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UW-Stevens Point Hockey Head Coach heading to Michigan TechSubmitted: 06/27/2017
STEVENS POINT - UW-Stevens Point mens hockey announced its long-time head coach is leaving. Chris Brooks will now be an assistant coach at Michigan Tech.

Brooks was with the Pointers for the last six seasons. He led the team to four straight Frozen Four appearances and its fifth National Title in 2016.

Brooks also coached seven All-Americans during his time at UW-Stevens Point.

He's no stranger to the state of Michigan since he played at Western Michigan and played professionally in Kalamazoo.

The Pointers are searching for his replacement.



Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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RHINELANDER - The WIAA announced last week that there will be a shot clock for boys and girls varsity basketball. It will be 35 seconds and will go into effect for the 2019-2020 season.

We talked with Rhinelander boys head coach Derek Lemmens to get his reaction. He said he was shocked.

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NORTHWOODS - The 2016-17 high school athletic year brought us no shortage of incredible plays.

From touchdowns, to three point shots, to goals, there were plenty of impressive moments from so many impressive Northwoods athletes.

Of everything we saw, here are the top five plays of the year.

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ANTIGO - Most of us would never even consider driving 100 miles per hour on a motorcycle. Especially while trying to turn through the corners of a dirt race track with a dozen other riders doing the same thing. But on Saturday in Antigo, Flat Track Dirt Racing took center stage.

"They always say, you're always nuts," said racer Steve Kasten

But some racers say they're not nuts. They say they're crazy.

"Yeah we're crazy, but we're crazy because we like it," said racer Bob Kluender.

Either way, flat track motorcycle and ATV racing is one of the most intense sports you'll find.

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MINOCQUA - Every high school athletic program strives to win as much as possible. That's not always easy for small Northwoods districts.

When you think of the standard over the past year, one word needs to come to mind… Thunderbirds. Lakeland Union racked up six Great Northern Conference titles, three state championships, and produced dozens of All-Conference selections.

"It never gets old," said senior Kav FitzPatrick.

Winning usually doesn't. For Lakeland, this past school year included plenty of it.

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WISCONSIN - The WIAA held its annual Advisory Council meeting Thursday in Stevens Point. The group made many changes for high school sports. 

One of those changes was deciding to implement a basketball shot clock. It will go into effect for the 2019-2020 season.


The shot clock will be for varsity games only and will be for 35 seconds. It will be for both girls and boys basketball. Another change is letting the coaches go a little farther up and down the sideline than before. They can now go 28 feet, as opposed to 14 in the past.

For a full list of all the changes, follow the link below.

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NORTH CAROLINA - The New Balance outdoor national track meet happens every year around this time. It takes place in North Carolina, so it typically doesn't mean too much to us here in the Northwoods, until this year.

Lakeland Union sent a few of its runners to the meet. The 4x800 relay team of Darius Diver, Jack Garcia, Kieran Mullen and Kav FitzPatrick ran their second fastest time of the year. Kav FitzPatrick ran in the steeplechase event which isn't even offered by the WIAA.

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MERRILL - Meeting an Olympian typically stays only a dream. But for swimmers in Merrill, that dream became a reality this weekend.

"To be in Sydney was the real reward for me and to win a medal was the icing on the cake," said Kowal, a silver medalist in the 200m breaststroke.

She is a part of the BREAKOUT! swim clinic.

"That I get to learn more stuff about swimming," said Sydney Spuerl who participated in the clinic.

The clinic is taught by former Olympians or national team members all around the country.

"She told you what you did wrong because she was looking at everybody," said Chelsea Gebauer, another participant.

But she didn't focus on the "wrong" things. She shows them that there isn't much of a difference between the kids and where she started.

"A lot of kids often see us on TV competing and they think 'oh my gosh, they must've been these great swimmers from the get-go'. And being to tell them, 'oh no. We started out just like you, maybe even worse'," said Kowal.

Kristy teaches third grade in the town where she grew up in, Redding, Pennsylvania. It's pretty evident during the clinic that she's great with kids.

"Just being around kids, it's always been something that I've wanted to do and that I was passionate about," said Kowal. 

She told the kids her personal story about how she missed the Olympics the first two times by just fractions of a second. Those hard times in her career made it easier for the group to relate to her.

"Don't ever give up on your dreams, no matter how many times you fall short on them," said Kowal.

After the clinic, Kristy had a spaghetti dinner with the group where they could ask her questions and get to know her outside of the pool.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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) â€" 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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GREEN BAY - Receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the Green Bay Packers' divisional round playoff game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys because of injured ribs.

Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that Nelson would not be medically cleared to take part in the team's final practice on Saturday, and that the medical staff determined that Nelson would not be ready for the game.

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