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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In the 49-year history of the wrestling rivalry between Hudson and River Falls, the Raiders have never won by a bigger margin than they did last Thursday night, Jan. 5. Hudson dropped just one match on its way to remaining undefeated in Big Rivers Conference dual meets with a 63-6 victory on its home mat. The Raiders jumped right back into action Saturday, Jan. 7 when they hosted the Hudson Dual Invite and came away with a record of 3-1 to finish second. The Raiders return to BRC action Thursday, Dec. 12, at Rice Lake and will compete at the Anoka Invitational Saturday, Jan. 14.
Two days after posting a come-from-behind 103-82 victory over River Falls last Thursday, the Raider boys' swimming and diving team turned in a stellar performance at the Saturday, Jan. 7, Simley Invitational. Senior Charlie Skinner had a hand in two first place finishes at Simley, including posting the fifth fastest time of any Wisconsin swimmer this year in the 200 yard individual medley -- 2 minutes, 2.71 seconds. Skinner also swam the anchor leg behind his younger brother Willie Skinner, August Jorgensen and Lucas Rukavina on the Raiders' first place 400 freestyle relay team.
The Raider boys' hockey team scored early and often at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire last Thursday, Jan. 5. Hudson jumped out to a 6-0 first period lead and added five more goals over the final two periods to post an 11-0 Big Rivers Conference victory over the Huskies of Eau Claire North. The victory gave Hudson a record of 3-2-0 in BRC play, 5-5-1 overall, heading into this past Tuesday's (Jan. 10) game against Chippewa Falls and Saturday's home contest (Jan.
The Raider boys' basketball team won two more games last week to extend its winning streak to six straight and improve to 7-2 overall. Hudson defeated Red Wing, 66-59, at home last Tuesday before posting a 64-53 Big Rivers Conference win Friday in River Falls. Senior Kellen Pearson led the Raiders in scoring in both wins, pouring in 23 points against Red Wing and erupting for 32 against the Wildcats. "When you have a guy like Kellen, who can shoot from the perimeter, drive to the basket and play strong in the post, it's tough to defend him," Raider coach Jason Swavely said.
The Raider girls' basketball team outscored Red Wing 41-34 in the second half last Tuesday in Red Wing. Unfortunately, the 48-19 hole Hudson found itself in at halftime was too steep to overcome and the Wingers posted an 82-60 victory. Saturday night, Jan. 7, the Raiders and Warriors went back and forth in Rice Lake before the host team held off the visitors for a narrow 48-47 big Rivers Conference win. Hudson, now 0-3 in BRC play, 3-4 overall, will host Eau Claire North (4-0, 4-5) this Friday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. and has a week off before returning to action Friday, Jan.
The Raider boys' basketball team ran its winning streak to four with a pair of victories at the big Rivers Conference/Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge last week in Eau Claire. The Raiders defeated Merrill, 50-36, on Wednesday and Wausau West, 57-26, Thursday to improve to 5-2 on the season. After hosting Red Wing this past Tuesday, Jan. 3, Hudson will take a 1-1 record into River Falls (2-5, 1-2) this Friday, Jan. 6, for a 7:30 p.m.
Taylor Casey's goal in the third round of a shootout lifted the Raider boys' hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Orono, Minn., in the consolation championship game of the Bronze Division at the Schwan's Cup in Blaine, Minn. last Wednesday, Dec. 28. The two teams were tied, 3-3, after regulation and an eight-minute overtime and the game will be recorded as a tie in the record books, but tournament guidelines called for the outcome to be decided in a shootout. Dylan Haskins opened the shootout with a goal before Raider goaltender Josh Mattis stopped Orono's Gavin Payne.
For the fourth straight year the Raiders brought home a team trophy and senior Kolya Hawksford brought home the 152-pound individual championship from the prestigious Bi-State Wrestling Classic in La Crosse last Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29-30. Seven Raiders earned spots on the awards podium as Hudson finished second only to state powerhouse Wausau West in the 19-team Division 1 competition.
The Raider girls' basketball team led from the start and held Farmington, Minn., to single-digit scoring in the first and third quarters on its way to a 50-35 nonconference victory last Tuesday in Hudson. The Raiders led 12-7 at the end of one and 24-17 at halftime before widening the gap to double digits during most of the second half. The Raiders opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run, starting with a steal and layup by junior Kindra Witthus and ending with a three-pointer by junior Sarah Krier.
Hudson wrestling coach Chris Hansen got everything he wanted out of last Thursday's nonconference dual with Stevens Point. Except a win. Despite winning eight of the 14 matches, the Raiders came out on the short end of a 31-29 final score. "We had a great dual with Stevens Point," Hansen said. "It is exactly what I am looking for as a coach. Of course, I'd rather come out on the winning end but the bottom line is we try to put our kids in difficult positions and Point offered us just that." The dual was the last for the Raiders before this week's Bi-State Classic in La Crosse.