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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Great pitching, strong defense and a barrage of hits all added up to a regional championship for the Hudson American Legion 17U baseball team over the weekend. Hudson outscored its opponents 40-5 in three wins and earned another victory by forfeit to earn a berth in the American Legion 17U State Tournament this weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Hudson will open state tournament play against Eau Claire at 2 p.m.
Mitch Lewis had three hits, including a double, and Brent Blegen had an RBI double in the seventh inning but the Hudson River Rats couldn't dig themselves out of a five run hole and dropped a 5-2 decision to the River Falls Fighting Fish in a St. Croix Valley Baseball League game Sunday at Grandview Park. The loss followed a 7-3 Rats victory on the arm of pitcher Brian Sparstad over the Osceola Braves Saturday night in Osceola. Hudson, now 3-7 in SCVBL play, will travel to SCVBL co-leader Menomonie to take on the Eagles (8-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wakanda Park.
The Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association has recognized a pair of Hudson players for their stellar play during the 2011 high school season. Senior shortstop Deven DuCharme and sophomore catcher Kindra Witthus were both named to the WFSCA All-District First Team. In addition, Witthus was named to the All-State Third Team, the first Hudson player to earn all-state honors. Both players previously earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors for the second straight year.
The Hudson River Rats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the St. Croix Valley Baseball League leading River Falls Fighting Fish Sunday, but the Fish came back with six unanswered runs on their way to defeating Hudson, 6-2. Hudson will get another crack at the Fish when they host River Falls this Sunday, July 10, at 1 p.m. at Grandview Park. Last Sunday at River Falls, Hudson took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Jason Hollar reached on an error and Mitch Lewis followed with a single.
Over 160 participants crossed the finish line in the sixth annual Croixathlon to benefit Camp St. Croix Saturday, June 25. The Croixathlon is a sprint distance triathlon held as a fundraiser to support the mission of the 600-acre camp and retreat center just south of Hudson on the bluffs of the St. Croix River. The race is a combined 1/3-mile swim in the St. Croix River, a 15-mile bike ride on rolling county roads, and a three-mile trail run. Kurt Becker of Afton, Minn., was the overall winner with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 22 seconds.
It was hard to tell who was having more fun during the Raider football team's second annual spring game last Saturday (June 18) at Newton Field -- the players or the coaching staff. Either way, head coach Adam Kowles said the scrimmage, which concluded the five days of unrestricted contact the WIAA gives coaches with their teams each summer, provided plenty of reasons to be optimistic. "We saw some things, some players that stood out," Kowles said about the game, which the Navy team won for the second straight season, 22-20.
While four members of the Raider baseball team earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors this season, the list of accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom, of the entire team is an impressive one. Senior Ben Christensen and junior Brett Steinwagner were both named to the All-BRC Second Team while senior Austin Lenzen and junior Kellen Pearson received honorable mention.
For many high school senior track and field athletes, the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse the first weekend in June marks the end of their high school careers, providing they are fortunate enough to get there. But for 80 of Wisconsin's elite athletes, including five from Hudson, this year they extended their high school careers one week longer by being chosen to represent Wisconsin at the 13th annual Midwest Senior Spotlight Track and Field Meet June 10-11 at UW-Platteville. The Spotlight Meet pits the best seniors from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois against each other in a sendoff competition f
Senior co-captain Paige Ommen leads a group of four Raiders named to 2011 All-Big Rivers Conference Girls' Soccer Teams by the conference coaches. Ommen, a midfielder, was named to the All-BRC First Team as well as being named the BRC Player of the Year for her play with the Raiders this season. In addition, senior co-captain Ashley Johnson was named to the All-BRC Second Team while senior defender Logan Knobel and sophomore defender Alyssa Muller received Honorable Mention. The Raiders finished the season with a record of 5-6-1 in BRC play, 10-7-1 overall.
The Raider softball team jumped out to a 2-0 l ead over Chippewa Falls in a WIAA sectional semifinal last Tuesday before the Cardinals scored nine unanswered runs to post a 9-2 victory. Hudson's season ended with a regional championship and an overall record of 12-7 while Chippewa Falls went on to win the sectional title with a 2-1 win over D.C. Everest last Friday.