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 Hudson Raider football team will host Wisconsin Rapids Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a WIAA Division 1 Level 1 playoff game. The Raiders (6-1 BRC, 8-1 overall) clinched their first conference championship in 27 years with a convincing 35-3 victory over Eau Claire Memorial Thursday night at Carson Park in Eau Claire. The conference title is the first ever for Hudson in the Big Rivers Conference. The last championship came in 1982 when the Raiders competed in the Middle Border Conference.
Hudson jumped out to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter against Eau Claire North and cruised to a 34-14 win Friday night at Newton Field to maintain its hold on first place in the Big Rivers Conference. The Raiders can lock up at least a share of their first BRC title by defeating Eau Claire Memorial Thursday night (Otc. 22) in Eau Claire. Hudson (5-1 BRC, 7-1 overall) and Menomonie (5-1, 6-2) enter the final game of the season tied for the conference lead. The Raiders defeated the Indians 20-6 Oct. 8.
The Raider boys soccer team outscored its opponents 17-1 on its way to a regional championship last week to move to within two wins of earning a berth in the WIAA State Soccer Tournament Oct. 29-31 in Milwaukee. The second-seeded Raiders rolled over No. 15 Menomonie, 12-0, in last Tuesday's regional semifinal before disposing of No. 7 Wausau West, 5-1, in Thursday's regional final game. Hudson will host No. 3 D.C. Everest in a sectional semifinal Thursday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. at the middle school field. D.C. Everest advanced with an 8-0 win over No. 14 Superior and a 2-0 victory over No.
The tradition continues for the Raider boys' cross country team. Senior Jacob Ball won the individual title and freshman Ryan Kromer took second to lead Hudson to its fifth straight Big Rivers Conference championship, and tenth overall, Saturday in Rice Lake. Ball, who finished second to teammate Luke Wusterbarth last year, won this year's race with a time of 16 minutes, 14 seconds while Kromer, in his first season with the Raiders, took second in 16:31.
The Raider volleyball team battled illness most of last week and ended up placing sixth at the Big Rivers Conference Volleyball Tournament Saturday in River Falls. "Which isn't too bad considering we only had one night of practice with more than seven girls leading up to Saturday," head coach Dennis Saathoff pointed out. The sixth place tournament finish came after the Raiders were awarded the third seed in the WIAA regionals that begin this week. Hudson will host No. 6 Superior Thursday (Oct. 22) at 7 p.m. at the high school. The winner will face either No. 2 Eau Claire North or No.
Senior Julia Johnson's high school tennis career ended Thursday with a loss to Lauren Piotrowski of Greendale in the first round of the WIAA State Girls Tennis Championships in Madison. Piotrowski defeated Johnson 6-4, 6-4, in a match that featured a number of momentum swings and a bizarre scoring ruling. Johnson jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set only to see that slip away. In the second set, with Johnson up 3-2 and Piotrowski serving at 30-40 in the sixth game, Johnson took the next point for what she thought was a 4-2 set lead.
Raider sophomore Cassie Wurm carded a two-day total of 178 to finish in a tie for 38th place at the WIAA Girls State Golf Championships last Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. Wurm was tied for 30th after the first day with a score of 87. She finished with a 91 Tuesday. Wurm qualified for her second straight trip to the state tournament by shooting an 81 at the Eau Claire North Sectional Oct. 7 at Mill Run.
The Raider boys' cross country team tuned up for this weekend's Big Rivers Conference Championships by taking first at the Eau Claire Memorial Invitational Saturday, Oct. 10 in Eau Claire. Jacob Ball took home the individual title to lead the boys to a first place score of 42, eight points ahead of second place D.C. Everest.
The Raider volleyball team will look to get healthy and back on the winning track at the Big Rivers Conference Volleyball Tournament Saturday, Oct. 17 in River Falls. The Raiders were swept by Chippewa Falls in their final conference dual match of the season last Tuesday before taking sixth at the 12-team Mora, Minn. Invitational Saturday with a depleted roster due to illness. Last Tuesday's loss to the Cardinals leaves the Raiders with a BRC mark of 3-3 heading into Saturday's tournament.
Hudson senior defensive lineman Chas Larson had a simple answer for how his team held the Big Rivers Conference's highest scoring team -- Menomonie - to just six points Thursday night. "They hadn't played the best defense in the conference yet," he stated. Menomonie entered the game averaging 31 points in its previous three outings, but the Raiders held the Indians to 85 rushing yards and nine first downs while dominating the line of scrimmage on their way to a 20-6 victory.