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UWSP wins 66th annual lumberjack competitionSubmitted: 04/21/2018

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ROSHOLT - The warm weather and sunshine helped make it a perfect weekend for a group of lumber 'jacks' and 'jills' in Rosholt.

The UWSP Woodland Sports team, also known as lumberjacks, held the 66th annual competition with eight other teams from around the Midwest.

"It's a really good time because it's more about connecting with people than having a feud with them. So it's a lot of fun meeting new people," said freshman Brody Fischer.

One of the lumberjills says she thought you had to be a forestry major to join the team. But she was glad that wasn't the case.

"You don't have to know anything about trees. You don't have to have held an axe before and you can come and they'll coach you up. So most people here are in forestry or natural resources, but not all of us!

Some of the events this weekend were the underhand chop, the cross cut and the bolt throw.

UWSP took second last year, which is uncommon for them. But they were back to their winning ways this year and took first place.





Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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CRANDON - Keegan Kincaid spent his winter in an unforgettable way. He took the Crandon girls basketball team to the state tournament. But now, it's back to his main job as a professional off-road driver.

Kincaid is used to seeing the checkered flag.

"We don't often put third place [trophies] up. Not enough room in the trophy case," said Kincaid.

The driver was born and raised in Crandon and quickly became a race fan.

"I always dreamed of racing but I never imagined I'd be where I'm at today," said Kincaid.

And now he's building a new car for his seventh season as a professional driver.

Last year, he raced in a Pro-4 car in the Torc series, but this year he's going back to Pro-2 for the new Lucas-Oil Off-Road season.

"Two-wheel drive. About the same horsepower as the for-wheel drive. About 900 horsepower," said Kincaid.

That horsepower has carried him to finish line after finish line. And some of those titles have been at his home town track at the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. 

That's where he'll start the 2018 season with the Brush Run.

"We're trying to get a head start on this truck and be ready to go so we can get some testing in so when we hit that first event so we're ready to go and race," said Kincaid.

Racing at home always makes him reflect back to his days as a fan.

"I was in those shoes at one time and sitting on the hill at Crandon and just imagine being here," said Kincaid.

And now that he's in the driver's seat and a home town favorite, he knows that support helps him as he's going 100 MPH.

"To have the majority of fans at that race on your side is really cool," said Kincaid.

The Crandon Brush Run will be the weekend of June 16-17 if you would like to see Kincaid in action.

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TOMAHAWK - Jon Long knows it's a little strange to say he has a favorite gas pump.

"A lot of times when I come to use this pump, I have to wait in line," said Long.

But when he uses pump eight at the Tomahawk BP, he knows where his money is going.

"Any time somebody uses that pump, no matter what grade, we give them two cents a gallon," said BP Manager Jim Charles.

The Tomahawk High School Booster Club gets the two cents a gallon to give back to the athletic department.

"[We got] a new wrestling mat this year. They've donated money for the shoot away that the basketball teams have wanted. They've also paid for new sweats and warm ups for the track team," said Athletic Director Ron Wilson.

The booster club has made $8,500 in a little over two years.

"You come to this pump instead of a different pump. Or this gas station instead of another one and it's a pretty minor way of making a big contribution," said Long.

Part of that big contribution goes to more than just warm ups or a wrestling mat.

"Tomahawk lost their athletic trainer for a couple years and the booster club was the first group to step up and say 'hey, this is something we need at the high school'," said Athletic Trainer Ryan Flynn.

Tomahawk High School is now able to have a full-time athletic trainer to help keep the athletes safe.

"It brings more money in for us to put back in to athletics without them having to do anything but pay their normal gas fees," said Flynn.

To the community these two cents are more than just a couple pennies.

"The Hatchet Pride pump, I think the word 'pride' says it all," said Long.

The Tomahawk BP is now a pilot gas station for other stations around the country to start a pride pump of their own.

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CRANDON - Northwoods sports teams hope the latest snowstorm will be the last one from the winter that won't seem to end.

Until all that snow melts, some schools are taking proactive measures to find games for their athletes.

"We're over a month into the season and we still haven't had a practice outside," said Crandon Activities Director Josh Jaeger.

Like most schools, Crandon's sports practices have been confined to hallways and gyms, while games have been cancelled or postponed.

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MINOCQUA - At this point in the season, the Lakeland Union track team is happy to drive more than 10 hours, if that means they can run outside.

"I feel we are ready, although we've kind of had a disadvantage having to run inside. But we've had an advantage running through the harsher weather," said Lakeland sophomore, Aubrey Anderson.

The team is about seven weeks into the season and still has not been able to run on an outdoor track. But that will change this weekend as seven of the distance runners will compete in the Kansas Relays at the University of Kansas.

"It's not just a high school meet, it's a college meet that they've invited high school athletes to," said head coach Kevin FitzPatrick.

Those seven were chosen because they were all state qualifiers last year. This will be Anderson's first time making the trip.

"I'm looking forward to running against hard competition and outside, for sure on an outdoor track," said Anderson.

The harder competition is mainly why the team likes to go. But top runner Kav FitzPatrick he has his eye on one specific event.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to steeplechase there," said Kav FitzPatrick.

The steeple chase is not a WIAA event, which makes that opportunity few and far between. But in true Kav FitzPatrick fashion, that's not the only event he wants to do well in. He'll also run the 800.

"I'm in the fast section so hopefully getting out there and running a fast time," said FitzPatrick.

The Great Northern Conference meet is only a month away. Being able to compete outside, no matter where, is a big advantage.

"We're using this as a jumping off point for the outdoor season and then hopefully to get them on the podium at the state track meet this June," said Kevin FitzPatrick.

Most of those seven runners chose to make the trip, even though it meant missing prom this weekend.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nick Foles went back-and-forth with Tom Brady and the defense came through with a turnover when they needed a stop.

The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions for the first time in franchise history thanks to a backup quarterback who had another spectacular game and a strip-sack by Brandon Graham after the defense let Brady have his way for most of Sunday night.

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Green Bay Packers are promoting director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst to be the team's next general manager, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person requested anonymity because the team has made no formal announcement. Gutekunst would replace Ted Thompson, who is transitioning to a senior advisory role in the front office.

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GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers is done for the season.

The Green Bay Packers put their star quarterback on injured reserve Tuesday, a day after they were eliminated from playoff contention.

Rodgers missed seven games after breaking his right collarbone Oct. 15 against Minnesota. He returned on Sunday, but the Packers lost 31-24 at Carolina. Atlanta's win against Tampa Bay on Monday night ended Green Bay's eight-year run of consecutive postseason berths.

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GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers is getting ready to play against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

Rodgers was medically cleared to return from a collarbone injury on Tuesday night.

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