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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Before the Hudson River Rats take the field for the opener of the Wisconsin Baseball Association State Championship Tournament Friday night, August 14 in Haugen, Rats' manager Chris LaBreche will unfold a neatly-pressed No. 24 Rats' jersey and hang it in the team's dugout. LaBreche has performed the ritual before every Rats game since July 15.
As many as 2,000 runners are expected to take part in Saturday's Gopher to Badger Half Marathon and 5K, which begins in Minnesota and ends in Hudson's Lakefront Park. The half marathon kicks off at 8 a.m. in Stillwater with the 5K getting underway at 8:10 a.m. The 5K awards ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at Lakefront Park while awards for the half marathon will be presented at 11 a.m. The run is being organized by Final Stretch Inc. and sponsored by the Bohannon Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Hudson.
Nearly 90 youngsters from western Wisconsin and as far away as Leawood, Kansas, took part in the annual Punt, Pass and Kick Competition Saturday during the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp at UW-River Falls. Boys and girls ages 8-13 competed in eight age groups with trophies awarded to the top three performers in each division.
The Hudson River Rats received the No. 2 seed in the Chippewa Falls bracket of the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs and will open up postseason play against the Bayside Vipers Saturday, August 8 at 9 a.m. at Carson Park in Eau Claire. The third-seeded Vipers finished the season with a record of 16-9, 8-4 in the Upper 13 League based out of Superior. The River Rats improved to 19-9 overall with a pair of victories last week in tune-ups for the upcoming playoffs.
The Hudson River Rats won their final two St. Croix Valley Baseball League games to finish the regular season tied with River Falls for the top spot in the North Division of the SCVBL with a league mark of 12-4, but River Falls' season sweep over the Rats gave the Fighting Fish the division title. Both teams earned berths in the Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs, which get under way Aug. 7. Pairings and sites will be released Wednesday.
Former Hudson High School and University of Wisconsin Badger Kraig Urbik leaves this week for his first NFL summer training camp in Latrobe, Pa. But before leaving, he helped the Hudson High School coaching staff and players instruct a group of youth in grades 4-8 last week at Hudson's eighth annual ABC Football Camp at the high school's south field. "I'm close with coaches (Neil) Hatfield, (Ryan) Jamison and (Adam) Kowles, and they asked me so I said I'd be happy to stop by and help out," Urbik said. "The coaches are doing most of the work.
Former Hudson Raider Seth Stanchik and former River Falls Wildcat Levi Johnson both played key roles for the large school North team at the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic Saturday in Oshkosh. Stanchik, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 240-pound defensive lineman, forced and recovered a fumble while Johnson, a 5-7, 165-pound running back, ran the ball four times for 40 yards and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The Hudson River Rats split a pair of games last week, but maintained their hold on first place in the North Division of the St. Croix Valley Baseball League. The Rats ensured a berth in next month's Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs with a 7-3 victory Friday night at Osceola. Sunday they saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end by dropping an 8-6 decision at St. Croix Falls. The split leaves Hudson (10-4, 15-9) with a half-game lead over River Falls (9-4, 14-11) in the North Division of the SCVBL with two league games remaining.
The Hudson American Legion baseball team will ride a three-game winning streak into the postseason after picking up two more victories last week. Hudson manhandled Prescott, 11-1, in six innings last Wednesday and held on for a 9-7 victory Thursday at Ellsworth to finish the regular season with a record of 11-1. They open the Legion playoffs Wednesday, July 22 (tonight) at 7 p.m. at Chippewa Falls. "It's always nice to head into postseason play with a big victory under your belt," Hudson coach Dan Pavlue said after Thursday's win over Ellsworth.