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W.I.L.D. Hodag Mini-Triathlon makes global impactSubmitted: 08/27/2016

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RHINELANDER - The 4th annual W.I.L.D. Hodag Mini-Triathlon took place in Rhinelander on Saturday.

W.I.L.D. stands for Wise International Leadership Development. Money raised will benefit that foundation locally and around the world.

"Teaching young people, older people, because we work with other people here in our area, we work with some people throughout the United States. But our main thrust is Africa and also Nepal," said race director Mike Prom.

The main focus for the organization is on leadership in Africa. With so many youth in that area, there are plenty of opportunities to make an impact.

"Over 70% of the population is 25 and younger. So whoever develops the minds of the young people in the next 20 years will be running the charge in Africa. We want to help develop people," said Prom.

The mini-triathlon and the kayaking instead of swimming option allowed for more people of all ages to participate, regardless of skill level.




Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

 LOCAL SPORTS

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RHINELANDER - Saturday afternoon, the Pawzitive Games visited Rhinelander, allowing furry four-legged dogs to compete. There was dock jumping, speed races and agility courses.

"Just seeing the dogs jump first and then being able to grow with their jumps and getting bigger and bigger jumps," said Pier Pups announcer Todd Oilschlager.

For dogs to be competitively jumping in the Northwoods isn't that far fetched. Most dogs jump off the dock at the lakes for fun anyway. When they get into a pool setting, it might not be as easy.

"Most people get into the sport from jumping their dog at the lake or off their pier and then when they transfer over trying to get into the pool, clear water compared to lake water, is quite different for training," said Oilschlager.

Watching the dogs fly and splash can look easy, but some skills and techniques are important.

"Trying to get that timing as the dog runs down the doc and then the owner throwing the toy at the right time so the dog can jump up and try and catch the toy in the air is the ultimate goal," said Oilschlager.

It wasn't just jumping going on at the event.. There was also an agility course. Rhinelander trainer, Abby Belbot hasn't been competing for long, but she doesn't let the age gap stop her.

"If some people want to do it, then do it because some people are better than others, if they're younger or older," said Belbot.

Going into the competition, Abby had confidence in her four-legged friend, Lilly.

"She's going to do good, she's done this before. I know we're going to get 2nd or 3rd or maybe even 1st," said Belbot.

But the afternoon also came with some distractions that affected their performance.

"There are other people and dogs around and different smells. She doesn't really get the concept of going through the course with all these noises and smells and stuff," said Belbot.

When those distractions slow them down, Abby doesn't let it frustrate her too much.

"I get a little mad but I pet her and I give her a treat, I give her some water. Something that will be able to calm her down and then try again," said Belbot."

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk ran away from Phillips in the second half of Friday night's contest. It was just 8-6 at the halfway point but the Hatchets overwhelmed the Loggers during the second stanza.

Easton Phalin fired a first half touchdown pass to Jackson List in the first half for the Hatchets. They'd go on to win 40-6.

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Antigo topples Oconto 30-8Submitted: 08/26/2016

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ANTIGO - Antigo took down Oconto 30-8 Friday night behind a strong game from quarterback Matt Winter.

Winter tossed a touchdown pass to Adam Schmidt in the third quarter that extended the Red Robins lead to 24. They cruised the rest of the way from there to move to 1-1 on the season.

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River Falls tops Merrill 21-14Submitted: 08/26/2016

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MERRILL - Merrill hosted River Falls in the first game at the Blue Jays new stadium. It turned into a shootout in the first half as the Wildcats of River Falls took a 21-14 lead on an impressive touchdown throw and catch from quarterback Joey Davis to wide receiver Matt Wachtler.

It proved to be the game winning touchdown for the Wildcats. Nevada Laabs scored twice on the ground for Merrill.

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WITTENBERG - Rhinelander took a trip to Wittenberg-Birnamwood Friday night.

Rhinelander's Logan Freund found Josh Francisco on a pass in the first halfm and after Francisco fumbled, Reuben Gozik recovered it in the endzone to give the Hodags a 7-0 lead.

Rhinelander dominated defensively and went on to win 31-13.

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MERRILL - The new Jay Stadium at Merrill High School has players pumped up for their home opener.

"They're very excited. They got to practice on it the past two nights," said Activities Director Rick Bonnell.

The stadium is exciting for the team, but also for the school. Now they can play soccer on the field as well.

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RHINELANDER - For years, Kiah Francis has been outpacing her competition in the pool, but she owes her success to more than just talent.

"It's definitely her drive, like I said training on her own and being willing to drive an hour to Wausau all her life," said Rhinelander varsity swim coach Lindsay Byrka.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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THREE LAKES - Wisconsin Badger basketball fans know their team plays old-school, fundamental hoops.

It's something of a lost art, but high school coaches hope to bring it back.

So Monday former Badger basketball standout Brian Butch offered to help, teaching kids in Three Lakes the skills he focused on as a kid.

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GREEN BAY - The Packers completed their second week of organized team activities this past week.

Green Bay is using some new drills too.

That's because the wide receiving squad has a new coach.

Luke Getsy is using bricks, Nerf balls, and juggling as tools for drills.

The Packers wide receiving core struggled last year.

Randall Cobb thinks the new mentality will help.

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GREEN BAY - The 2016 NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday.

The Green Bay Packers added seven players to their team:

Round one: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Round two: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Round three: Kyler Fackrell, LB Utah St.
Round four: Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford; Dean Lowry, DE, Northwestern
Round five: Trevor Davis, WR, California
Round six: Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

The smallest player out of the group stands at 6'1"

Thompson says adding bulk was one of their goals.

"There are things you'd like to add to your team," says General Manager Ted Thompson. "Athletic ability, size, that sort of thing. We do think we were able to do that [Saturday]. You don't have to be big to play in the NFL, but it helps, and we were able to get some bigs on both sides of the ball."

It takes a lot of planning and focus to draft well, but Ted says the process is still far from over.

"It's easy to sit here and proclaim 'okay, everything's good,'" says Thompson. "Quite frankly, everything is just getting started. We've got an extraordinary amount of work and people to talk to and things to see over the course of the next 24-48 hours to get to the point where you start winding up the roster from the draft itself."

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MILWAUKEE - Adeiny Hechavarria had four hits, including one of four Miami solo home runs, to help the Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5 on Saturday night.

Giancarlo Stanton, Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna also homered as Miami won its seventh consecutive game. It is the longest winning streak for Miami since it won seven consecutive games May 1-7, 2012. The Marlins are 12-11, the first time they have been over .500 since being 64-63 on Aug. 22, 2014.

Wei-Yin Chen (2-1) allowed three runs with two walks and four strikeouts one night after the team took a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning.

David Phelps pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson (1-3) had his third consecutive subpar outing, allowing six runs in just 4 1/3 innings.

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MILWAUKEE - Maikel Franco homered twice and Aaron Nola pitched seven strong innings as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday night.

The Phillies snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Brewers.

Franco hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give Philadelphia a 4-1 lead. He blasted a solo shot over the Brewers bullpen in left in the seventh to stake the Phillies to a four-run lead.

Nola (1-2) allowed four hits and retired 11 consecutive batters at one point and 16 of 17 to close out his outing.

Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (0-2) surrendered four runs and nine hits over six innings.

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Chris Carter's run-scoring single. The Phillies tied the game in the fourth on Darin Ruf's RBI single.

The Brewers added a run in the ninth on consecutive doubles by Carter and Aaron Hill.

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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - Jaime Garcia pitched a one-hitter, allowing only Domingo Santana's lined single into right field with two outs in the sixth inning, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-0 Thursday.

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MILWAUKEE - Jimmy Nelson struck out nine in six innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of early wildness by Houston ace Dallas Keuchel in a 3-2 win over the Astros on Sunday.

The AL Cy Young Award winner walked four in the first inning and gave up a two-run single to Aaron Hill. Keuchel (1-1) left with two outs in the sixth with a career high-tying six walks, including an intentional pass to Ryan Braun in the fourth.

Domingo Santana added an RBI double in the fourth for rebuilding Milwaukee, which took two of three in the interleague series against the AL West contenders.

Nelson (1-1) settled down after allowing a leadoff homer to deep left to Jose Altuve on the game's first pitch. Jeremy Jeffress pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

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