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 cross country teams opened the 2010 season on a high note with junior Katie Wetzstein winning the girls' race and the Raider boys finishing second in the team standings at the 12-team Eau Claire North Invitational Saturday, Aug. 28 in Eau Claire. Wetzstein, who finished second at the ECN Invite as a sophomore last year, posted a time of 14 minutes, 49 seconds on the 4,000 meter course to take home the girls' individual title.
The Raider volleyball team recovered from a rough first set to win the next three and post a 3-1 victory over Ellsworth in the 2010 season opener last Thursday, Aug. 26 at the high school gym. The Raiders dropped the first set, 9-25, before coming back to win the next three, 25-19, 25-16 and 25-7. Hudson coach Dennis Saathoff said describing the first set as "pretty rough" is an understatement. "We let two of their servers go on runs of eight and seven points and never scored more than one point in our own service turns," he noted.
The Raider girls' swimming and diving team opened the season with a pair of relay meets, finishing second out of seven teams at the Menomonie Relays Aug. 21 and 10th out of 14 teams at Saturday's Eau Claire Memorial Invite. The Raiders will kick off Big Rivers Conference dual competition Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6:30 p.m. at home against Eau Claire Memorial. Raider coach Kelly Hackbarth said the team displayed plenty of potential at the season-opening Menomonie Relay. Hudson finished second with 506 points, behind River Falls' 592.
The Raider girls' tennis team faced some pretty stiff competition last week, but head coach Dave Dahl said he thinks the team will be better because of it. Hudson went 1-3 at the two-day Green Bay Southwest Tournament last Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 23 and 24, with two of their losses coming against teams Dahl believes will be in the state tournament at the end of the year.
Junior Cassie Wurm earned medalist honors at the Raider girls' golf team's first tournament of the season last Monday at the Eau Claire North Invitational at Mill Run Golf Course in Eau Claire and finished third this past Monday at the Eau Claire Memorial Invite at Hillcrest Golf and Country Club. The Raiders finished sixth at the 11-team Eau Claire North Invite and fifth at the 12-team Eau Claire Memorial Invite. Wurm, a two-time state tournament qualifier, posted a three over-par score of 75 last Monday at Mill Run to earn medalist honors by seven strokes over Eau Claire Regis' Katie Pokra
Hudson football coach Adam Kowles recognizes the Raiders may have a bull's-eye on their back this year as defending Big Rivers Conference champs. But he doesn't believe his players are worried about it. "People are always gunning for teams that have had success in the past," Kowles said.
The busy start to the season won't slow down anytime soon for the Raider girls' tennis team. After winning seven of eight matches last week, the Raiders will play eight more matches this week, including their home opener against Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. The Old Abes handed Hudson its only loss last week, a close 4-3 decision Monday at the Eau Claire Memorial Invite.
After a long first week, with 80 girls trying out for 51 spots, the Raider volleyball team will kick off the 2010 season Thursday night with a nonconference home opener against Ellsworth beginning at 7:15 p.m. Head coach Dennis Saathoff will field a varsity team consisting of 12 players; eight seniors and four juniors, led by five returning letterwinners. Saathoff said he is optimistic about the upcoming season. "We have already has some great practices, and I think we are ahead of where we were at this early point in the season last year," he said.
When you're fielding a team with 14 players without any varsity experience, including 12 freshmen and sophomores, it doesn't help when you lose two players to injury in the first half of your very first game. But that's what happened to the Raider boys' soccer team last Tuesday when they opened the season with a pair of games against La Crosse Central and Onalaska at the middle school field.
Hudson girls' tennis coach Dave Dahl said it may be the start of the fall high school sports season, but his team had to play through some pretty intense summer heat at the Eau Claire North Invitational last Saturday. In the end, the Raiders beat the heat and all three of their opponents on their way to taking first place at the inaugural event of the season. Hudson defeated Eau Claire Regis, 5-2 and Merrill, 4-3, before dispatching of host Eau Claire North, 6-1, in the championship match. "When it came to the championship match against North, I thought we dealt with the heat much better th