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Rhinelander wins GNC tennis titleSubmitted: 05/18/2018

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ANTIGO -

The Rhinelander Hodags boys tennis team clinched the Great Northern Conference on Friday before the meet even started.

The seedings and points tallied during the season made it so Rhinelander won the tournament before they even hit a ball. 

"Some years we've done it easier than others. Freshman year was not easy at all, but every time we've done it, I think the time and effort put in definitely pays off. It's proof to the testament of Coach Heideman and our program, how much work we put in," said senior Markus Johnson.

The Hodags have now won the title seven out of the last eight years.

That means the senior class has won conference all four years.

This season was Head Coach Bob Heideman's 31st year with the team.

Heideman says the countless titles during his time are all because of the commitment of his team.

"The first thing is that I try to scare them as far as how good the competition is going to be; that if they don't work hard, it's not going to come," said Heideman.





Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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NORTHWOODS - Three Lakes/Phelps topped Laona-Wabeno 6-3 to win the Northern Lakes Conference softball title.

Crandon split a doubleheader with Elcho in baseball, giving the Cardinals their second NLC loss of the season.

Rhinelander upset Tomahawk in Game 1 of a softball doubleheader, but the Hatchets won Game 2 12-2.

Check below for other area scores from Thursday night.

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WOODRUFF -
In some ways, Lakeland Union's trip to the state golf tournament last year came as a surprise.

"Last year, the team came out of nowhere and went to state. Nobody was really watching us as much," said Lakeland sophomore Ansen Nomm.

It was a team with no seniors that didn't even win its own conference.

But in 2018, the T-Birds are the center of attention.

"This year, everyone is looking at us, they're gunning for us, they want to beat us," said Nomm.

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WAUSAU - Wausau East sophomore Cinneidi Comfort feels at home in the net for the Wausau Wolfpack lacrosse team.

"My lowest save percentage was 60%. I think that's a little bit above the average save percentage in the state for girls goalie," said Comfort.

Comfort had up to a 90% save percentage this season. Comfort is the top goalie in the state with 89 saves in only eight games.

"It feels really good because I've worked so hard for it, but it's any other day," said Comfort.

She isn't the only player on the Wolfpack that's playing with a top spot in mind.

Junior Natalia Robinson is second in the state for goals, with 36 goals in eight games. The top scorer has 40 goals in 12 games, so Robinson's on track to become number one.

Robinson started playing lacrosse in sixth grade when she lived in Rhode Island.

"It's so popular down on the east coast, I just fell in love with it. My coaches there were really great and they're great now too," said Robinson.

She moved to Tomahawk a few years later and was happy to see that there was a team for her, even if that meant a 45 minute drive to play.

"It's 100% worth it. Lacrosse is my sport, it's my passion," said Robinson.

Just like Comfort saying it's a regular day, Robinson also wants to downplay the spotlight and get the focus back to her teammates.

"This year, I've been trying to at least keep my goals per game average up to four to five goals per game. Usually after I score four goals in a game, then I try to settle down and get other girls with an assist," said Robinson.

That team-oriented mindset is paying off. The Wolfpack is 7-1 so far and the girls now play their home games at Thom Field for the first time ever.

"We're playing in the stadium, we're getting announced, we're being recognized by the schools, so that feels really good," said Comfort.

The sport of lacrosse is growing fast in Wausau and both Comfort and Robinson hope to see that continue.

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NORTHWOODS -
Three Lakes/Phelps overcame a four run deficit in the 7th inning in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader to defeat Elcho. The Blue Jays won Game 2 and are now tied with Crandon for first place in the Northern Lakes Conference.

Antigo swept Rhinelander in a baseball doubleheader to stay unbeaten in the Great Northern Conference at 11-0.

Rhinelander soccer lost just it's second GNC game in six years with a 1-0 home loss to Ashland.

Check out those highlights and our area scores below.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks have officially announced the hiring of Mike Budenholzer as their new coach.

A person familiar with the search had told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Budenholzer, the former Atlanta Hawks coach. The Bucks made the official announcement Thursday.

Budenholzer replaces Joe Prunty, the former assistant who went 21-16 in the regular season after replacing the fired Jason Kidd in late January. The Bucks lost to Boston in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.


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GREEN BAY - The Packers will begin training camp on Thursday, July 26, the team announced on Friday.

Prior to their first practice, players will report to Green Bay on Wednesday, July 25, which doubles as the date of the Packers' 2018 shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.

Additionally, the Packers will hold three public practices (weather permitting) for organized team activities on Tuesday, May 22; Thursday, May 31; and Monday, June 4. All practices are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT. at Ray Nitschke Field.

Green Bay will conclude its offseason program with a three-day mandatory minicamp at Nitschke Field June 12-14. Those practices also will be open to the public (weather permitting), though times have not been finalized.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nick Foles went back-and-forth with Tom Brady and the defense came through with a turnover when they needed a stop.

The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions for the first time in franchise history thanks to a backup quarterback who had another spectacular game and a strip-sack by Brandon Graham after the defense let Brady have his way for most of Sunday night.

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Green Bay Packers are promoting director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst to be the team's next general manager, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person requested anonymity because the team has made no formal announcement. Gutekunst would replace Ted Thompson, who is transitioning to a senior advisory role in the front office.

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