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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One thing first-year Raider girls basketball coach Jess Carney really likes about this team is the way it bounces back after a loss. She'd just rather it didn't have to. The Raiders were stunned on their home court, 75-63, by previously winless River Falls last Tuesday, Dec. 5. But three nights later they played one of their best games of the year in a 63-51 victory at Eau Claire North. It's the second week in a row the Raiders have followed up a lackluster outing with a crisp, clean win.
Hudson girls tennis senior co-captains and No. 1 doubles teammates Anna Wilgren and Taylor Owens have been named to the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association All-State Second Team for the fall season. Wilgren and Owens went undefeated in Big Rivers Conference play and finished the season with a record of 25-3. In addition to winning the BRC title, the pair claimed the Section 1 championships and reached the round of 16 at the WIAA State Tournament before losing to the eventual state runner-ups from Homestead.
By the time Alex Weaver and John Cooper Ramthun swept the top two spots in the 100 yard backstroke in the Raider boys swimming and diving team's season opener against Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Nov. 28, the outcome had long been decided. Hudson had taken first place in every event, including the top two spots in five races on its way to a dominating 123-55 victory that included the final two events of the night running as exhibitions. Six different Raiders earned first place finishes while Hudson swept the relay events.
The Raider girls hockey team opened the season with a win at home and a win on the road against opponents on both sides of the St. Croix River last week. Hudson defeated Hastings, 5-2, Thursday, Nov. 30, at Gornick Arena before shutting out Black River Falls, 2-0, Saturday, Dec. 2, on the road. The Raiders will play their next two games at home, Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. at Drewiske Arena against Superior before opening Big Rivers Conference play against the Eau Claire-Altoona Stars Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. at Gornick Arena.
The Raider gymnastics team kicked off the season on a high note by placing second at the six-team Simley Invitational Saturday, Dec. 2, in Inver Grove Heights. Hudson finished with a team score of 128.2, just seven-tenths of a point behind first place Bloomington-Jefferson. Three Raiders finished in the top ten in the all-around competition, including freshmen Caroline Erickson and Amber Robey who placed third and eighth, respectively, in their varsity debuts. Returning junior Maia Malchow added a ninth place score of 31.2.
John Dornfeld likes what he sees in his return as head coach of the Raider boys basketball team. "It's been fun for me," the 26-year school district guidance counselor said after the first week of the season. "I feel good about the group of guys we have and I'm excited about the direction that we're going."
There was a time when the Hudson-Superior hockey rivalry was a fairly one-sided affair in favor of the Spartans. Not anymore. Superior ended the Raiders' season in either the sectional semifinals or finals four out of five years from 2011-15. But Hudson has turned the tables lately, running their record to 5-0-1 over the Spartans in the team's last six meetings, including a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday, Dec. 2, at Gornick Arena. "It's always a big game," Raider coach Brooks Lockwood said. "It's big for seeding; it's big for confidence. It's become a huge rivalry."
The Hudson wrestling team drew River Falls right off the bat in its season opener Thursday, Nov. 30, and the Raiders made an early claim for another Big Rivers Conference title with a 46-33 win. Freshman Peter Hansen earned his first varsity win in the penultimate match of the night at 132 pounds, pinning River Falls' Logan Schretenthaler to put Hudson up by seven and seal the win. Hudson coach Chris Hansen said beating River Falls was big for the Raiders.
Raider girls basketball coach Jess Carney had a simple message for her team after its second straight loss Friday night, Dec. 1. "We've been getting off to really slow starts our last two games and kind of dug ourselves a hole and we've fought back and got to within four or five in the second half but we just expended so much energy that we couldn't get over that hump," she said. "So the goal tonight was to make sure we start out quick and start out playing our game, because when you're playing catch up you start losing your identity a little bit."
Jess (Vadnais) Carney wasn't sure how much she wanted to get into coaching. But when the chance to coach her old high school team opened up, she jumped at it.