with nine points in last week's loss to Ellsworth while Jamie Lindstrom finished with eight.
The Raider boys' swimming and diving team dropped a close, 99-84 decision to Stillwater last Tuesday before a shorthanded squad took third at Saturday's eight-team Husky Invitational in Eau Claire. Hudson was without the services of Campbell Fall, Jay Skinner and Gabe Dwyer Saturday and lost Luke Wusterbarth to illness during the meet but still compiled 202 points, good for third place. Eau Claire was first with 396 followed by Chippewa Falls with 303. Last Tuesday, with a full squad, the Raiders gave Stillwater, Minn., all they could handle in a nonconference dual loss.
Four different Hudson players scored goals and goaltender Alise Riedel made 40 saves as the Hudson girls' hockey team defeated the top-ranked and defending state champion St. Croix Valley Fusion 4-2 Thursday night (Feb. 4) in Hudson. It was the Fusion's first loss to a Wisconsin team in two years and its' first-ever loss in Big Rivers Conference play. The team is a cooperative program consisting of players from River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St.
The Raider boys' basketball team opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a double-digit lead over Chippewa Falls and never let up on its way to a 61-39 victory over the Cardinals Friday night at the high school gym. The win came three nights after the Raiders dropped a 42-34 decision at Eau Claire North. Hudson, now 3-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, 4-7 overall, will host a pair of Minnesota teams in nonconference games this weekend. They face Edina Friday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and North St. Paul Saturday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school gym.