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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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MINOCQUA - Lakeland Union High School boasts a long list of high school athletes who go on to play for different universities.

It added three more students to that list Wednesday afternoon.

Seniors Sam Killian, Brett Slavinski, and Kyle Foster signed letters of intent.

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WAUSAU - Dick Bennett would love to see the quality of basketball in the Wisconsin Valley Conference surge back again.

The legendary Wisconsin Badgers coach spent 11 seasons coaching high school basketball in the state, with stops at Mineral Point, Marion, New London, and Eau Claire Memorial. After that, he moved to UW-Stevens Point, UW-Green Bay, and finally, to the University of Wisconsin.

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MERRILL - The warm weather gave a longstanding Merrill tradition a nice backdrop Friday.

Jay Stadium hosted the 31st annual Otto Bacher Track Invitational.

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