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Snowshoe Park gets ready for Fourth of July snowshoe baseball gameSubmitted: 07/02/2015
LAKE TOMAHAWK - People from all over will come to the Northwoods for the 4th of July holiday, but in Lake Tomahawk, they'll come for another tradition besides fireworks: the annual Independence Day snowshoe baseball game.



People will start setting up seats at Snowshoe Park hours in advance to see the game, and this year, the competition will be bigger and better.

"Competition is really good," says Snowshoe Baseball Manager Jeff Smith. "We have a team coming up from Chicago. They're called the Chicago All-Stars. It's a team that's comprised of a lot of ballplayers that have played in that outseam league before."

People regularly come out for Lake Tomahawk's snowshoe baseball games, but organizers expect the best crowd of the season on Saturday.

"This is by far the biggest attendance that we'll ever see," says Smith. "Upwards of 2,000 people will probably be there, or around the park. And barring the weather--if the weather is nice--the people will be here."

People come for the competitive games, and they stay for the good times.

"Everybody really enjoys watching this game, so it's really not about winning," says Smith. "It's really just [about] having a good time, and that's what we concentrate on. Just everyone having a good time."

Saturday's game will start at 7:30 p.m.


Story By: Dan Marz

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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MINOCQUA - You don't see a lot of baseball this time of year in the Northwoods, but LUHS baseball Head Coach Mike Wilhelm hopes to change that.

"Really get our hands on our youth, and work with those young kids, and hopefully move us forward so that, when they get to high school, they have a really good grasp of what we're teaching," says Wilhelm.

The Lakeland baseball coach worked with the athletic director to set up the school's first-ever camp.

Coaches hope to mold the kids' raw talent into baseball smarts.

"There's always that raw ability out there," says Wilhelm. "More for us, it's just the fine-tuning and getting them going on what we want them to know. Kind of on the verbage and the sayings and the cues that we want them to use."

Wilhelm says it's also a perfect way to create bonds with the players.

"It's a great way for me to get to know kids, and then I can go to their games and see where they're at, and then really just kind of pop in and say 'how are you doing' and kind of keep in contact with those guys," says Wilhelm.

It's gone so well in its first year that Wilhelm says the camp will be back next year.

"I might plan on doing something a little more in the springtime with it, so they're a little more ready coming into their season versus, a lot of these little league guys are just finishing up with their season, so it's tough for them to kind of carry things over," says Wilhelm. "It's always a good thing for us to get our hands on them and teach them and get them ready for next year, too."

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CRANDON - Crandon International Off Road Raceway hosted the Torc Big House Brawl this past weekend.

They put on a show for the fans.

The main event was a great race.

It was the 22nd annual Forest County Potawatomi Community Cup Challenge.

The race turned into a battle between a father and a son between Johnny Greaves and CJ Greaves.

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WISCONSIN - High school basketball games won't look the same next year.

That's because games will be played in halves, not quarters.

The WIAA made the decision to switch Thursday.

Schools experimented with playing in halves a couple years ago.

Most systems like the change in format.

The idea came in part from a neighboring state.

"Minnesota has used this type of a system for many years now," says WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser. "Many of our schools on the western side of the state play in Minnesota and have expressed their liking of the half format."

The format change is on a one-year trial basis, but officials think it'll be around for a while.

"I think it's going to be kind of exciting to see how this all plays out, to see what impact it's going to have on the length of games," says Hauser. "I don't really think it's going to change that because I think there's going to be a better flow. So I'm very excited, looking forward to the coming year to see how we adjust to this."

The format switch will happen starting next season.

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Taking up archerySubmitted: 06/25/2015

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CONOVER - People take up new hobbies all the time. For some, archery is a great way to stay active--and it can become a lifelong hobby.


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CRANDON - Abby and Ally Pease, who are juniors and twins, have been a part of the Crandon trap shooting team since it started two years ago.

"My family enjoys it and I enjoy it," said Ally Pease.

Abby won gold and Allie got Silver at the 2015 Badger State Games. They won the medals in the 16-18 ladies division of trap shooting.

"People were really surprised that we came from a small town in northern Wisconsin and there were people from big cities down there shooting against us," Abby said. "We came out on top."

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THREE LAKES - The TNT Motor Speedway reopened this year after being shut down for a year.

The track is doing well in its first season back.

They've only hosted a handful of races so far in 2015, but owners say they're more than happy with the amount of people who have been through the gates.

"Other than the rain that we got, everything's been going very well," says TNT Motor Speedway owner James Koga. "We had very good fan counts. The fans that come out are amazing. The sponsors that support us are amazing, and, once again, the drivers that show up on a nightly basis, anywhere from 50 to 70 of the, come out to put on a show. It's quite interesting to watch."

Lots of fans have come so far, but owners say they'll get a lot more once the tourism season begins.

"Since we reopened, I figured, we've just got locals right now," says Koga. "A lot of tourists haven't come up yet, and it's just amazing to see that that many people love racing and have the passion for racing like us and the drivers do. And to see them be such a big part of this is amazing."

Owners say they try to give as much support back to fans as they give.

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RHINELANDER - Many people play golf for their entire lives, and now more and more kids are getting involved in the sport.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks have selected UNLV shooting guard Rashad Vaughn with the No. 17 overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

 The 6-foot-6, 210 pound Vaughn will be expected to provide additional outside scoring for the Bucks, who are coming off a surprising turnaround last season _ their first under head coach Jason Kidd.

 Vaughn is coming off a season-ending injury to his left knee but averaged 17.8 points per game in 23 games as a freshman, shooting 43.9 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.

 The Bucks expect to have last year's No. 2 pick, Jabari Parker, back next season to go with Giannis Antetokounmpo and point guard Michael Carter-Williams.

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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks made a draft-night deal for a veteran point guard, trading UCLA shooting guard Norman Powell and a first-round pick in 2017 to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for backup guard Greivis Vasquez.

 The Bucks finalized the deal shortly after they made Powell the 46th overall pick in the second round Thursday night.

 General manager John Hammond says the Bucks have always liked Vasquez, who is 28 and has playoff experience.

 Vazquez will back up Michael Carter-Williams, and Hammond said there might be situations where both players will be on the floor.

 Hammond said he wasn't hesitant to part with the 2017 first-round, which was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a previous trade.

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HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets have selected Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker with the 18th overall pick in the NBA draft.

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CHARLOTTE - The Charlotte Hornets have selected Wisconsin power forward Frank Kaminsky with the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft.

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STEVENS POINT - Wisconsin high school basketball games will run a little longer in the upcoming season.

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Bucks look ahead to the draftSubmitted: 06/23/2015

MILWAUKEE - The debate over a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks will continue on, but this week, the team is focused on who they will pick in Thursday's NBA Draft.

The Bucks have the 17th overall pick.

They traded forward Ersan Ilyasova to Detroit earlier this offseason.

They could choose to replace him.

Milwaukee could also choose a big man to replace former center Larry Sanders.

Bucks officials say they're happy to have plenty of choices.

"Every year in the draft, we talk about his as a staff through our meetings, is that every year, one or two players will go higher in the draft that will push somebody down, but if that doesn't happen this year, we're comfortable with the players that are going to be there," says Director of Scouting Billy McKinney.

Getting a top draft pick will be important for the team, but that may not be the only way they make improvements this offseason.

"We're going to try to improve in free agency this summer, potentially, possibly," says General Manager John Hammond. "We're going to try to maybe improve through a trade. Maybe something could be there for us, and then the draft, I think, is still very important to us because of the type of team that we have. We're talking about still building here, trying to build towards a championship-contending team. You want your draft picks to be a part of that."

The NBA Draft starts Thursday, June 25th at 6 p.m.

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WISCONSIN - The 2015 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday in Brooklyn.

Two Badgers hope to be lottery picks.

Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker think they can hear their names called in the first 14 picks.

Of course the top 14 being lottery picks.

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