Cross country ski author enjoys his passion Submitted: 12/26/2014

Play Video
WINCHESTER - Many people find their passions in the Northwoods through outdoor activities.

One Northwoods man has written multiple books on cross country skiing and hiking.

Chad McGraths love for the Wisconsin outdoors truly exemplifies the Spirit of the North.

McGrath grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. He didn't find his love for the outdoors until he went to college in Kenosha.

"Found Pike Creek, I found Lake Michigan. I discovered the outdoors in college and I learned that I loved it," said McGrath.

McGrath has written multiple trail guide books for cross country skiing and hiking. He has explored between 400-500 trails in his career. His love for cross country skiing started in the moonlight.

"My first ski was in the moonlight," McGrath said. "I rented skis and the Ridgers Golf Course and went skiing in the moonlight with some friends and it was magical."

McGrath has competed in the American Birkebeiner 13 times. It is largest ski marathon in North America. The race takes places from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin. He says the first one was his biggest challenge.

"I had skied a lot but I hadn't skied 55 kilometers," McGrath said. "It was a struggle. I didn't have the right clothes. Skis were slow and there were thousands of other people along the trail."

But he finished. McGrath believes that people of all skill levels can participate in cross country skiing.

"Cross skiing has the added fun of technique," McGrath said. "So you can get better at it, technically better at it and be faster without having the same lung capacity and that is intriguing to me"

Most outdoor sports provide a great workout. With cross country skiing, you get both a great upper body and lower body workout.

"Upper body mid body legs and aerobic capacity increase," McGrath said. "I know at the beginning of the year it can take you awhile to get going again but by the end of the year I am generally back in shape and feeling really good and able to go run and do whatever else I want to do."

Story By: Nolan Blair

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story

Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

Chequamegon Wrestler has been coached by his dad his entire careerSubmitted: 12/25/2014

Play Video

PARK FALLS - Wrestlers need a certain type of work ethic to be successful on the mat.

A Park Falls wrestler has some help from his dad - who's also his coach.
On the 18th, Chequamegon's Isaac Weik scored a big victory over a state ranked opponent.

Weik's father, Darren, has been coaching Isaac for his entire career.

"Having my dad as a coach means everything to me," Weik said. "If he wasn't here I probably wouldn't be doing this sport because it is truly hard. If he wasn't pushing me I wouldn't be close to where I am."

"It's a lot of fun, a lot of fun, he's a good kid you know… it's a lot of fun," Darren Weik said.

The fun started for the Weik's when Isaac was in kindergarten.

"I started out in kindergarten and I remember taking third place at a little Park Falls tournament in my hometown," Weik said. "he said (Darren), 'you did a good job. I think you should do it next year' and it's evolved from there."
Weik has more than 100 career victories over his high school career. He also has a top ten state ranking.

"Getting my 100th career win was huge; it really makes you realize what all of your work is worth. A lot of times you are sitting there, you're super tired, wore out, hungry. But once you get your wins you realize what everything's worth," Weik said.

+ Read More
Merrill's Sam Arneson reacts to Gary Andersen resigning Submitted: 12/24/2014

MADISON - The Badgers hired Paul Chryst to take over the football program last week, but players are still handling the emotions of having a coach walk out on them.

Merrill's Sam Arneson spoke with Newswatch 12 about his initial reaction to Gary Andersen's resignation.

+ Read More
Skijoring and Sled Dog Racing in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/24/2014

Play Video

GLEASON - Many people participate in outdoor sports during the winter months.

Sled Dog Racing and Skijoring are two sports that some people do competitively.

+ Read More
Merrill's Sam Arneson reacts to Paul Chyrst hiring Submitted: 12/24/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin's Paul Chryst seems to be a popular hire among Badger fans and players.

In the words of Merrill's Sam Arneson, hiring Chryst was a "no-brainer."

Chryst was born in Madison and played quarterback at Wisconsin.

Arneson is excited for the offensive mindset he will bring to the program.

+ Read More
Northern Edge girls' hockey hosts CFMSubmitted: 12/20/2014

ANTIGO - Northern Edge welcomed in Chippewa Falls-Menomonie to Antigo Saturday.

This one was a fairly close battle.

Neither team had the upper hand early.

Northern Edge's Lauren Smith gets it up top to Katie Detert.

She takes the long range slapshot, but CFM comes up with the save.

Still 0-0 at this point.

Northern Edge playing some nice defense of their own.

CFM pokes it away from two defenders.

They take it up left side and take the shot, but Gracie Lenzner bats it away with the glove.

Northern Edge comes right back down the ice.

Detert goes coast to coast.

She slices through a couple defenders into the middle lane.

She puts up the shot and it's good.

+ Read More
Central Wisconsin girls' hockey ties Onalaska 1-1Submitted: 12/20/2014

WAUSAU - The Central Wisconsin Storm played host to the Onalaska Hilltoppers Saturday.

Both teams played some outstanding defense in this one.

Central Wisconsin's Katelyn Ramthun scoops around the goal.

She tries the reverse shot, but Onalaska's goalie is all over it.

The Hilltoppers clear it out.

A couple possessions later, the Storm are back on the offensive.

They try the sniper shot from out deep.

Onalaska won't budge.

The Storm are able to corral the miss.

They shoot it around the boards trying to look for a decent shot.

Jamie Henrickson gets the shot off, but Onalaska still won't let anything through.

The Storm come back with a head of steam.

A 2-on-1 rush with only one Hilltopper to beat.

Henrickson dishes to Kelly Knetter but the shot is still no good.

That's the way it went for the entire game.

This thriller went down to the wire, and it ended in a very fitting 1-1 tie.

+ Read More
Rhinelander defeats AntigoSubmitted: 12/19/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander defeats Antigo 36-32.

Rhinelander's Brandon Reinthaler scored 14 points.

+ Read More
+ More Local Sports

Packers clinch playoff berth with win over BuccaneersSubmitted: 12/21/2014

TAMPA - Nothing Aaron Rodgers does as a quarterback surprises the Packers.

The NFL's top-rated passer shrugged off the flu and played most of Sunday with a strained left calf, leading Green Bay to a 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - clinching at least a wild-card playoff berth.

The win set up a showdown with Detroit for the NFC North title next Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers threw for 318 yards and one touchdown and Eddie Lacy scored on a 44-yard run for the Packers (11-4), who rebounded from a loss to Buffalo that cost them sole possession of first place in the division.

"I'll be OK for next week. I hurt my calf pretty good, but the training staff helped me kind of get through it," Rodgers said, adding he was injured on Green Bay's second offensive possession.

"It got really tight about halftime. Came in and got a little treatment, it loosened up just a tad, but it was still pretty tight. I was able to move in short segments in the pocket, which was all I needed to do today."

Lacy finished with 99 yards rushing on 17 attempts. Jordy Nelson caught a 1-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter and had nine receptions for 113 yards, while Rodgers completed 11 throws to Randall Cobb for 131 yards.

"I've obviously been with Aaron the whole time. You see him do things on the football field, as far as making plays and this and that. I think the last couple of days, you see the kind of warrior he is," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He battled whatever illness he's had the last couple of days and then goes out and strains his calf the first or second series. He didn't want to come out. Really a gritty performance by Aaron."

As for the showdown with the Lions (11-4), McCarthy added: "We've won six out of seven games, so I'd like to classify that as playing a lot of solid football, that's for sure," McCarthy said. "We'll clean this game up tomorrow; we'll be on it. We'll also start on Detroit. I like where we're at, and I really like this football team. I feel good about the offense, defense and special teams."

Rodgers rebounded from the only game this season in which he's failed to throw for a touchdown, completing 31 of 40 passes without an interception. He threw 24 yards to Nelson on third-and-13 to extend the drive that produced Lacy's long TD run, and a 19-yard completion to Nelson set up Rodgers' 36th TD pass of the year with 2:45 remaining.

"I battled the flu the past couple of days pretty bad, and that's why I was surprised I hurt my calf because I hydrated like no other (week)," Rodgers said. "I was drinking a ton of water before the game."

"Unfortunately, the calf kind of gave up on me there. But it was a good win for us. The defense played great. Offensively, it wasn't pretty, but we had enough points to win."

The Bucs (2-13) have lost five straight and remain in contention for the first overall pick in the 2015 draft. Their sputtering offense was held to a season-low 109 net yards; Josh McCown was sacked seven times and intercepted once; and Doug Martin was held to 17 yards rushing on 10 attempts.

"We picked the worst possible time to play our worst (offensive) game," Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith said. "We'd liked to have fought them a lot harder than we did. I think the guys tried to play hard. Defensively we hung in there and kept them out of the end zone a lot. But it's hard to win games when you put up that kind of offensive production, which was very little."

The Bucs kept it close with a solid if not particularly flashy defensive performance. They forced Rodgers' fourth turnover in two weeks with Michael Johnson's sack-fumble, and a goal-line stand denied the Packers points in the third quarter after Lacy gained 5 yards on first down to the Bucs 1. Lacy and John Kuhn were stopped for no gain on the next two plays, then Rodgers threw an incompletion in the end zone on fourth down.

Nevertheless, the Packers wound up with 431 yards total offense.

McCown, meanwhile, was 12 of 26 for 147 yards. Mike Evans had four receptions for 49 yards and Vincent Jackson had three for 60 yards, moving both of them to the brink of 1,000-yard seasons.

"To see the defense and the way that it played, it's frustrating, man," McCown said. "You can't do that (the offensive performance). We've got to be better than that."

+ Read More
Packers prepare for BuccaneersSubmitted: 12/20/2014

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers want to put last week's disappointing loss to Buffalo behind them.

They will rebound with an away game against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

+ Read More
Chryst takes Wisconsin football head coach jobSubmitted: 12/17/2014

MADISON - Paul Chryst is coming home to coach Wisconsin.

The school made it official on Wednesday, hiring Chryst away from Pittsburgh. The announcement ended days of speculation following the surprising departure of Gary Andersen for Oregon State.

Chryst is a former Wisconsin offensive coordinator and a Madison native. He leaves the Panthers after going 19-19 in three seasons, returning to his hometown and alma mater.

The 49-year-old Chryst had two prior stints as an assistant coach for the Badgers. Most notably, he was part of the Wisconsin staff from 2005-11, helping the Badgers to five double-digit victory seasons and two Rose Bowls.

He was coordinator in 2011 when the high-scoring Badgers featured quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball.

+ Read More
Bills snap Packers win streakSubmitted: 12/14/2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Bacarri Rambo intercepted two Aaron Rodgers passes and Marcus Thigpen scored on a 75-yard punt return, leading the Buffalo Bills to a stunning 21-13 upset over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Defensive end Mario Williams also forced Rodgers to fumble, which led to running back Eddie Lacy being tackled in the end zone for a safety with 1:51 left. Dan Carpenter hit all three field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder in the second half to help keep Buffalo (8-6) in the AFC playoff picture.

The Bills were also have their first eight-win season since going 9-7 in 2004.

The Packers (10-4) had a five-game win streak snapped, blowing an opportunity to get closer to their sixth consecutive playoff berth.

Rodgers finished 17 of 42 for 185 yards, and two interceptions.

+ Read More
Gary Andersen steps down as head coach at University of WisconsinSubmitted: 12/10/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin Badgers fans got a big surprise early Wednesday afternoon.

Head Coach Gary Andersen told the team he is stepping down to take the head coaching job at Oregon State University.

He called UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez Wednesday morning with the news.

Alvarez says the news caught him off guard.

Andersen reportedly took the Oregon State job for family reasons.

+ Read More
Packers defense will use Falcons game to growSubmitted: 12/09/2014

Play Video

GREEN BAY - The Packers game unexpectedly turned into a nail biter Monday night.

They went into halftime up 31-7 and held on for a 43-37 win.

Atlanta's Julio Jones ended the game with 259 receiving yards.

That made up more than half of Atlanta's total yards.

"Hitch, a little hitch in the step but you know all wins ain't going to be pretty," said Packers Cornerback Tramon Williams. "We was hoping it was man, in the first half we was hoping but it didn't happen that way. We had to fight all 60 minutes."

+ Read More
Packer offense keeps rollingSubmitted: 12/09/2014

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay offense scores, scores, and scores.

They have scored more touchdowns and points this year than any team in the NFL.

That offense played a major part in Monday's 43-37 victory over the Falcons.

+ Read More
+ More Regional Sports


  WJFW TV-12 Sports Team