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Crandon baseball stays perfect in conferenceSubmitted: 05/20/2016
PHELPS - The Crandon Cardinals baseball team got the chance to do something not many teams can claim: remain perfect in conference throughout their high school careers.

Phelps High School was the only thing that stood in their way, but Crandon got the jump on the Knights almost right away on Friday.

Riley Weber smacks one up the middle.

Trevor Hefter being waved on in from second base.

Two runners on in scoring position now.

Next batter is Andrew Lehman.

He grounds out, but the runner comes in to score.

2-0 red birds.

Then came some brilliant baserunning.

Bryce Palubicki grounds to third, but Weber, who's on third, patiently waits for the throw, and he takes off.

He's in on time, and Crandon's in a good spot.

Pitcher Trevor Tupper seals it with a nice performance on the mound.

Crandon stays undefeated.

After a Gatorade bath, Head Coach Franz Gerber said the win feels good.

"Anytime you're able to accomplish a goal, it always feels good," says Gerber. "This is one of many goals, so we feel like we're not done yet, but it's great that these seniors have won conference all four years, and it started before I got here. This isn't anything where fingers should be pointed at any individual person, because the team, they rallied, and they came up in some big moments this year."

The Cardinals have a doubleheader on Monday before they begin tournament play on Thursday.




Story By: Dan Marz

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 LOCAL SPORTS
Cardinals close to historySubmitted: 05/19/2016

CRANDON - The Crandon Cardinals baseball team can make history this week.

Seniors on the team have never lost a conference game.

They have a chance to graduate with that perfect record intact.

It all comes down to a pair of late season conference games.

That included one against a tough Elcho team Thursday.

"You get excited for the big moments," says Head Coach Franz Gerber. "You get excited for the big games, and we feel this is a big game. Not only because it's the second to last conference game, [but] we win tonight, we secure sole possession of conference, so that's huge. But also, it gets us one game closer."

First inning against Elcho, Crandon hits a rocket down the left field line.

Riley Wagoner scores easily from third.

Blake Fenwick up next and knocks one straight up the middle.

The runner wheels on in, and the Cardinals come up with the 2-0 lead early.

Riley Weber comes up next.

Another blast down the left field line

Fenwick score.

3-0 Cardinals.

Pitcher Kyle Wagoner sealed it on the defensive side.

He throws a shutout.

Cardinals win 10-0.

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WAUSAU - When you think spring sports, baseball and softball jump to mind right away.

But thanks to efforts in central Wisconsin, that's not the case anymore.

Enter the Wausau Wolfpack lacrosse team.

"I honestly think that it's a great sport," says senior attacker William Ambord. "Give it a try. It's something new and I think it's really fun."

"The lacrosse family started in 2005," says Head Coach Travis Brown. "It's grown so much. We now have a youth program. We call it the fastest growing sport in America, so the Wolfpack family, it's becoming a known sport."

It's more than just that.

Most of the Wolfpack athletes come from other sports, such as hockey or football.

Now, it's tough for some to think of any other sport first.

"For me, it's definitely number one," says Ambord. "I really liked football when I played it, but lacrosse definitely takes the cake."

"With our youth program, it's becoming the sport for some of these kids," says Brown. "With our freshman crew coming up, when you talk to them, they live lacrosse, which is really cool to see."

It is still a new sport for some athletes, but the learning curve isn't as steep as you might think.

"The first two, three weeks is all fundamentals," says Brown. "Catching and throwing, passing, and we break down the skill to its bare minimum to what hand is up top, or how we cradle keeping the ball in the stick."

"It was very easy to me," says senior goaltender Ethan Edwards. "Just the hand-eye coordination of hockey, it was really easy to transfer that to lacrosse with catching and passing. It was a pretty easy transition and I learned really quickly."

It all works to develop game-time moments into some unforgettable memories.

"When it's just you and the shooter, and you make a great save and your teammates just start cheering you on really loud, that's my favorite part," says Edwards. "Keeps you going."

"My favorite part is when you string passes together into a great play," says Ambord. "It's always about teamwork for me, making sure that I can make great feeds to my teammates or help them get goals. And obviously I like to score too. That's pretty fun."

There aren't many things that can bring two rival schools like Wausau East and West together, but lacrosse seems to be one of them.

"Everybody's really nice, so that's always great to have on a team, but also, it's just a really fun sport I think," says Ambord.

"Don't be afraid to try new things," says Edwards. "It might seem really complicated at first, but once you learn the fundamentals, it's really easy and it's a great sport to play. It's really fun, and you'll get hooked on it super easy."

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EAGLE RIVER - Northland Pines hosted a baseball game of their own Saturday.

This one against the Rebels of Wabeno-Laona.

The Rebels put up a 3 spot right away in the first inning.

Wabeno-Laona's Spencer Huettl dealing nasty stuff on the mound.

This is what he comes back with in just the bottom of the first.

Zach Ciren leading things off for Pines.

He grounds deep into the hole, but not deep enough that the shortstop can't throw him out.

One away.

Alex Brendemihl's turn.

He sends a slow floater over the head of the pitcher.

Ryan Brauer comes charging in with the bare-handed scoop.

This one might be the most impressive though.

The next hitter grounds to the shortstop, who bobbles it.

The throw is late, but the first baseman goes into the splits to pick up the out.

That might be your play of the year so far.

And the Rebels made it count.

They won 8-7.

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RHINELANDER - Basketball season ended months ago in the Northwoods, but fans packed Rhinelander High School for a very special basketball game Friday night.

The world-famous Harlem Wizards came to town.

Rhinelander Activities Director Brian Paulson and Activities Secretary Heather Lundt reached out to the team to help fundraise for the school district's activities department.

The players--part of the Wizards' Team Swoop--were more than happy to help out.

"We're really built on helping with fundraising," says Harlem Wizard James "Road Runner" Tyndal. "We bring in a lot of souvenirs, the hosts and the reps get a portion of what's going on with the fundraiser, so the more we bring in, the more we can sell, the more we can give back for the fundraiser."

The team brings in lots of equipment as part of their elaborate performance.

When asked what their favorite part of the show is, the players didn't hesitate to answer.

"I've been playing basketball for myself since I was maybe four years old, but now I get to entertain families and kids, so I think that's the best part for me," says Tyndal. "It's not too hard for me to make a basket or dribble or whatever, but to see the kids smile and the families be happy, the town be excited, that's the best part."

The Wizards played a team made up of teachers and assistants from the Rhinelander School District.

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TOMAHAWK - 12-year-old Parker Retzlaff already has his kind of an office.

It's the driver's seat in his race truck.

Parker Retzlaff started his racing career when he was just seven.

"Just we found a car and I really liked racing so we tried it out and I really liked it so we just kept moving up," said Parker.

Now he drives a Ponsee sponsored truck at dirt and asphalt tracks in different racing leagues across the US.

The idea of racing came as a way for him to spend quality time with his father Brian.

"On a race car, I'm sure we put probably 20-30 hours a week on race cars, keeping them prepped and on top of the game so he can do well," said Brian

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LAKEWOOD - Something jumps out right away about the varsity lineup for the Laona-Wabeno Rebels boys golf team.

The girls outnumber the boys.

"Walking out and being with them, it's just like, okay, I've got kind of a disadvantage here," said Rebels junior golfer Lindsey Dinkelman. "But then again, I kind of want to prove them all wrong."

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MEDFORD - Usually, the best place to see Wisconsin Badgers basketball coach Greg Gard is in Madison, but you could see him a little closer to home on Thursday.

Gard came to Medford for the school's 6th Annual Cancer Awareness Night.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - Khris Middleton scored 36 points and John Henson had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-108 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Jabari Parker added 15 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 to help the Bucks hold off the Sixers in OT.

Ish Smith hit a 3 and Hollis Thompson buried a 26-footer that pulled the Sixers to 109-108. The Sixers would miss three shots on their final possession.

Smith led the Sixers with 22 points and Nerlens Noel had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The Sixers made only 13 of their franchise-record 46 3-point attempts.

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MILWAUKEE - Colby Rasmus hit two home runs and a sacrifice fly to lead the Houston Astros past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Saturday night.

Rasmus teed off on Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta (0-2) with a solo shot in the third and a two-run blast in the fifth that landed near the top row of the second-tier bleachers in right.

Rasmus may have found some motivation after being called for interference under the new "Chase Utley rule," resulting in a game-ending double play Friday night that halted Houston's ninth-inning rally and gave the Brewers a 6-4 win.

Tyler White kept up his torrid start for Houston with a sacrifice fly in the first and followed Rasmus in the fifth with his third home run. White is 10 for 15 (.667) so far in his rookie season.

Doug Fister (1-0) won his Astros' debut, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings.

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