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' hockey team gave second-ranked Eau Claire Memorial all it could handle for a little more than a period last Thursday night before the Old Abes erupted for five straight goals in the second period on their way to a 6-1 victory over Hudson. The win boosted Eau Claire Memorial's record to 3-0-0 while the game marked the season opener for the Raiders. After Hudson sophomore Daniel Tripicchio snapped the Old Abes string of five straight goals to make it a 5-1 game at the end of two, the Raiders held Eau Claire Memorial to just one goal in the third period, despite being outshot 1
Hudson Crusaders' goaltender Josh Lehr will play his last game for the team on Sunday, Dec. 5, at home against the Minnesota Owls before joining the Bethel University hockey team after the Christmas break. Sunday's game time is 6:10 p.m.
The Raider boys' hockey team will jump right into Big Rivers Conference action when it opens the 2010-11 season at defending conference champion Eau Claire Memorial Thursday night, Dec. 2. The Raiders continue the season with a nonconference road game at New Richmond, Tuesday, Dec. 7, and a BRC contest at Menomonie Thursday, Dec. 9, before their home opener Saturday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
First-year Raider girls' basketball coach Ed Johnson described his team's play in last Friday's season opener against Superior as 20 minutes of good basketball and 12 minutes of being just OK. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to pull out a win. Despite going on a second half tear that saw them cut a 15-point third quarter deficit down to two with two minutes remaining, the Raiders couldn't get over the hump and came out on the short end of a 58-51 decision to the Spartans. "I think we did a nice job, except for the second quarter and a little bit of the third," Johnson said.
Raider boys' basketball coach Jason Swavely said there will be an "interesting dynamic" to the team this season. With four returning players who appeared in at least 14 games last season, three more who saw some action with the varsity, and seven more first-year players, including four seniors, Swavely said there's plenty of competition to fill roles. "It's going to be an interesting dynamic," he said.
The Hudson Crusaders won two of three games over the weekend to move into a four-way tie for third place in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. The Crusaders defeated the Minnesota Wildcats 8-3 Saturday and the Twin Cities Northern Lights, 5-0, Sunday. Their only loss of the weekend came Friday at the Rochester Ice Hawks by a score of 9-5. The Crusaders are now 9-10-0-2 in MNJHL play, tied with the Edina Lakers, Minnesota Flying Aces and Minnesota Owls for third place in the league standings with 20 points each.
Raider senior Chris Berglund has been named to the All-Big Rivers Conference Soccer Team for the second straight season while senior JC Tantalean, junior Ian Hey and sophomore Seth Blum earned All-BRC honors for the first time. Berglund and Blum were both named to the All-BRC Second Team while Tantalean and Hey received Honorable Mention. Berglund was an Honorable Mention selection last year as a junior. Eau Claire Memorial had the most players named to the team with nine, including BRC Player of the Year Zach Brown.
The hard work and determination displayed by members of the Raider football team this season paid off last week with 11 Raiders named to 2010 All-Big Rivers Conference teams. Senior offensive lineman Matt Krier and junior defensive lineman Matt Strachota were both named to the All-BRC First Team while senior defensive lineman Will Johnson, junior linebacker Josh Schueller, senior kicker Jake Denison and junior return specialist Tyler Smrcina were all named to the second team.
When Brooks Lockwood takes his River Falls hockey team to Hudson to face his alma mater Dec. 14, it will be his sixth career game as a head coach. It will be Raider coach Mike Stoskopf's 500th. "He's won a lot of games," Lockwood said about Stoskopf. "I've learned a lot from him." Lockwood played his high school hockey for Stoskopf and was a junior on the Raiders' first state championship team in 2001.
Amber Saathoff was named to the All-Big Rivers Conference Volleyball Team for the second straight year while Stephanie Little, Hannah Wirth and Katrina Zenz were all honored for the first time, giving Hudson four players on the 23-player team voted on by conference coaches and released last week. Saathoff, a 5-foot, 8-inch senior setter and right side hitter, was named to the seven-player All-BRC First Team after earning second team honors in 2009. Little, a 6-0 junior middle hitter, was one of seven players named to this year's second team while Wirth, a 5-4 defensive specialist, and Zenz,