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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After earning a tough four-set Big Rivers Conference win at the Doghouse at Eau Claire North Thursday, Sept. 7, the Raider volleyball team capped off a perfect week by going 4-0 to take the team title at its home Hudson Invitational two days later. The Raiders beat Eau Claire North Thursday by scores of 25-17, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22 to avenge a loss to the Huskies earlier this season at the Menomonie Sprawl Tournament. Head coach Dennis Saathoff said the young Raiders grew up a lot in the match.
After turning the ball over five times in a four-point loss to Coe College in its season opener the week before, the UW-River Falls football team wasn't going to let another game slip away Saturday, Sept. 9, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. After building a 20-6 lead, UWRF turned the ball over twice on back-to-back fourth quarter possessions, and while Gustavus was able to convert the second giveway into a touchdown, it was too-little-too-late as the Falcons held on for a 20-12 victory.
Three matches in three days against three ranked teams on opposite sides of the state. That's the challenge the Raider boys soccer team faced last week, and it didn't end well. Hudson was shut out by Eau Claire Memorial, 4-0, Thursday, Sept. 7 at home before heading to Milwaukee where they lost 4-2 to Cedarburg Friday, Sept. 8, and 7-1 to Marquette University School Saturday, Sept. 9.
After forcing Superior to turn the ball over on downs twice inside the red zone in the first half, Hudson put together an 18-play, 74-yard touchdown drive on the opening drive of the second half and made it stand up in a 7-0 victory over the Spartans Friday, Sept. 8, at Raider Stadium. Hudson overcame three penalties while eating up over eight minutes of clock before quarterback Keyser Helterbrand hit Ben Karls for a 9-yard touchdown pass and Karls added the extra point.
Plenty of runners saw action for the Raider cross country teams at a pair of meets last week at St. Olaf College and Marshfield. Both Raider teams competed Thursday, Aug. 31, in Northfield, Minn., at the St. Olaf Showcase with the girls placing third out of 31 teams and the boys finishing 25th. Head coach Don Krupa said neither team was at full strength since many runners chose to remain at school since it was a school day.
UW-River Falls had over twice as many first downs, over four times as many rushing yards and nearly twice as many total yards as Coe College in its 2017 season opener Saturday, Sept. 2, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. They also had five times as many turnovers. Throw in two missed field goals, a missed extra point kick, and 87 yards in penalties and it all added up to a 13-9 loss to the defending Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Kohawks.
The Raider girls tennis team didn't have long to prepare for the 2017 season. With just three days of practice under their belts, the Raiders traveled to Eau Claire Saturday, Aug. 12, for a tournament co-hosted by Eau Claire North and Eau Claire Memorial. After going 2-1 in Eau Claire, the team headed across the state Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 21-22, for the two-day Green Bay Southwest Sweet 16 Tournament, where they went 3-1 to finish fifth. They played their first home match in over a year Thursday, Aug. 24, against River Falls and came away with a 6-1 victory.
Aaron Squires and Riley Brown each ran for over 100 yards and scored five touchdowns between them-- all in the first half-- as Hudson rolled to a 49-12 victory over Eau Claire North in the Big Rivers Conference football opener for both teams Friday, Sept. 1, in Hudson. Squires ran for 119 yards and three scores and Brown totaled 100 yards and two touchdowns as Hudson put up a total of 382 yards on the ground.
Chloe Germain posted a team-low score of 52 at the River Falls Golf Club Monday, Aug. 28, as the Raider girls golf team finished fifth with a team score of 221 at the first Big Rivers Conference match of the season. Eau Claire Memorial took top honors with 191 followed by River Falls with 201, Chippewa Falls with 211, and Eau Claire North with 216. Menomonie finished 17 strokes behind Hudson in sixth place with 238 while Rice Lake was seventh with 252.
Hudson football coach Adam Kowles admitted his team might have been caught up in the fanfare and hoopla surrounding the debut of Hudson's new Raider Stadium Friday night, Aug. 25. "I'll be honest, I think the guys felt a lot of pressure on them to win since it was the opener at the new stadium," Kowles said. "I know I did. We played a little bit tight. I hope that going forward we can just get back to playing football, flying around, and having fun, because that's when we are at our best."