Featured Athlete(s) of the Week: Jacob DeMeyer and Alec KurtzSubmitted: 12/12/2017

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RHINELANDER - Each year Rhinelander wrestling proves to be a contender in the Great Northern Conference. That should be no different this year as the Hodags are led by two standout seniors.

"They respect everyone, but they don't fear anyone," said Rhinelander Head Coach Paul Ellenbecker.

That fearless approach has brought Rhinelander's Jacob DeMeyer and Alec Kurtz plenty of success on the mat.

"You know when people around the state talk about them, I'm like 'yeah my guys are just as good as yours,'" said Ellenbecker.

The two seniors are both defending conference and sectional champions. Now they're both off to undefeated starts this season.

"We've been facing top opponents from historically good teams," said Kurtz.

That didn't slow them down as each earned victories at a difficult tournament last week. Ellenbecker says the Hodags tough schedule is the perfect challenge for them.

"They're going to wrestle the toughest kids around and they're not going to be the least bit intimidated," said Ellenbecker.

Ellenbecker praises the duo's work in practice, and says it doesn't just benefit them.

"Our whole team picks up having those guys in the room," said Ellenbecker. "It brings the talent level that much higher because if [their teammates] don't compete they're going to get their butts kicked on a nightly basis."

DeMeyer says he uses last year's fourth place finish at state as his driving force each day.

"Knowing that you're so close and that end goal is right there but you still haven't quite accomplished it gives me a lot of fuel," said DeMeyer.

It's the kind of fuel that the two seniors hope takes them to new heights.

"I definitely want to make a championship appearance and try to get into the finals," said DeMeyer.

"I'm definitely going to shoot for podium, and upper level podium, and then to go undefeated as long as I can," said Kurtz.

Ellenbecker thinks their fearless approach on the mat can be enough to capture the ultimate prize.

"That should be their goals is to be state champions, because they work hard, they put the time in, they've been wrestling since they were little and you can just see their development," said Ellenbecker.

DeMeyer is currently ranked fourth in the state in the 160-pound division while Kurtz is ranked fourth in the 195-pound division.

The Hodags will start conference play on Thursday against Tomahawk.

Story By: Mark Spillane

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PARK FALLS - The Chequamegon-Phillips boys hockey team earned its third win a row on Saturday. The victory pushed the SEaLs to 3-1 on the season.

For the SEaLs, those wins are an added bonus to even having a team. They're one of just 13 independent high school teams in the state. Not belonging to a conference means the Seals need to dig a little deeper to simply fill out a schedule.

"That's what we have to do to get games, without a conference, you don't just start out with 12-16 games already scheduled and a look for a couple fillers, you know we had to find our whole schedule," said Head Coach Tim Gehrke.

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NORTHWOODS - BOYS BASKETBALL - Seymour: 63 Merrill: 61

BOYS HOCKEY - Kettle Moraine: 4 Antigo: 1
Pacelli: 2 Lakeland: 6
Chequamegon/Phillips: 8

GIRLS HOCKEY - West Wisconsin: 7 Northern Edge: 1

BOYS SWIM - Rhinelander, Lakeland tie for 1st at Hodag Relays

WRESTLING - Rhinelander 6th out of 25 at Battle On the Bay

GYMNASTICS - Antigo 4th, Rhinelander 5th at Snowflake Invite

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Friday Night Blitz: 12/8/17Submitted: 12/08/2017

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NORTHWOODS - Check out all of the scores and highlights from around the Northwoods on this week's version of Friday Night Blitz!


Lakeland: 43 Rhinelander: 80
Mosinee: 81 Northland Pines: 42
Antigo: 56 Tomahawk: 16
Chequamegon: 45 Rib Lake: 70
Edgar: 44 Stratford: 72

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NORTHWOODS - The Lakeland Union girls hockey co-op hosted Medford on Thursday night.

Then the boys team faced off after that in Minocqua.

Over in Eagle River, the Northland Pines Eagles took on Mosinee.

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WOODRUFF - A lack of snow in the winter can affect local businesses and tourists. But it can also affect the high school cross country ski season.

There's only a couple inches of soft snow on the ground in Woodruff.

"We really want to be on snow," said junior, Celesté Teichmiller.

And that forces the Lakeland Union cross country ski team to get creative.

"Skipping and hopping and resistance work," said head coach, Jim Mullen.

This season has been about average in terms of snow fall, but it's melted at a faster rate.

"Skiing in Wisconsin is always an adventure," said Mullen.

That's an adventure that the Lakeland Union boys team has overcome.

"Winning state has been a tradition at Lakeland after winning it the last three years," said senior, Kieran Mullen.

And they want to keep that tradition going, despite these unusual practices.

"We're looking to repeat that and it's not necessarily a hope, but more of an expectation," said Kieran Mullen.

The team is doing a lot of cardio and minimal ski workouts. But there's one movement that they're missing.

"You're trying to imitate glide which is very hard so obviously on snow activities are the best for training skiers, but we make it happen," said Jim Mullen.

They have not had to cancel any meets so far this season, but they're hoping it snows a lot by December 19th which is their first team meet.

"We try our hardest to do everything else and perfect everything else," said Teichmiller.

This weekend, some of the athletes said they will go practice in Michigan and areas in northwest Wisconsin, like Cable who have gotten a lot more snow than the Northwoods have.

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EAGLE RIVER - Three months ago, a water skiing accident nearly left Merrill firefighter Chris Marion paralyzed. The St. Germain native has shocked everyone around him with an amazing recovery that's far from over. Tuesday night, Marion stood side-by-side with the Northland Pines Eagles, as they honored him before their game against Lakeland.

"It's absolutely amazing, I can't even explain how it feels," said Marion.

For Marion, standing on the ice at the Eagle River Ice Arena took a lot more effort than he ever imagined it could.

"I do recall [lying] face down in the water, unable to move," said Marion.

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ANTIGO - Antigo boys hockey expected to be a good team again this year, but the Red Robins knew they needed to find a new goalie. Just three games into the season, it seems like they found one.

"I was a little nervous coming into the game," said Antigo sophomore Brody Bunnell.

Those nerves didn't show last week when Bunnell made 37 saves against SPASH. Even though the Red Robins lost that game, Bunnell showed his coaches what he could do.

"We knew coming in that we had a good goalie, but as much as he stepped up in those two games against SPASH and New Richmond, he really exceeded our expectations," said Antigo Head Coach Matt Borneman.

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NORTHWOODS - Merrill girls basketball easily topped Logan 76-36 at home while Antigo boys hockey struggled to a 4-1 loss against New Richmond.

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Friday Night Blitz: 12/1/17Submitted: 12/01/2017

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NORTHWOODS - Check out this week's episode of Friday Night Blitz for all your Northwoods highlights and updates!

Plus, we take a look at Saturday's Big Ten title game with a live report from Indianapolis.

Here are scores from around the area.

DC Everest: 66 Medford: 39
Antigo: 58 Merrill: 56 (OT)
Green Bay East: 57 Rhinelander: 59
Wausau West: 72 Lakeland: 69
Stratford: 56 Rib Lake: 28
Florence: 32 Phelps: 71
Crandon: 75 Three Lakes: 60
Goodman-Pembine: 76 Elcho: 62

Wausau West: 83 Lakeland: 52
Northland Pines: 48 Antigo: 38
Rhinelander: 76 Mosinee: 66
Marathon: 74 Phillips: 47
Phelps: 45 Florence: 64

Tomahawk: 7 Merrill: 3
Marshfield: 7 Medford: 1

Lakeland/Tomahawk: 4 Northland Pines: 2
Marquette (MI): 4 Northland Pines: 2

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ANTIGO - Broden Bunnell made 37 stops and CJ Levis scored for Antigo but it wasn't enough as Stevens Point topped the Red Robins 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night.

Here's a list of other scores from around the area Tuesday night.

Laona-Wabeno: 19 Antigo: 82
Lakeland: 62 Ashland: 57
Medford: 69 Wausau East: 40
Wisconsin Rapids: 44 Rhinelander 46
Northland Pines: 53 Crandon: 51
Phillips: 83 Chequamegon: 31
Athens: 33 Prentice: 58
Phelps: 74 Butternut: 58

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