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Northwoods hockey players making the most of Chequamegon-Phillips co-opSubmitted: 12/10/2017
PARK FALLS - The Chequamegon-Phillips boys hockey team earned its third win a row on Saturday. The victory pushed the Seals to 3-1 on the season.

For the SEaLs, those wins are an added bonus to even having a team. They're one of just 13 independent high school teams in the state. Not belonging to a conference means the Seals need to dig a little deeper to simply fill out a schedule.

"That's what we have to do to get games, without a conference, you don't just start out with 12-16 games already scheduled and a look for a couple fillers, you know we had to find our whole schedule," said Head Coach Tim Gehrke.

Chequamegon and Phillips also includes Butternut in the co-op team. It's the only high school hockey team in the area, which sometimes requires several hours of traveling for games. The Seals players say they know it all starts with the community.

"Just great community support, it wouldn't be possible without them. Fund raising, we need their help to do everything we do, and we just couldn't do it without them," said senior Seth Gehrke.

SEaLs stands for Screaming Eagles and Loggers - the two mascots from Chequamegon and Phillips. Their next game is scheduled for Tuesday.

Story By: Mark Spillane

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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NORTHWOODS - BOYS BASKETBALL - Seymour: 63 Merrill: 61

BOYS HOCKEY - Kettle Moraine: 4 Antigo: 1
Pacelli: 2 Lakeland: 6
Chequamegon/Phillips: 8

GIRLS HOCKEY - West Wisconsin: 7 Northern Edge: 1

BOYS SWIM - Rhinelander, Lakeland tie for 1st at Hodag Relays

WRESTLING - Rhinelander 6th out of 25 at Battle On the Bay

GYMNASTICS - Antigo 4th, Rhinelander 5th at Snowflake Invite


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Friday Night Blitz: 12/8/17Submitted: 12/08/2017

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NORTHWOODS - Check out all of the scores and highlights from around the Northwoods on this week's version of Friday Night Blitz!

BOYS BASKETBALL

Lakeland: 43 Rhinelander: 80
Mosinee: 81 Northland Pines: 42
Antigo: 56 Tomahawk: 16
Chequamegon: 45 Rib Lake: 70
Edgar: 44 Stratford: 72

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NORTHWOODS - The Lakeland Union girls hockey co-op hosted Medford on Thursday night.

Then the boys team faced off after that in Minocqua.

Over in Eagle River, the Northland Pines Eagles took on Mosinee.

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WOODRUFF - A lack of snow in the winter can affect local businesses and tourists. But it can also affect the high school cross country ski season.

There's only a couple inches of soft snow on the ground in Woodruff.

"We really want to be on snow," said junior, Celesté Teichmiller.

And that forces the Lakeland Union cross country ski team to get creative.

"Skipping and hopping and resistance work," said head coach, Jim Mullen.

This season has been about average in terms of snow fall, but it's melted at a faster rate.

"Skiing in Wisconsin is always an adventure," said Mullen.

That's an adventure that the Lakeland Union boys team has overcome.

"Winning state has been a tradition at Lakeland after winning it the last three years," said senior, Kieran Mullen.

And they want to keep that tradition going, despite these unusual practices.

"We're looking to repeat that and it's not necessarily a hope, but more of an expectation," said Kieran Mullen.

The team is doing a lot of cardio and minimal ski workouts. But there's one movement that they're missing.

"You're trying to imitate glide which is very hard so obviously on snow activities are the best for training skiers, but we make it happen," said Jim Mullen.

They have not had to cancel any meets so far this season, but they're hoping it snows a lot by December 19th which is their first team meet.

"We try our hardest to do everything else and perfect everything else," said Teichmiller.

This weekend, some of the athletes said they will go practice in Michigan and areas in northwest Wisconsin, like Cable who have gotten a lot more snow than the Northwoods have.

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EAGLE RIVER - Three months ago, a water skiing accident nearly left Merrill firefighter Chris Marion paralyzed. The St. Germain native has shocked everyone around him with an amazing recovery that's far from over. Tuesday night, Marion stood side-by-side with the Northland Pines Eagles, as they honored him before their game against Lakeland.

"It's absolutely amazing, I can't even explain how it feels," said Marion.

For Marion, standing on the ice at the Eagle River Ice Arena took a lot more effort than he ever imagined it could.

"I do recall [lying] face down in the water, unable to move," said Marion.

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ANTIGO - Antigo boys hockey expected to be a good team again this year, but the Red Robins knew they needed to find a new goalie. Just three games into the season, it seems like they found one.

"I was a little nervous coming into the game," said Antigo sophomore Brody Bunnell.

Those nerves didn't show last week when Bunnell made 37 saves against SPASH. Even though the Red Robins lost that game, Bunnell showed his coaches what he could do.

"We knew coming in that we had a good goalie, but as much as he stepped up in those two games against SPASH and New Richmond, he really exceeded our expectations," said Antigo Head Coach Matt Borneman.

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NORTHWOODS - Merrill girls basketball easily topped Logan 76-36 at home while Antigo boys hockey struggled to a 4-1 loss against New Richmond.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY (AP) - Aaron Jones' 20-yard touchdown run on his only carry, with 5:59 left in overtime, gave the Green Bay Packers a 26-20 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With the passing game struggling, Green Bay (6-6) wore down the Buccaneers on the ground. Brett Hundley had runs of 18 and 7 yards on the drive to start overtime.

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NEW YORK - Alabama and Clemson are back on top of the College Football Playoff rankings, the ninth time over the last three seasons that the Crimson Tide and Tigers have held the first two spots in some order.

Alabama was the selection committee's new No. 1 on Tuesday night, with Clemson up two spots to No. 2. Miami and Oklahoma followed, joining the top four for the first time this season. Wisconsin was fifth and Auburn was up to sixth.

Alabama and Clemson have met in the last two national championship games, with each winning one. If they win out, there is good chance they could enter the postseason positioned to make it three straight title game matchups.

The Crimson Tide had been second behind Georgia in the first two selection committee rankings, but the Bulldogs and previously No. 3 Notre Dame were beaten last weekend, opening up the top for changes.

Unbeaten Miami jumped from seventh to third and along with Clemson gave the Atlantic Coast Conference two top-four teams for the first time in the four-year College Football Playoff era.

Oklahoma moved up one spot.

Unbeaten Wisconsin moved up from eighth and is the highest-ranked Big Ten team. Auburn is the highest-ranked team with two losses.

Georgia is seventh and Notre Dame is eighth.

Ohio State is back in the top 10 after an impressive victory against Michigan State, and Penn State is 10th. Southern California at 11th is the highest-ranked Pac-12 team.

UCF climbed to No. 15, making the undefeated Knights the highest-ranked team from a Group of Five conference. The highest-ranked conference champion from outside the Power Five is guaranteed a spot in the New Year's Six bowls.

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NEW YORK - Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson are the top four teams in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

Oklahoma and Ohio State were the next two in the selection committee's initial top 25. The final rankings that will determine the participants in the College Football Playoff semifinals come out Dec. 3.

Over the first three seasons of the playoff, a total of five teams have been ranked in the top four of the initial ranking and gone on to reach the semifinals: Florida State (which was second) in 2014; Clemson (first) and Alabama (fourth) in 2015; and Alabama (first) and Clemson (second) in 2016.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- - Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers could miss the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone.

Rodgers left the game against Minnesota in the first quarter on Sunday, and the Packers announced at halftime that his season is in jeopardy after the injury was diagnosed.

"There is a chance he could miss the remainder of the season," the Packers tweeted.

It's a crushing blow to a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, optimism based primarily on the right arm of Rodgers.

Despite several key injuries to the secondary, the Packers entered the game Sunday against their NFC North rivals at 4-1 after Rodgers engineered a game-winning touchdown drive to beat the Dallas Cowboys last week.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer's defense has always gotten after Rodgers in these tense matchups, and it happened again in the first quarter when linebacker Anthony Barr drove him into the turf after he got rid of a roll-out pass.

The impact did not appear to be that violent at first glance as Rodgers rolled through the hit. But it became apparent quickly that he was in considerable pain. He writhed on the turf as Packers coach Mike McCarthy argued for a roughing the passer penalty.

As Rodgers walked gingerly to the sideline, he turned to jaw at Barr before entering a tent on the sideline for examination.

Eventually he rode a cart to the locker room for further tests and remained there throughout the first half. He was initially deemed questionable, but the Packers announced after halftime that he would not return to the game.

He was 2 of 4 for 18 yards before leaving, casting a pall over the rivalry that always includes thousands of Packers fans in Minnesota's stadium.

Brett Hundley, the only other quarterback on the Packers roster, stepped in for Rodgers.

A Packers offense without Rodgers under center is not something Green Bay has seen very often. Hundley entered the game having thrown 11 career passes, all coming in the fourth quarters of mop-up duty.

Since becoming the full-time starter in 2008, Rodgers has been remarkably durable. He missed seven games in 2013 with a fractured collarbone, but he has started 132 of the other 134 games during that time period.

Of course, being able to count on a quarterback to take the snaps is nothing new for Green Bay. Since Brett Favre took over for the injured Don Majkowski in the third game of the 1992 season, the Packers have had Favre and Rodgers for all but nine games.


Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace were forced to fill in while Rodgers was out in 2013. Flynn started once in 2010 when Rodgers sat out with a concussion and again in 2011 when he rested during the regular-season finale with the Packers having clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Favre never sat at all.

"I hope @AaronRodgers12 is OK!" Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted. "The league is better when he's healthy. Praying for you."

Hundley's first pass of the game was intercepted by Xavier Rhodes, but he recovered later in the second quarter and was able to step up in the pocket and hit a wide open Davante Adams for a touchdown that tied the game at 7.

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GREEN BAY - The Packers 2017 preseason opponents were announced Monday.

The Pack will face the Eagles, Redskins, Broncos, and Rams.

Green Bay will host the Eagles to start the preseason before traveling to play Washington and Denver on the road.

Then the Pack will conclude the preaseason with another home game against the Rams.

Exact dates and times will be announced in the near future.

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BUFFALO, NY - Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, which overcame foul trouble for two of its stars in the second half Saturday to upset the defending champions 65-62 in the East region.

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MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) Senior guard Bronson Koenig scored 17 points in his final home game, combining with D'Mitrik Trice to give No. 22 Wisconsin's offense a second-half boost in a 66-49 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.

The Badgers (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten) secured the second seed in the conference tournament and got a sorely needed confidence boost to end the regular season after having lost five of their previous six games.

Nate Mason had 17 points for Minnesota (23-8, 11-7). The Golden Gophers had won eight straight.

Koenig hit five 3s in the second half, including baskets on three straight possessions with less than 3 minutes left. Trice had a four-point play after getting fouled on a 3-pointer with 12:24 left, before hitting a layup about 20 seconds later.

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