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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.




Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS
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.

"We want to get as much use out of it as possible so whatever we can put here, we're going to put here," said Bonnell.

One of the only things that is not new at the stadium is the track, but that will get a facelift next month.

"Right now the track is going to be resurfaced September 6th through the tenth and relined and everything. The reason why we didn't go down to the cement was because a track is allowed so many times of resurfacing before it needs to be totally ripped down and we have two more resurfacings on this track before we have to go back down to the base," said Bonnell.

One of the perks to having turf is that when the weather changes come winter time, they can still host the playoffs.

"We're always going to have a great surface to play on so we can bring other teams in here for tournament games and we that really brings a lot of people to the community, brings other teams here and really gives us a chance to showcase what we have here," said Bonnell.

With the old stadium, the field was uneven and had divots which could cause injury, but now with this flat turf, it's safer for the players.

"I have two sons that play and they came home from practice and said they feel so much faster on it. They weren't worried about the divots and the holes in the old field. I think they felt more comfortable on it which was exciting," said Bonnell.

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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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RHINELANDER - The 2016 Rhinelander girl's tennis players are used to having success, having won six conference championships in a row.

That means they've won every Great Northern Conference title since joining the league in 2010.

And this year's squad has more championship experience than most.

"In a typical year, we usually have two to three seniors, and this is an unusual year because we have seven," said Rhinelander Head Tennis Coach Bob Heideman.

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EAGLE RIVER - All weekend long, anglers went musky fishing in Eagle River for the 31st National Championship Musky Open.

The cooler weather Sunday afternoon made for better fishing weather.

Usually the heat at the end of the summer changes things out on the water.

Warmer temps not only force fish deeper, it can also be hazardous to the fish's health.

"You catch a fish, fight it to fatigue and then you release it into the warm water with not much oxygen and then they might look like they swim away but they could end up being dead the next day, so there's delayed mortality," said angler Dave Vollmer.

All the rain the Northwoods saw on Saturday made conditions a little tricky.

There were nearly 1300 people signed up for the tournament.

"Yesterday was pretty brutal. It rained really hard almost all day long. We did get some action so that was pretty good. Today is a lot nicer so at least now we can focus a little more on other areas we didn't get a chance to get to yesterday," said fisherman Mike Maretti.

The open is the largest amateur musky tournament in the U-S and it takes place over seven lake families.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River derby track filled with UTV/ATV drivers on Sunday. Sometimes when watching them drive around, you can forget how much skill and physical toughness it takes to control the vehicles.

"You have to be in really good shape. Your forearms have to be in really good shape so you don't get forearm pump, your cardio has to be good, your core has to be strong so you can move around on the quad but not get off camber," said ATV-driver Kaden Woodie.

"Your upper body plays a big part in these because you're constantly wheeling back and forth. It is a lot of forearm, it does get exhausting. You're fighting 4-wheel drive so you're constantly just working your body back and forth," said UTV-driver Zach Szymik.

17-year-old Kaden Woodie recognizes the strength it takes to drive a UTV, but also knows the challenge of the ATV's.

"It's more physically demanding. Yeah, with a UTV it's a lot of upper body strength with overcorrecting and steering the car, but a quad is definitely a lot more with the physical abuse and the pounding and everything else," said Woodie.

One of the hardest parts of off-road driving are the jumps and landings. Being physically fit and the right positioning plays a major role.

"You really have to set yourself up so the landings are right so the machine does what you need it to do because if you just come into it and just hit it full tilt, you're going to go for a ride and it ain't going to be good. These are very very touchy. They're not like a 4-wheeler where you can pitch yourself in the air and make adjustments. When you go off a jump, you're at the mercy of the machine," said Szymik.

Even though the driving is tough, the friends and family made at the track makes it worth it.

"The race family, being around friends. Getting to do this with other people, some of my best friends are with me, so I really enjoy it. Winning is always a good part but sometimes that doesn't happen, but you have to take the good with the bad," said Woodie.

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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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