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 baseball team, under head coach Ryan Huppert, will open the 2010 season with a pair of home games, this Saturday, April 3 at 11 a.m. against Mahtomedi, Minn., and Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. against New Richmond. The Raiders are coming off a 2009 season in which they finished with a record of 21-8, including a regional championship.
The Raider boys' and girls' track and field teams both turned in impressive performances at the All-American Invitational Saturday at UW-River Falls' Knowles Center. Hudson's boys finished second in the 18-team field consisting of some of the top teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin while the Raider girls finished seventh.
Despite fielding shorthanded squads due to spring break last week, the Raider boys' and girls' track and field teams both turned in impressive performances at the first major indoor meet of the season Saturday at the Northern Badger Classic in Menomonie. Hudson's boys finished fourth in the 13-team large school division while the Raider girls placed sixth out of 14 teams. Boys' coach Tom Klatt and girls' coach Jamie Holum said they're both looking forward to having their full teams back this week.
Raider senior Jordan Vitek has been named to the 2009-10 All-Big Rivers Conference Boys' Basketball team. Vitek, a 6-foot guard, was named to the five player second team. He finished fourth in the conference and led the Raiders in scoring with an average of 14.5 points per game this season. He scored a career-high 42 points Jan. 8 in a 72-65 Raider victory over Rice Lake. Spencer Tollefson of Eau Claire Memorial was named the BRC Player of the Year and headlines the five player first team.
Senior Michael Bennett and Chas Larson have accepted invitations to play for the North Division 1-3 Large School team at the 2010 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Game Saturday, July 17, in Oshkosh. Raider head coach Adam Kowles will also join the team as an assistant coach.
Four members of the Hudson girls' hockey team have been named to the 2010 All-Big Rivers Conference Team, as voted on by the conference coaches and released last week. Senior Alise Riedel and junior Bonnie Meyer were both named to the six-player first team while seniors Emily Stankevitz and Abby Singerhouse received honorable mention. Riedel was named the first team goaltender after posting a record of 9-2-4 with four shutouts and leading the conference in goals against average (1.09) and save percentage (.960).
Twice in the last three weeks, up to 50 youngsters in grades 3 through 10 have gathered at the Knowles Center on the campus of UW-River Falls to learn the finer points of the game of lacrosse. Starting in 2008 with about 20 players, the Hudson Area Lacrosse Association has grown to around 80 this year with registration for the upcoming spring season still open through the end of March. Rich Grinstead, a clinic instructor and coach in the association, said all it takes for a kid to get hooked on the game is to start playing it. "Once you start playing, it's contagious," he said.
Three Hudson gymnasts capped their 2009-10 season by competing at the WIAA Division 1 Individual State Gymnastics Championships Friday night in Wisconsin Rapids. All three Raiders qualified for the state meet in the floor exercise. Sophomore Amanda Baker was the top Hudson finisher, tying for 18th place with a score of 8.917. Baker received scores of 8.95, 9.0 and 8.8 from the three judges. Senior Paige Kazak concluded her high school career by finishing 24th with a score of 8.717.
The Raider boys' basketball team trimmed a double-digit deficit to eight at the end of the third quarter but couldn't get any closer in a 72-48 loss to Merrill in a regional semifinal game at Merrill last Tuesday night. Hudson trailed 36-21 at halftime before outscoring Merrill 19-12 in the third quarter to pull to within eight, 48-40.
Three members of the Hudson gymnastics team qualified for this Friday's (March 5) WIAA State Individual Tournament but the Raiders came up one spot short of qualifying for Saturday's team competition at last Saturday's sectional meet in Rice Lake. Senior Paige Kazak and sophomores Amanda Baker and Toria Ferrell all finished in the top five in the floor exercise to earn spots at Friday night's state individual tournament in Wisconsin Rapids. "We had our highest floor scores of the season, which resulted in three individuals qualifying for the state tournament," Coach Holly Stewart said. Bake