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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Kindra Witthus has started every game at catcher for the Raider softball team since her freshman year. She'll continue in that role when her senior season begins this spring. As of last Tuesday, she won't have to think about where she'll play in college. That's when Witthus signed a national letter of intent to attend school and play softball at NCAA Division I St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., beginning in the fall of 2013.
While the Raider football team recently wrapped up its best season in school history, a group behind the scenes has been honored by the state for its contributions to the team's success. The Hudson Benchwarmers received the Wisconsin Athletic Service Award from the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association (WADA) and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WIAA) for its accomplishments and contributions to the Raider football program. Hudson athletic director Stephanie DeVos nominated the group for the award and WADA selected the Benchwarmers as the recipients.
The Raider football team finally hosted its end-of-year banquet Monday night at Kilkarney Hills Golf Club, nearly a month after it was originally planned. It's safe to say it was worth the wait. The Raiders put together the longest, most successful season in team history this year, compiling a perfect 8-0 regular season, winning their first outright Big Rivers Conference title, and advancing to the WIAA state semifinals for the first time ever before finishing with an overall record of 11-1. Now that it's in the books, it's time to reflect on just how special a season it was. "
Winter sports at Hudson High School kick into full gear this week with basketball, hockey, wrestling and gymnastics all opening the 2012-13 season. The Raider girls' basketball team kicked off its season last weekend by splitting a pair of games at the Waconia, Minn. Tournament. They will host Baldwin-Woodville in their home opener this Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Also at home on Thursday (Nov. 29) will be the Raider boys' hockey team, who opens the 2012-13 season against Red Wing at 7 p.m.
The Raider girls' basketball team bounced back from a 55-40 loss to Waconia, Minn. in its season opener last Friday, Nov. 23 to post a 60-50 victory over Zimmerman, Minn. in the second game of the Waconia Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 24. Just 12 hours after falling to the host team, the Raiders jumped out to a 29-19 halftime lead against Zimmerman and held on for the 10-point victory. "We got into a little foul trouble right away but were still able to take a 10 point lead into the half," Raider coach Joe Behnke said.
Hudson's Michael Hommes just completed his senior year on the football field by being named the Big Rivers Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Raiders Most Valuable Player. And football isn't even his best sport. Hommes, quarterback of the Raiders' undefeated 2012 BRC championship and WIAA state semifinal team, last week signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Winona State University beginning next fall.
Now that the most successful season in the history of the Hudson High School football team is in the books, the individual honors have started piling in. Eighteen Raiders received post-season honors, highlighted by seniors Bryan Caffin and Alex Burgess being named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association First Team. Senior Dan Kelly and junior Jared Johnson received honorable mention to the All-State Team.
Hudson High School runners Ryan Kromer and Ellen Snyder traveled to Sioux Falls, S.D., the weekend of Nov. 10-11 to compete in the Nike Cross Regional Race, a qualifier for the Nike National Cross Country Race in Portland, Ore. Snyder, a junior on the Raider girls' cross country team, competed in the girls' qualifier Sunday and had a strong showing, placing 190th out of 260 runners with a time of 21 minutes, 12 seconds. She plans on returning next year. The temperature at race time was 28 degrees with a wind-chill of 9 degrees.
Members of the Hudson High School girls' basketball team hosted a youth clinic for girls in grades 4-8 last Saturday and used the opportunity to do some community service in the process. Although the clinic was free, the girls asked each participant to bring a non-perishable food item to donate for the local food shelf. The players also collected pledges for the time they worked at the clinic to help fund the upcoming season. The Raiders started practice for the 2012-13 season this past Monday under new head coach Joe Behnke.
The most successful season in Hudson High School football history ended one week sooner than Raider Nation hoped. Top-ranked Arrowhead's aerial circus put on a show Saturday, Nov. 10, connecting for three touchdowns of 60-plus yards in the first half, and finishing with 593 total yards of offense, in handing sixth-ranked Hudson its first loss of the season, 43-20, in a WIAA Division 1 semifinal in Schofield. The Warhawks will play Sun Prairie (12-0) for the Division 1 state title Friday, Nov.