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 girls' basketball team kicked off the Big Rivers Conference of its 2009-10 schedule in style with a big road win at Eau Claire Memorial Friday night. Hudson jumped out to a 13-4 first quarter lead and held the Old Abes to single-digit scoring in each quarter on its way to a 45-25 victory. Saturday night the Raiders dropped their second nonconference game of the season, 44-42 at Osceola. They return to BRC action at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 11, at Menomonie before another nonconference game at home against Red Wing on Tuesday, Dec.
A young team playing its first game of the season in a hostile environment. That's what the Raider boys' basketball team faced in its season opener at New Richmond Friday night, a 56-42 loss to the Tigers. Head coach Jason Swavely said it was a typical first game for a young team trying to find itself. "I think going into the season we weren't sure what we were going to have," he said. "After Friday night, we have a starting point for what to work on. "We're a young team," he added. "Right now we're trying to find a rotation and where guys fit in and develop an identity.
The Hudson boys' basketball team will rely on a host of new faces to defend its Big Rivers Conference title from a year ago. Eight players, including first team All-BRC pick Seth Stanchik and honorable mention selection Ben Gresmer, have graduated from last year's squad that finished 15-6 overall, 10-2 in the BRC. Jordan Vitek is the most experienced of the three seniors back for the 2009-10 season.
The Raider boys' hockey team will face a stiff test right off the bat when it opens the 2009-10 season Thursday night, Dec. 3 at home against three-time defending Big Rivers Conference champs Eau Claire Memorial. Face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at John Gornick Memorial Arena. The Raiders lost nine players from last year's team that reached the sectional final game and finished with a record of 15-7-1, but head coach Mike Stoskopf said he's confident the returning group can compete with anyone. "The strength of our team is work ethic and speed," he said.
The Raider girls' basketball team battled back from a 16-point deficit to cut Superior's lead to six with under a minute remaining, but the comeback effort came up just short and the Spartans escaped with a 61-53 victory in the season opener for both teams Friday afternoon at the high school. Superior led 45-29 at the end of the third quarter before the Raiders outscored the Spartans 24-16 in the final eight minutes.
A week isn't a very long time to prepare for a season. But that's what Raider girls' basketball coach Beth Graskewicz and her squad face as they prepare for their season opener Friday afternoon (Nov. 27) against Superior. The Raiders and the rest of the WIAA girls' teams opened practice last Wednesday. With the first two days devoted to tryouts, that leaves barely a week to get ready for the season. "We're not looking to have everything done by Friday," Graskewicz said before Saturday morning's practice.
Collectively, the Raider football team produced one of the best seasons in school history, winning its first-ever Big Rivers Conference championship and advancing to the second round of the WIAA State Playoffs. Individually, the players are now being recognized with a host of post-season awards. Sixteen Raiders have been named to 2009 All-Big Rivers Conference teams and three earned Wisconsin Football Coaches Association West Central All-Region and WFCA All-State honors while head coach Adam Kowles was named the BRC Coach of the Year. "It was a great year for Hudson football, not only becau
Saturday was a special day for me and my wife. It was the first time we ever went to a football game and rooted for the same team. My wife, you see, is a Minnesota Viking fan. And even though I grew up in New Jersey I have always been a Green Bay Packer fan. But for whatever reason (just another in the long list of things I don't understand about my wife), she's also Wisconsin Badger fan. Being married to a Viking fan can be a challenge.
Hudson senior David Nettleton was named the 2009 Big Rivers Conference Boys' Soccer Player of the Year, headlining a group of 10 Raiders named to the All-BRC Soccer Team. Nettleton, along with fellow seniors Mackenzie Lund and Nick Lund, were named to the All-BRC First Team, while seniors John Tjornehoj, Lars Bichrt and Jimmy Setzer were named to the second team and seniors Noah Harmon and Ben Markowski, junior Chris Berglund and freshman Andy Harmon received honorable mention.
The Raider girls' swimming and diving team wrapped up its season with a seventh place finish at the 15-team WIAA Division 1 sectional meet over the weekend in Hudson. The Raiders finished with a total of 176 points, just seven points behind sixth place Holmen. Wausau East won the team title with 330. While no Raiders qualified for this weekend's state swimming and diving championships in Madison, head coach Kelly Hackbarth said they had a great end to the season. "The girls did very well," she said.