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 inaugural River Falls Baseball Bash, a celebration of two state champion baseball teams and the kickoff to the Community Ballpark Project, is all set for Saturday night, Feb. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at Kilkarney Hills Golf Club. The event, hosted by the River Falls Baseball Council, will be a night of games, raffles, silent auctions, food and a brief program.
UW-River Falls' senior Shane Manor continued to make his case for All-American and the Falcons men's basketball team remained tied for first place in the WIAC as Manor led the team to victories over UW-Stout and UW-Platteville last week. Manor scored a team-high 18 points in both wins, adding ten rebounds to his stat line in the Falcons' 72-50 victory at Stout last Wednesday and hitting 8-of-12 shots from the field in UWRF's 61-53 home victory Saturday over Platteville.
Both the UW-River Falls men's and women's basketball teams can earn at least shares of their respective Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championships when they take on UW-Whitewater in a college basketball doubleheader Saturday at Karges Center. The Falcon women host the Warhawks at 3 p.m. while the men's game is scheduled for 5 p.m. The UWRF women can share the WIAC title with a win over Whitewater and a UW-Eau Claire victory over UW-Stevens Point. The Blugolds and Pointers square off at 3 p.m.
For the second consecutive season, the UW-River Falls men's basketball team has defeated the defending NCAA Division III champions at Karges Center. Shane Manor led four Falcons in double figures as 21st-ranked UWRF defeated No. 8 St. Thomas, 79-64, in their home opener Tuesday night. The Falcons led 36-32 at halftime before St. Thomas scored the first basket of the second half to pull to within two.
Sophomore goaltender Scott Lewan was perfect and eight different Falcons accounted for 10 goals as the UW-River Falls men's hockey team opened the 2011-12 season by sweeping Finlandia, 4-0 and 6-0, last weekend at Hunt Arena. Lewan made 16 saves Friday night and 21 more Saturday to post his fourth and fifth career shutouts. Seniors Sean Roadhouse and Geoff Shewmake tallied goals each night as the Falcons moved to 2-0-0. The Falcons will look to remain undefeated when they face off against Hamline University this Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Hunt Arena.
Four-year-old Parker Bruesewitz appears to be enjoying his ride during the mutton busting contest at Saturday afternoon's performance of the 47th annual Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo at UW-River Falls Lab Farm No. 1. competitors from 14 collegiate rodeo clubs competing in the Great Plains Region of the NIRA took part in three performances last Friday and Saturday. The rodeo is the oldest and only collegiate rodeo held east of the Mississippi and is sponsored by the UW-RF Rodeo Club.
Luke Schwitzer was still thinking about the teenagers in the canoes when the strike indicator on his fly line paused in the current. He had no idea there was a once-in-a-lifetime fish on the other end. Schwitzer had brought a few trout to his net on the lower Kinnickinnic River that Monday evening, Aug. 22. But the fishing had generally been slow, and the teenager-steered canoes that floated by him around 7:30 p.m. didn't help any. "That's when I figured I'd throw flies right below the froth of the dam," the St. Paul resident said.
Sam Lenzen ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan Kusilek passed for one touchdown and kicked two field goals as the Wildcat football team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 34-21 victory over Ellsworth Friday night at Ramer Field. Ellsworth opened the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown run by Dennis Schutz with 1:41 remaining in the first quarter. River Falls tied the score when Lenzen barreled over from 5-yards out early in the second quarter. The Wildcats took a 14-7 lead on their next drive on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kusilek to Aaron Rodewald.
Seventeen high school cross country teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota kicked off the 2011 season at the River Falls Extreme Invitational Thursday in and around the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River on the campus of UW-River Falls. Participants started on the UWRF intramural fields and proceeded along a course that included two trips through the South Fork. Runners jumped about five feet off the bank into the stream and ran about 150-yards downstream in ankle to thigh-deep water, emerging from the river up a steep slope next to the footbridge behind the UWRF power plant.
It took 59 years for organized amateur baseball to come to River Falls. It took four years to win the first state championship. The River Falls Fighting Fish won the first state title in their four-year existence Sunday by defeating the Beef River Bulldogs, 9-8, in the Wisconsin Baseball Association State Championship game in Coon Valley. The win made history on a number of fronts, coming on the heels of the River Falls Post 121 team's first-ever American Legion state championship earlier this month.