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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On the very first day of practice back in November, first-year Raider boys' hockey coach Brooks Lockwood laid out his goals for the program. "We want to be one of the top two teams in our section every year, and one of the top teams in the conference every year," he said then. So far, so good. The 2012-13 Raiders won their first outright Big Rivers Conference championship since 2003, and made it all the way to the sectional final game before losing in overtime to Superior last Friday, 2-1.
Three Raider girls' hockey players have been named to 2012-13 All-Big Rivers Conference teams as voted on by the conference coaches. Junior forward Sydney Squires was named to the All-BRC First Team and junior forward Sara Iacobello was named to the Second Team while senior forward Bailey Knight received Honorable Mention. Squires was honored by the conference coaches for the third straight season. She earned Honorable Mention honors as both a freshman and sophomore.
Hudson's girls' basketball team clicked on all cylinders Tuesday night and took care of Wausau East, 61-39, in a WIAA Division 1 regional basketball quarterfinal in Hudson. The eighth-seeded Raiders jumped out to an 11-5 first quarter lead and never looked back, widening the gap to as many as 25 in the second half on their way to the victory. Their reward is a matchup with top-seeded Superior this Friday night, March 1, in a regional semifinal in Superior. "I couldn't be happier the way the girls came out tonight and executed," Raider head coach Joe Behnke said.
Raider junior Olivia Dunlap qualified for the WIAA State Gymnastics Tournament for the second straight year after finishing fifth in the all-around at last Saturday's sectional meet in Chippewa Falls. The Raiders finished fourth in the sectional team standings with a total score of 133.95. Eau Claire, who won with 141.475, and runner-up Chippewa Falls, with 137.375, both qualified for this Saturday's state team competition. Dunlap will compete at the state individual tournament Friday, March 1, beginning at 5:15 p.m.
Raider senior defenseman Daniel Tripicchio is one of eight finalists for the American Family Insurance/Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year award. All eight finalists will be honored, and the winner announced, at the POTY/State Tournament banquet in Madison, Wednesday, Feb. 27, the night before the WIAA State Tournament quarterfinals. Tripicchio is the first Hudson player to be named a WHCA Player of the Year finalists since Davis Drewiske, who won the award in 2003. Watch the Star-Observer web site for more information on this story.
The Raider boys' hockey team avenged a regular season loss to Somerset in a WIAA sectional semifinal last Tuesday, but couldn't pull off a repeat performance in the sectional final Friday night (Feb.
Hudson had three place-winners for just the second time in history at the WIAA State Individual Tournament over the weekend, with seniors Dima Hawksford and Derek Schindler, and junior Eliot Motu all finishing fifth in their respective weight classes. Along with senior Austin Koski, the Raiders combined to win 12 matches at the state tournament, the most in team history. "It was a great weekend," Raider coach Chris Hansen said.
The Raider girls' hockey team saw its season come to an end with a 7-2 loss to the WSFLG Blizzard in a WIAA regional final last Thursday night in Grantsburg. The third-seeded Blizzard (Webster/Siren/Frederic/Luck/Grantsburg) advanced to the sectional semifinals against the St. Croix Valley Fusion, while Hudson's season came to an end with a record of 6-13-1. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period, thanks to a goal by Raider junior Sydney Squires, but the Blizzard scored four times in the second period to open up a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Raider girls' basketball team snapped an eight-game losing streak and finished off a season sweep of River Falls with a 60-44 victory over the Wildcats last Friday night in River Falls. The Raiders led from the opening tip-off, opening up an 18-11 first quarter lead and never looking back while moving a game ahead of Menomonie into fifth place in the Big Rivers Conference standings. "The girls really needed this one and I couldn't be happier for them," head coach Joe Behnke said. "It was nice to see all their hard work get rewarded tonight.
After posting their third straight Big Rivers Conference victory with a 52-40 win at Chippewa Falls last Tuesday, the Raider boys' basketball team squandered a 13-point halftime lead and fell to River Falls, 52-43, Friday in Hudson. The split leaves the Raiders with a final regular season record of 8-14 overall, 5-7 in BRC play, heading into this Friday night's (Feb. 22) WIAA regional semifinal in Marshfield. The Raiders, the No. 6 seed in the bracket, face the third-seeded Tigers (12-10) at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to take on either No. 2 D.C. Everest (15-7) or No.