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FitzPatrick, Peterson capture GNC cross-country titlesSubmitted: 10/15/2017

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EAGLE RIVER - Lakeland Union Cross Country captured a pair of first place finishes at Saturday's conference championship meet. Kav FitzPatrick won the individual boys title while Ashley Peterson took home the top spot on the girls side.

The T-Birds also won the team championship on the boys side. FitzPatrick crossed the finish line in just under 16 minutes to win the individual title for the second year in a row.

"I'm definitely happy to be back this year and defending my title from last year, so I'm excited about that. I've always wanted to be conference champ and I've been able to do that the last two years so it's always exciting," said FitzPatrick.


Medford won the team title on the girls side with a score of 39 points. But none of the Raiders could match Peterson's time of just over 19 minutes. After finishing 10th at last year's conference meet, Peterson says something just clicked for her this time around.

"Last year was my first year ever for cross country so I got a year under my belt and kind of learned of things go and stuff so then this year I just kind of took off I guess," said Peterson.

The boys championship was the T-Birds 9th in a row, which is tied for the longest active streak in the conference. Both Lakeland teams now prepare for sectionals next Saturday in Waupaca.

Story By: Mark Spillane

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 LOCAL SPORTS

MINOCQUA - A few weeks back, the race for the Northern Lakes conference title looked like it was going to come down to the wire.

But in the end, the Florence Bobcats took home the championship.

Not only did they win the title, they also went undefeated in conference.

"Super exciting! Everyone was so pumped up. We knew we could do it, it was our number one goal to win, but to go 14-0, we haven't done that since 2012, so it was really exciting," said senior Shayla McLain.

Florence played in the tournament hosted by Lakeland Union on Saturday.

Lakeland won the tournament going 8-2 and Florence came in fourth, right at 5-5.

The Bobcats said they liked the bigger competition to help get them ready for the post-season which starts on Tuesday, at Florence against Marion at 6 P.M.

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Friday Night Blitz 10-13-17Submitted: 10/13/2017

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NORTHWOODS - The Antigo Red Robins took down Merrill to finish undefeated in the GNC.

Lakeland Union took on the Hodags at Mike Webster Stadium. Rhinelander beat the T-birds for another conference win to end their season.

Elcho/White Lake lost to Crandon, which means the Cardinals went undefeated in the MONLPC.

Northland Pines hosted L'Anse and beat their Michigan opponents.

Check out all the highlights and other scores from around the area!

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MOSINEE - Mosinee soccer hosted Northland Pines on Thursday.

For the Eagles, it was sophomore Liam Oas who got past the goalie to put Pines up 1-0 in the 60th minute.

"Coach called my name so I stepped up to take it. I saw the keeper leaning to the left so I just slowly walked up to it, looked him in the eye and played it to the right," said Oas.

And 1-0 would be the final score, Northland Pines with the victory.

The Eagles will host Washburn/Bayfield next Thursday to get their post-season started.

Now on the volleyball side, Mosinee came in to their senior night as Great Northern Conference champs.

The Indians locked in that title last weekend at the tournament at Northland Pines when they beat the Eagles in a five-set thriller.

"It feels awesome. It's what we've been working for since my freshman year. My dream finally came together and the whole team bonds so well, it really feels like the perfect dream season," said senior Sophie Kamke.

Mosinee took down Marathon tonight 3-1 to win their senior night and last home game of the regular season.

The Indians start their playoff run next week with a bye on Tuesday and then they play on Thursday at home against the winner of the Logan and Sparta match.

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BIRNAMWOOD - Bernard Holsey didn't always think he would make it to the NFL.

"If you would've asked me, even when I was a senior, if I was going to play professional football, I would've told you 'no'," said Holsey.

After playing at Duke University, he was picked up by the New York Giants in 1996.

But after seven years of playing for four different teams, Holsey left the NFL and later moved to Northern Wisconsin where his wife is from.

And that's when he became a football coach (now the head coach) at Wittenberg-Birnamwood high school.

"I love coaching here," said Holsey.

But one thing he doesn't do is talk much about his time in the league.

"I don't want the kids to feel inferior to me or what my accomplishments were or that they have to live up to my expectations," said Holsey.

But Holsey does have high expectations for his team.

"I'm a tough coach, but I'm definitely one that you can always depend on," said Holsey.

That humble side of him makes an important impact on his players.

"He's a very nice guy, I consider him like a second father, almost. He's been a mentor not only in football, but in life to all of us," said senior Keegan Delforge.

This year is the first time in Holsey's four years that the Chargers have made it to the playoffs, which means a lot to him.

"To see their faces and understand that hard work really does pay off," said Holsey.

The Chargers at Amherst on Friday at 7 P.M. for the last regular-season game.

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CRANDON - "Does it feel good? Well heck yeah it feels good," said Crandon's Head Football Coach Jim Moore.

Moore knows it hasn't always felt this good this late in the season.

"Suring beat us last year, NEP (Northern Elite) beat us last year, Wabeno/Laona beat us last year," said Moore.

But this season, all three of those teams are looking up at the Cardinals. And Crandon is just one win away from completing an undefeated conference season and capturing an MONLPC Small Division championship.

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EAGLE RIVER - Volleyball is in Jacqueline Smith's blood.

"It's been my dream to play volleyball because it's been in my family of course because of my mom who started it," said the Northland Pines sophomore.

Her mom and her head coach, Julie Smith, played for the University of Wisconsin. But that's not where the family's link to the sport stopped. Jacqueline's older sisters Maddie and Lexi dominated the Great Northern Conference from 2013-2016. And Jacqueline is picking up where they left off.

"She's always been surrounded by her siblings so I think it's great, I'm so proud of her because she's doing fantastic without them here," said Julie Smith.


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WIAA will reconsider shot clockSubmitted: 10/08/2017

WISCONSIN - The WIAA announced back in June that there would be a shot clock put in place for varsity basketball starting in the 2019-2020 season.

On Friday, the WIAA released it's board of control meeting notes and said they will reconsider that decision.

They are reconsidering the shot clock after input they received at the fall area meeting.

The shot clock was said to be 35 seconds and for both girls and boys varsity basketball.

It is now pushed up to a meeting on December 1st when they will discuss what the next step should be.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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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MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) " Nigel Hayes scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, Ethan Happ had 20 points and No. 11 Wisconsin beat No. 23 Maryland 71-60 in a choppy, foul-filled game on Sunday.

The Badgers (22-5, 11-3) overcame 27 points from Terrapins guard Melo Trimble to snap a two-game losing streak and stay in a tie atop the Big Ten with Purdue.

Bronson Koenig scored all nine of his points in the second half, giving the Badgers a lift with his jump shot after the senior missed a game with a left calf injury. Wisconsin shot 51 percent in the second half.

Wisconsin pulled away slowly, turning a six-point halftime deficit into a 12-point edge with 3 minutes to go in a game that lacked flow because of frequent whistles.

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MADISON - Bryant McIntosh scored 25 points, and defensive-minded Northwestern beat No. 7 Wisconsin 66-59 on Sunday, securing an important win for the school's bid to make its first-ever NCAA Tournament.

Dererk Pardon added 11 for the Wildcats (19-6, 8-4), who confounded the Big Ten-leading Badgers by doubling dominant big man Ethan Happ.

Nigel Hayes scored nine of his 13 points in the second half for the Badgers (21-4, 10-2), who had their eight-game winning streak snapped.

The Badgers didn't let up despite falling behind by 10 with 1 minute left, closing to 60-55 with less than 15 seconds after Zak Showalter hit two foul shots.

But McIntosh followed with two free throws with 42 seconds left, and Wisconsin ran out of time.


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ATLANTA, GA - The Atlanta Falcons are headed to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history after routing the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC championship game.

Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns, including a 73-yard catch and run for a highlight-reel score by star receiver Julio Jones. The defense played just as crucial a role in containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense.

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