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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It looks like the River Falls football team will be putting on a lot of miles beginning with the 2020 season, and head coach David Crail isn't happy about it. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association released its final recommendation for a football-only conference realignment plan last week that would move the Wildcats out of the Big Rivers Conference and into the Mississippi Valley Conference beginning with the 2020 season. The WIAA Board of Control is expected to approve the plan at its March 1 meeting.
There will be no Big Rivers Conference championship for the St. Croix Valley Fusion this year. The sixth-ranked Fusion saw their title hopes dashed with a 3-2 overtime loss to the fourth-ranked Eau Claire Area Stars Friday night, Feb. 1, in Eau Claire.
Falcon men push WIAC's best Four days after dropping a one-point decision at 25th-ranked UW-La Crosse, the UW-River Falls men's basketball team gave No. 4 UW-Oshkosh all it could handle in an 80-69 defeat Saturday, Jan. 26, at Don Page Arena. UWRF trailed the Titans by just four, 67-63, with five minutes remaining before Oshkosh closed the game on a 13-6 run with eight of those points coming from the free throw line.
The seventh-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion played three games in three days last week and when the dust settled they were tied for first place in the Big Rivers Conference, had a shutout win over the eighth-ranked team in the state, and lost a nonconference game on the other side of the river. The Fusion blanked Chippewa Falls 4-0 Thursday, Jan. 24, to move into a tie for first place in the BRC with Hudson before beating No. 8 ranked University School of Milwaukee 2-0 Friday night. They ran out of steam less than 24 hours later and suffered a 5-1 loss to St. Paul North/Tartan.
When Don Johnson collapsed on the alley after leaving the 10-pin standing to finish with a 299 in the finals of the 1970 Firestone Tournament of Champions, Dick Ritger was there to pick him up. "I just felt so bad for him," Ritger said from his River Falls home last week. That match, televised live on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" from Riviera Lanes in Akron, Ohio on April 4, 1970, was recently voted the No. 1 moment in the Professional Bowlers Association's 60 Greatest Moments as the PBA celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018.
It's always good to snap a four-game losing streak. It's even better to do it on homecoming. That's what the UW-River Falls football team did last week as Ben Beckman threw a pair of touchdown passes and Sam Altena, Anthony Silva and Tyler Blum combined for 210 rushing yards in a 21-19 homecoming victory over UW-Stout. The win snapped UWRF's four-game losing streak and moved them to 2-4 overall, 1-2 in WIAC play, while Stout slipped to 3-3 and 1-2.
The Trinity Academy coed 7-8 grade, boys' 4-6 grade, and girls' 4-6 grade cross country teams won state championships at the 27th annual Lutheran School State Cross Country Meet Saturday, Oct. 13, in Mayer, Minn. Charlie Wendell won the boys' 7-8 grade 3,000 meter race to become state champion with a time of 12 minutes, 2 seconds. The other team members contributing to the team trophy win were Elliot Vargas (third), Jack Solheid (fourth), Brecken Meyer, (13th), Lauren McLean (14th), Ayla Larsen (21st), Matthias Riddle (24th), Ben Stigler (27th) and Caleb Schock (36th).
Jeff Cogbill wasn't sure what game the kids were playing when he came across them on a 2010 trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, near Cancun. "I was driving around the back of the island," he recalled. "A lot of people don't get in their golf carts and drive back there. But there's people living in shacks. And I saw kids with stick and rocks and I finally realized they were trying to play baseball."
First National Bank of River Falls Field will host its very first concert when the River Falls Baseball Council presents the Grand Slam Jam Saturday, Sept. 8. The day-long music festival will feature the Gear Daddies with special guests 4onthefloor along with Firewater Gospel Choir and Easy Hour. RFBC president Greg Peters said it's been a goal of the council to host a concert ever since the ballpark opened in 2014. And he believes they've found the perfect lineup for the Grand Slam Jam.
Seventeen year-old Anna Davenport of Hudson is the 2018 Midwest Log Rolling Champion in the U17 Girls Division after winning the Midwest Log Rolling Championships at a seven state competition in Madison Saturday, June 9.