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 baseball team picked up a pair of big victories last week to improve to 9-8 overall, 7-4 in Big Rivers Conference play heading into the final week of the regular season. The Raiders defeated New Richmond, 7-4, last Tuesday, May 17 and Rice Lake, 4-3, Thursday, May 19. Saturday's scheduled doubleheader at home against Onalaska was rained out. Hudson wrapped up the regular season this past Tuesday, May 24 at seventh-ranked Eau Claire North.
Hudson took first at the WIAA Division 1 golf regional on its home course Tuesday and River Falls finished second to earn the top two qualifying spots for next week's sectional tournament in Wausau. Hudson posted a team score of 320 at the 8-team regional while River Falls was three strokes behind with 323. Also qualifying for the May 31 sectional was third place Eau Claire North (333) and fourth place Superior (335) who earned the spot by beating Chippewa Falls in a playoff. Hudson's Luke Burbach and River Falls' Garrett Loomis tied for medalist honors with scores of 74.
Hudson cemented its spot as the top track and field program in the conference by sweeping both the boys and girls championships at the Big Rivers Conference Meet Tuesday, May 17, in Rice Lake. It's the seventh straight BRC track title for the Raider girls and the third straight for Hudson's boys. Katie Wetzstein and Jamie Lindstrom were both double winners in the girls' competition.
The Raider boys' tennis team tied for second place with Chippewa Falls at the Big Rivers Conference Tournament that concluded Monday, May 16 in Eau Claire, but a loss to the Cardinals in the final BRC dual meet of the season last Tuesday left the Raiders in third place in the final conference standings. Eau Claire Memorial took first at the tournament, which was halted Saturday by rain and continued on Monday.
The Raiders girls' soccer team has struggled to put the ball into the net against Big Rivers Conference opponents this season, so head coach John Knutson said it was nice to see the team score three times in its shutout victory over Menomonie last Tuesday. "It's a good confidence builder for our offensive attack," he said. "We had three dynamic goals tonight and hopefully that offensive momentum will carry through the second half of our season." The win came exactly a week after the Raiders scored seven goals in a nonconference shutout victory against Baldwin-Woodville.
The Raider softball team dropped a Big Rivers Conference doubleheader to Chippewa Falls last Tuesday, May 10 before going 2-1 at the Robbinsdale (Minn.) Cooper Tournament on Saturday, May 14. Chippewa Falls swept Hudson 5-0 and 5-3 at Grandview Park Tuesday before the Raiders defeated Robbinsdale Cooper, 6-4, and Robbinsdale Armstrong, 8-1, while falling to Maple Lake, 3-2, Saturday in New Hope, Minn. Maya Triebold and Deven DuCharme combined for five hits and two home runs in the win over Cooper.
The Raider baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to record a 6-5 walk-off win over Eau Claire Memorial last Tuesday, May 10 before splitting a doubleheader at River Falls on Friday, May 13 to improve its Big Rivers Conference record to 6-4 on the season. This past Monday, May 16 the Raiders dropped an 11-5 nonconference decision to Red Wing to slip to 7-8 overall. Hudson traveled to New Richmond for a nonconference game this past Tuesday and will host Rice Lake Thursday, May 19 at 5 p.m.
Teamwork and depth are the keys to success at the annual New Richmond Track and Field Relays, and those qualities were on full display for the Raiders at this year's meet last Friday. Both teams finished first with the boys scoring 111 points, 18 ahead of second place New Richmond, and the girls finishing with 88.5 to the Tigers' second place 77.
The Raider softball team bounced back from a doubleheader loss to Rice Lake last Tuesday to sweep Eau Claire North Thursday before going 2-1 at a tournament in Fridley, Minn., on Saturday. After playing seven games in five days, the Raiders, now 5-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, 9-4 overall, face a lighter schedule this week. They hosted Chippewa Falls in a doubleheader on Tuesday, May 10 and will play at a tournament in Robbinsdale, Minn., this Saturday, May 14. Last Saturday the Raiders won two of three games at the Fridley Tournament.
Win or lose, the Raider girls' soccer team continues to impress people, especially opposing coaches. Following Eau Claire Memorial's 3-0 win over the Raiders last Thursday at the middle school field, head coach John Knutson said Old Abe coach Kit Shiefelbein paid Hudson a great compliment by saying, "The Hudson team all plays with such heart and passion." That was evident on both Raider games last week -- Tuesday's 7-0 victory over Baldwin-Woodville and Thursday's loss to Memorial.