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30th Anniversary of Footstock a SuccessSubmitted: 08/28/2016
CRANDON - It's been called a NASCAR race on water with a crash on every lap. It's a party on the shore and a competition on the water.

It's Footstock.

"This is the national championship of endurance bare-footing. People come from ten states, and five countries to be here," said Footstock Tournament Director Gary Mueller.

The event is held at Peshtigo Lake in Crandon.

Over 150 competitors participate as thousands more cheer them on for two days each year, but the competition on the lake is only part of what makes Footstock so great for participants.

"The camaraderie, the people, the friendships, even though we're competitors we all help each other out, we give each other pointers you know," said 2016 Footstock Open Division Champion Jon DeBelak.

That atmosphere attracts some of the best bare-footers in the world, making the tournament a wide open competition.

"Past footstock champions, four or five of them here skiing in it that anyone could win this," said DeBelaK. "That's the other beautiful thing about this tournament, it's not a given whose going to win it."

And to win a competition like this, you also have to show some toughness.

"Once you do one eight you've got the waves coming from the boat, you've got the wind at the other end of the lake and earlier on in the day you've got like three boats going around at one time," said 2016 World Barefoot Waterski Champion David Small. "It's brutal, your legs, your back, your forearms, your grip just starts going. It's hard."

2016 Footstock women's champion Ashley Shewmaker says another challenge is how different endurance racing is from traditional barefoot water skiing.

"I'm used to three-event barefoot water skiing where you get the one go and then that's it. And it's also 15 seconds a time. This is figure eight so this is over and over and over again, so this is different than anything we ever do in three event barefooting," said Shewmaker.

And after finishing second at Footstock, Small says next he wants to come back next year and add a new title to his collection.

"These guys, endurance, they're unreal. It's hard to beat these guys. So maybe next year at the ski school we'll do some training for it and see if we can beat them," said Small.

Story By: Mark Spillane

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 LOCAL SPORTS

RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series held its Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association Rock N' Root event at Washburn Trails on Saturday.

Event coordinators say attendance was higher this year than in the past, due in large part to course improvements.

"The improvements that RASTA has been making to these trails, we've spent a lot of money and time working on these trails and word is getting around," said RASTA Rock N' Root Race Coordinator Beth Wagner.

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RHINELANDER - The fourth annual W.I.L.D. Hodag Mini-Triathlon took place in Rhinelander on Saturday.

W.I.L.D. stands for Wise International Leadership Development. Money raised will benefit that foundation locally and around the world.

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RHINELANDER - Saturday afternoon, the Pawzitive Games visited Rhinelander, allowing furry four-legged dogs to compete in dock jumping, speed races, and agility courses.

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TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk ran away from Phillips in the second half of Friday night's contest. It was just 8-6 at the halfway point but the Hatchets overwhelmed the Loggers during the second stanza.

Easton Phalin fired a first half touchdown pass to Jackson List in the first half for the Hatchets. They'd go on to win 40-6.

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Antigo topples Oconto 30-8Submitted: 08/26/2016

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ANTIGO - Antigo took down Oconto 30-8 Friday night behind a strong game from quarterback Matt Winter.

Winter tossed a touchdown pass to Adam Schmidt in the third quarter that extended the Red Robins lead to 24. They cruised the rest of the way from there to move to 1-1 on the season.

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River Falls tops Merrill 21-14Submitted: 08/26/2016

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MERRILL - Merrill hosted River Falls in the first game at the Blue Jays new stadium. It turned into a shootout in the first half as the Wildcats of River Falls took a 21-14 lead on an impressive touchdown throw and catch from quarterback Joey Davis to wide receiver Matt Wachtler.

It proved to be the game winning touchdown for the Wildcats. Nevada Laabs scored twice on the ground for Merrill.

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WITTENBERG - Rhinelander took a trip to Wittenberg-Birnamwood Friday night.

Rhinelander's Logan Freund found Josh Francisco on a pass in the first halfm and after Francisco fumbled, Reuben Gozik recovered it in the endzone to give the Hodags a 7-0 lead.

Rhinelander dominated defensively and went on to win 31-13.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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THREE LAKES - Wisconsin Badger basketball fans know their team plays old-school, fundamental hoops.

It's something of a lost art, but high school coaches hope to bring it back.

So Monday former Badger basketball standout Brian Butch offered to help, teaching kids in Three Lakes the skills he focused on as a kid.

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GREEN BAY - The Packers completed their second week of organized team activities this past week.

Green Bay is using some new drills too.

That's because the wide receiving squad has a new coach.

Luke Getsy is using bricks, Nerf balls, and juggling as tools for drills.

The Packers wide receiving core struggled last year.

Randall Cobb thinks the new mentality will help.

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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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