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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Coming off the best season in the 53-year history of Hudson High School wrestling, the 2011-12 Raider squad is poised to add another successful chapter to the program's rich history. The Raiders qualified for the WIAA State Team Championships for the first time in school history last season and reached the state's Final Four.
The Raider boys' hockey team has plenty of experience back from the squad that won a regional championship last season. And head coach Mike Stoskopf hopes the hard work the players put in during the offseason will make the team even stronger this year. Hudson finished the 2010-11 campaign with an overall record of 11-11-1 and reached the sectional semifinals before losing to Superior.
While the 2011 Raider girls' basketball team returns six players who earned extensive varsity experience last year, this year's squad will look quite different when it opens its season Friday night, Dec. 2 at North St. Paul. Hudson welcomes back a pair of All-Big Rivers Conference honorable mention players -- senior Jessie Kirkwood and junior Kindra Witthus --along with senior Maddie Drewiske and juniors Sarah Krier, Nicole Mara and Ellie Whitacre from last year's team that finished 8-16.
Winter may not officially begin until Dec. 22, but Hudson's student-athletes are hitting the gyms, hockey rinks, wrestling rooms and pools in preparation for the upcoming winter sports season. The Raider boys' and girls' hockey teams and the Raider gymnastics team have been practicing for over two weeks now while the boys' basketball, boys' swimming and wrestling teams have been working out for over a week and the girls' basketball team has a week of workouts in the books. The first regular season games for Raider teams are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov.
Seniors Stephanie Little and Katrina Zenz have both been named to the 2011 All-Big Rivers Conference Volleyball Second Team while senior Maddie Drewiske has received Honorable Mention. It's the second straight year Little and Zenz have earned all-BRC honors. Last year Little was named to the all-conference second team while Zenz received honorable mention. Little and Zenz also shared the Raider team Offensive Player of the Year award handed out at the team's postseason banquet.
Spring and the start of the high school softball season may still be months away, but Jim Revoir can't wait for that first crack of the bat. Revoir, a sixth-grade science teacher at Hudson Middle School, was hired as the Raiders' new softball coach last fall to replace Dan Rasmussen, who retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year after 19 years as head coach. Revoir immediately assembled an energetic and experienced staff of assistants that includes middle school language arts teacher Brianna Letness, school district counselor Megan Blakeley, and Melissa Johnson of The Centre in New
Eight Raider football players, including four repeat selections, have been named to 2011 All-Big Rivers Conference teams as voted on by the conference coaches. Seniors Matt Strachota and Tyler Smrcina were named to the All-BRC First Team while seniors Kellen Pearson, Steven Burke, Derek Campbell and Lawrence Pruitt, junior Dan Loughney, and sophomore Alexandar Herink, were named to the Second Team. In addition to the all-conference honors, Strachota and Smrcina were also named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Region Team while Strachota earned honorable mention to the
Senior Amanda Baker posted Hudson's highest finish at last Saturday's WIAA Division 1 State Swimming and Diving Championships by placing eighth in diving with a score of 329.1. Baker's finish accounted for 11 of the Raiders' 25 team points. Hudson competed in six events and finished 22nd out of 43 teams at the state meet at the UW-Natatorium in Madison. Raider coach Kelly Hackbarth said all of Hudson's state competitors did a nice job of maintaining scores and times. "Really, this year, state was all about the experience," Hackbarth said.
Hudson boys' soccer coach Chuck Bublitz announced last Friday he has resigned after six years with the Raider program. In an e-mail statement sent Friday, Nov. 11, Bublitz cited family and school as factors in his decision. "The decision to resign was one reached after much discussion with my family that I did not reach lightly," he wrote.
Hudson earned sectional titles in four events and qualified for state in six events while finishing as runner-up at the WIAA Division 1 sectional swimming and diving competition at the middle school over the weekend. Senior Amanda Baker won her second straight sectional championship in diving and freshman Devin Cicha won titles in a pair of individual events while the Raider 400 freestyle relay team swam to a first place finish. All four sectional titles came by virtue of new Hudson school records, The Raiders finished second at the 13-team sectional with 308.5 points, behind only