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Friday Night Blitz - December 9, 2016Submitted: 12/09/2016

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NORTHWOODS - Lakeland Union tops Antigo 81-59.

Rhinelander defeated Northland Pines 68-59.

Merrill held on 59-57 in a nail-biter over DC Everest.

Tomahawk defeats Crandon on the boys side 62-28, but the Crandon girls took down Laona/Wabeno 50-31.

Check out all the highlights and scores from around the area!




Story By: Mark Spillane

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 LOCAL SPORTS

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RHINELANDER ICE ARENA - Rhinelander boys hockey hosted the Northland Pines Eagles Thursday evening. 

When we got there, the Hodags had a little bit of a surprising lead, 2-0.

One of many attempts for Pines here by Seigmeier.

A couple possessions later and another shot, this time by Sammy Spencer.

Time for a hard hit. Rhinelander's Logan Wild would end up in the box for that one.

The Hodags would make a few more attempts but the Eagles would come back and take this one 6-2.

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RHINELANDER - A new gymnast finds himself in the Northwoods, all the way from Germany.  

Oliver Ebrecht isn't used to being a gymnastics coach. He's used to being the gymnast, back in Germany.

"Sadly I got told that there's no boys gymnastics team. I still thought that I could maybe join this team and maybe coach or help them out and this is what I'm doing here now," said Ebrecht.

He has embraced his coaching position at Rhinelander High School.

"A team is working together and as a coach, I have to care about the team and manage what they do and help them," said Ebrecht.

Ebrecht is from Bavaria, Germany and is a foreign exchange student at Rhinelander High School this year.

"I'm from a 290,000 [person] city so this is quite new to me. It's new to live in a smaller city but the nature and the hunting is all really different,' said Ebrecht.

Coach Heather Sturtevant is happy to have Oliver's help.

"He's very outgoing, he's really jumped right in with the girls and being a part of our group," said Sturtevant.

But sometimes, things get lost in translation.

"Our big mat, he calls a mattress. So it was 'bring over the big mattress' and we said 'what?' and then 'oh, now we know what you mean'," said Sturtevant.

Once they know what he means, he then whips them into shape.

"He's really taking conditioning to a whole other level. He wants these girls to be really strong like he is. There's been days where he's said 'can I please have the girls for the last half hour?' and I've said 'have at it'," said Sturtevant.

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EAGLE RIVER - Northland Pines girls hockey dominated Medford by the score of 11-4.

The win moved the Eagles to 5-1 on the year.

They've also won both of their conference games so far.

Check out the highlight, and a look at the local boys and girls hockey teams so far this year!

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INDIANAPOLIS - Fans all across the Badger state waited anxiously for Saturday night's matchup with Penn State.

Some even took the trip down to Indianapolis to catch the action in person.

Newswatch 12 caught up with a few of them, and some said they expected nothing but a big victory for Wisconsin.

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INDIANAPOLIS - Behind many college athletes stand a supportive family.

After more than three months, some of those families had the chance to watch their sons play for a championship. 

Vince Biegel's parents know how important their support is. That support is even more important leading up to the Big Ten Championship Game.

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PRENTICE - Wisconsin high school sports experienced a first on Thursday night. The Prentice vs. Lake Holcombe boys basketball game tipped off at 7 p.m. Thursday evening with two female head coaches on the sidelines.

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MADISON - The NASCAR season wrapped up last weekend with Jimmie Johnson taking the championship. But Cambridge, Wisconsin, native Matt Kenseth now has time to come back home during the off-season.

Kenseth was in Madison yesterday at Smart Toyota to meet fans. That is one thing he enjoys about coming home for the holiday.

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EAGLE RIVER - When people here think of hockey the name Northland Pines comes to mind.

That's because the Northland Pines boys and girls hockey teams know how to win. The Eagles' girls team has won three out of the last four Great Northern Conference titles.

But players like senior Mariah Miller know they face unique challenges as they take aim at back-to-back crowns.

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EAGLE RIVER - For the kids that didn't participate in the gun deer hunt this weekend, they still got the chance to learn new skills in Eagle River.
 
The Eagle River Ice Arena hosted a P.O.W.E.R. Skating Hockey Weekend.

The "power" acronym stands for Performance Optimized With Edges and Reactions.

Marcie Kierpiec was the instructor and she has 31 years of coaching experience and she is also a level 4 coach with USA Hockey.

"When I come in on these weekends, it's a whole other element. They're learning things they don't usually learn during hockey practice. They're like little sponges, they're really eager to learn," said Kierpiec.

There were multiple different age groups over the weekend and they all learned new skills to take back to their hockey teams.

"Stepping over the stick when you transition, and then sideways and then out transitions, and it's a lot of fun," said 11-year-old Mike Maillette.

Some of the moves Kierpiec was teaching weren't necessarily designed for hockey, but they will still help the kids with control and balance.

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LAND O' LAKES - With the first weekend of the gun deer hunt coming to an end, a Northwoods family was able to celebrate a big milestone in their deer camp's history.

"A lot of the deer camps over the years have disappeared, the old camps. So 75 years is quite a milestone,"said Tim Hirvela, who is part of the Kahlenberg family.

The 360 acre property in Land O' Lakes was bought in 1939 by Kurt Kahlenberg's grandfather.

"From that point, we've maintained the hunting camp originally from 1941 on," said Kahlenberg.

Those 75 years haven't always been easy.

"Because of the expense of the property and taxes, and ownership of property, it's hard to maintain a deer camp for a long long time," said Hirvela.

That has given the group of guys a long time to create many memories.

"The stories, every time a deer is taken, it's a different synopsis, it's not always easy," said Hirvela.

The stories and memories stay between the group of guys.

"It's our weekend, it's our week," said Kahlenberg.

The week has seen a lot of changes since they first started. Those changes make a big difference when the temperatures are low.

"We're fortunate enough to have a heater, years ago you sat on a stump and that was it," said Hirvela.

Even in the bitter cold mornings, those 360 acres mean a lot to the group.

"It's just a family tradition that my grandparents started and all us kids grew up and grew into it came to enjoy it, to love it, and keep it going forward," said Kahlenberg.

Going forward meant bringing even more people into the family.

"Even though the members that are in our camp and aren't immediate family, the camaraderie makes us all family," said Hirvela.

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