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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The Raider boys' soccer team opened the WIAA playoffs this week fresh of a three-game winning streak. The Raiders last two victories came by identical 2-0 scores over Eau Claire North and Chippewa Falls last week. Both victories avenged losses to the same teams earlier this season and gave the Raiders a final regular season record of 5-7-0 in Big Rivers Conference play, 7-11-0 overall. Hudson earned the No. 8 seed in the 16-team regional and opened the postseason Tuesday against No. 9 Marshfield (6-10-2).
The Raider girls' tennis team's No. 1 doubles pair of Casey Fall and Jenny Fassbinder, along with No. 1 singles player Morgan Van Allen, needed to win just one match at last Wednesday's Stevens Point sectional to qualify for state. Mission accomplished. Van Allen reached the first flight semifinals, and clinched her trip to state, by winning her quarterfinal match, 6-2, 6-2, against her opponent from Wausau West. She lost her next two matches to eventually finish fourth. Fall and Fassbinder didn't stop with their convincing 6-1, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over Marshfield.
Hudson senior Cassie Wurm shot back-to-back rounds of 84 to finish in a tie for 23rd place at the WIAA Division 1 Girls State Golf Tournament Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. Wurm, the Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year, posted a two-day total of 168. Emily Joers of Waukesha carded a pair of 73s to win the Division 1 title with a 146.
Hudson erased an early 16-0 deficit with three straight first half touchdowns, then denied a second-half comeback attempt by Menomonie to hand the Mustangs their first loss of the season, 37-24, Friday night in Hudson. The win clinched a playoff berth for the Raiders and marked the fourth straight victory over Menomonie. After trailing 16-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Raiders scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 23-16 halftime lead. Tyler Smrcina scored on runs of 10 and 35 yards on back-to-back possessions to start the Raider comeback.
Both the River Falls and Hudson boys' soccer teams will open the playoffs at home when WIAA regional action begins Tuesday, Oct. 11. The Wildcats (13-6-0) earned the No. 5 seed in the 16-team regional and will host No. 12 D.C. Everest (5-11-1) Tuesday at 4 p.m. Hudson (8-11-0) drew the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Marshfield (6-10-2) at 7 p.m. A River Falls win would send them to the regional final against either No. 4 Wausau East (13-5-0) or No. 13 Lakeland (6-7-1) Thursday, Oct. 13, at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Hudson's Cassie Wurm finished third at Wednesday's WIAA Division 1 La Crosse Sectional at Forest Hills Golf Course to earn her fourth straight trip to the WIAA State Tournament as an individual qualifier. The Raiders finished fifth overall at the 8-team event. Wurm carded a round of 83, one stroke behind River Falls' Halle Hauer and La Crosse Central/Logan's Grace Onsrud. Hauer defeated Onsrud in a 1-hole playoff to earn medalist honors. River Falls won the team title with a total score of 346. Tomah took second with 369. Both advance as teams to the state tournament.
The Raider cross country teams got a preview of what the WIAA sectional course will look like in three weeks when they ran at the Jesse Parker Timberwolf Classic at the Hiawatha Golf Course in Tomah last Friday. Judging by the results, they liked what they saw. Katie Wetzstein set a new course record to lead the Raider girls to a first place team finish and Ryan Kromer took first in the boys' race while all 14 Hudson runners received medals for the first time in team history. Wetzstein had no competition on her way to winning the girls' race with a new course record time of 14 minu
The Raider volleyball team got off to a slow start last week, dropping a 3-0 decision at home to Rice lake on Tuesday, but gradually improved and ended up finishing fifth at Saturday's Cretin-Derham Hall Tournament in St. Paul. Head coach Dennis Saathoff said the Raiders had more service reception errors than any match this year against Rice Lake, which slowed their offensive attack.
Devin Cicha set a pair of pool records and the Raiders posted first place finishes in all but two events last Thursday, Sept. 29 at River Falls. Saturday, Oct. 1 in St. Paul, the Raiders won seven events on their way to winning the Simley Invitational by 70 points.
Hudson senior Cassie Wurm earned medalist honors with a score of 76 to lead the Raiders to a third place team finish at the WIAA Division 1 Golf Regional last Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Turtleback Golf Course in Rice Lake. River Falls won the team title with a total score of 341 followed by New Richmond with 346, Hudson with 374 and Rice Lake with 387. All four teams move on to the WIAA Sectional this Wednesday, Oct.