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Rhinelander's Reinthaler shines across three sports, academicsSubmitted: 04/28/2016
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Hodags compete near the top of the Great Northern Conference in many sports.

A big reason for that is senior Brandon Reinthaler, who plays quarterback for the football team, guard for the basketball team, and third base for the baseball team.

"I got started playing sports when actually my dad and brother, we used to have a big backyard, so we'd always go out there and play catch, whether it be football or baseball, and then we got into basketball too," Reinthaler says.

Even though he's a star athlete for three of Rhinelander High School's sports, Brandon says they're all just too different to pick a favorite. He says he enjoys the challenges that each one brings.

"It's kind of an even love for everything, just because they all provide their different advantages," Reinthaler says. "For football, it's such a great team sport. You can't have just one player doing everything. You have to have everyone working together. For basketball, it's just, there's so much excitement, especially with rowdy Rhinelander, and everything going on. And then baseball is just such a mental sport, and they all kind of combine to form the person I am, and I'm really enjoying everything."

Fans know Reinthaler's role in Rhinelander sports now, but Brandon wasn't always the guy calling the shots under center.

"I was actually a center all my life, and then just watching sports, and watching Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre, I just kind of fell in love with how they kind of control the game in that aspect," Reinthaler says.

He wasn't always on the hot corner, either.

"I was always kind of a shortstop in little league, and when I came to varsity baseball as a freshman, I was right field, which was a big step for me," Reinthaler says. "So I just kind of tried to develop myself, and then my sophomore year, I moved to third base."

And he got pretty good at it.

But high school might be the end of the big time sports for Brandon.

He'll be heading to UW-Madison, where he wants to shift focus to his studies.

"I'm actually interested in becoming something in the medical field," Reinthaler says. "I'm thinking of either majoring in pre-med or something along those lines, and hopefully become a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist when the time comes."

But Brandon won't forget where he came from.

"I'm definitely going to try to compete in some intramural sports in college and do all that stuff as well, but nothing can beat the competition aspect of high school sports," Reinthaler says.

Brandon hopes those high school experiences help him moving forward.

So take in a baseball game or two this spring, because you won't see the same face wearing the number 10 next year.




Story By: Dan Marz

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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TOMAHAWK - Andrew Bartelt hopes the racing at this track in Tomahawk will draw vistors in.

But he may also get fans who like the food, remodeling, and passion at the track.

Bartelt took over Tomahawk Speedway in July of 2015. The track transformed into this.
"I love racing, I really do," Bartelt said. "It's a sport of passion."

That passion led to the track making the front cover of nationally published magazine called Cirlce Track. The magazine focuses on the technical side of racing.

"I know it's not easy at all to take on this burden, especially the financial burden is incredible now at the race track because it's a huge risk just the way the sport has been since 2008 when the economy crashed," said Circle Track Magazine Editor Matt Panure.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin Badger from Wausau will play his first season of college football in 2016.

Jake Whalen redshirted last year.

The freshman linebacker got plenty of reps during the spring game.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Badger fullback Austin Ramesh didn't play in the spring game because of some lingering hip and groin injuries.

"Should be getting it all fixed up and ready to go by the time we get ready to go for summer workouts," said Ramesh a junior from Land O'Lakes.

But the Northland Pines graduate has his sights set on being the Badgers No. 1 fullback.
"Kind of been more of a backup or second fullback, and I want to be the guy this year," Ramesh said.

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MERRILL - This time last year, Merrill baseball Head Coach Brian Artac began the last leg of his storied career with the Blue Jays.

He made the decision mid-season to step down.

Former Assistant Coach Shawn Schultz now helms the team, the Greg Gard to Artac's Bo Ryan.

"If I can be half as successful as he was by the time I'm done, I'll be real happy," Schultz says. "Brian and I coached together for 17 years, I think it was, and had a lot of fun. We knew I wanted to coach, but at the same time, I couldn't have had a better teacher."

Merrill's had a slow start to the year, beginning the season with a pair of losses to the Antigo Red Robins, but it's proof that Schultz and Artac are two sides of the same coin.

"I was there the first game that he coached as the head coach, and it was a rough one down at Point," Schultz says. "He was here the other night when we played Antigo on Friday and it wasn't a real pretty game."

So if that's any sign of what's to come, Schultz should have a terrific career in front of him. Because Schultz has been around for a while, he has a good rapport with the kids, which means he can jump right in with his game plan.

"I really want us to go out and play solid baseball every time we take the field," Schultz says. "We need to get to the point where, when we step on the field, we know what we're going to get. It can't be, 'some nights we're up, some nights we're down.' We've talked to the kids about being real even-keeled, and playing with confidence."

Patience after a not-so-perfect start can be hard to hold, but Coach Schultz knows it's the key to success.

"[I] hope every game we improve, and that's what we're looking at," Schultz says. "You asked earlier about a goal, and that's every time we take the field, we get better. Every day. Practice, game, whatever it is."

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MERRILL - You could also see an impressive showing Friday afternoon in high school baseball between Rhinelander and Merrill.

Usually you see a stable of hits in a high school baseball game.

Rhinelander's Brandon Hess made sure that wasn't the case.

Hess gave up a lead-off single, and didn't allow another hit until a single in the sixth inning.

He added a walk and a single of his own en route to Rhinelander's 7-0 victory.

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WOODRUFF - A Lac Du Flambeau man will have the chance to become the #1 ranked welterweight King Of the Cage fighter in the nation.

Frank 'Nightmare' Schuman will return to the cage Saturday night at Lake of The Torches.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines' girls' hockey team seems to have one great season after another, but next season they'll have to compete with a new head coach.

Patrick Schmidt stepped down from the position this offseason .

Off the ice, he works at the Vilas County Sheriff's Office, where he was promoted to chief deputy.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

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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MILWAUKEE - Colby Rasmus was called for interference on the "Chase Utley rule," resulting in a game-ending double play and blunting the Houston Astros' ninth-inning rally in a 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Down 6-0, the Astros scored four times in the ninth and put runners on first and second with one out.

Jose Altuve hit a bouncer to second baseman Scooter Gennett, who threw to shortstop Jonathan Villar for the forceout. Rasmus slid past the base, and Villar didn't make a relay to first.

Second base Dan Bellino called Rasmus for not trying to stay on the bag, part of the requirement under baseball's new rule governing slides on potential double plays. The call was upheld after the Astros challenged the play.

Houston lost its third in a row.

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MILWAUKEE - Chris Carter hit his first home runs for Milwaukee, then had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to lead the Brewers over the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Wednesday.

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