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Tomahawk captures D3 Regional softball titleSubmitted: 05/25/2018

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NORTHWOODS -
Tomahawk softball used timely hitting and another strong pitching performance from Rachel Dallman to win a D3 Regional Title over Peshtigo 7-1 on Friday.

The Hatchets will play Oconto in the Sectional Semifinal.

Lakeland Union tennis players Jack Garcia and Tony Holmes have been selected as Special Qualifiers to the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament.

Rhinelander's Markus Johnson has also been selected as a Special Qualifier to the WIAA State Individual Tennis Tournament.

WIAA SOFTBALL REGIONALS
Clayton: 5 Chequamegon: 6
Wisconsin Rapids: 0 Chippewa Falls: 5
Wausaukee: 12 Florence: 5
Antigo: 0 Mosinee: 9
Athens: 0 Pacelli: 10
Peshtigo: 1 Tomahawk: 7

BASEBALL REGIONALS
Tomahawk: 4 Lakeland: 16


Story By: Mark Spillane

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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NORTHWOODS -
Three Lakes/Phelps girls track scored 66.5 points to win the D3 Marathon sectional Thursday.

The Lakeland Thunderbirds track teams both placed in the top three in the D2 Colby sectional. 20 T-Birds will head to state in 11 different events. Click the link below to see all sectional results on WIAA.com.

Three Lakes/Phelps baseball picked up a regional baseball win, while Lakeland led Tomahawk 8-2 before the game was suspended due to rain.

Crandon baseball lost 15-9 to Oconto to end the Cardinals season. We have all the regional scores below.

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NORTHWOODS -
Tomahawk cruised to a 15-0 victory behind Rachel Dallman's four no-hit innings.

Rhinelander topped Lakeland Union 9-4 at home to advance to a regional final.

The Hodags will face Merrill, who defeated Hayward 10-0 at home.

We've got those highlights and more, plus a full list of regional scores below.

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NORTHWOODS -
Libby Tinsman hit a homerun and allowed just one run during three innings of play in Laona/Wabeno's dominant 16-1 win over Menominee Indian Tuesday.

Crandon also cruised to a victory with an impressive 17-7 victory over Crivitz.

In golf, Lakeland, Medford, Crandon, Florence, Chequamegon and Prentice are among the Northwoods teams to advance to sectionals. A link to full golf regional results is at the bottom of this article.

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LONG LAKE - Crandon won the Northern Lakes trap shootout tournament this weekend. The conference title will be decided next weekend.

Laona, Phelps, Three Lakes and Crandon all took part in the meet.

The Crandon team continues to grow each season.

This year they have 47 people on the team. Dylan Bukovic is a junior at Crandon and he shot a 99 out of 100 at conference.

He hopes his senior season is even better than this one.

"A lot of young kids coming out this year. We're losing a couple seniors, but I think next years team will live up to be a lot better than this year, so it should be a bright future for Crandon trap shooting," said Bukovic.

Josie McHugh is only one of the girls who competed this weekend.

There were 12 girls from the four schools.

"We kind of started like the odd people out because we were young girls starting, but now more girls are joining the sport and starting to do well and beat the boys if they really want to," said McHugh.

Three Lakes took 2nd place and Laona finished in 3rd in varsity.

The meet was held at the Big Four Plus Sportsmans Club in Long Lake.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander football honors former Hodag and NFL player, Mike Webster multiple times throughout the year. The field is named after him and this weekend, the team trained like he did by having its annual Iron Mike run.

Mike Webster played for the Hodags and then went on to play for the Pittsburgh steelers. His nickname was Iron Mike and the Rhinelander football team honors him by literally training with iron.

"It weighs on you after a while, carrying 45 pounds for a ways," said senior Reuben Guzik.

Webster would train with 45 pound plates, so now Rhinelander does too. Teams of four run a 3k while carrying a 45 pound plate

"The biggest challenge is pushing yourself with your teammates. You don't want to pass a plate onto a teammate for too long, you don't want to tire them out, you want to carry your load for as much as possible," said Guzik.

Junior wide receiver Josh Francisco ran the Iron Mike for the first time this year.

"It was a little easier than I thought I'd be," said Francisco.

The rules are that someone on the four-person team has to carry the plate the entire way. But then when you cross the finish line, you have to all be holding the plate so you finish as a team. The strategy side of things was almost as hard as the physical challenge.

"We'd help him out or just take the plate from him and let him rest and then take turns from there," said Francisco.

Guzik and his team are all done with their high school football careers but they wanted to keep running in the Iron Mike to make it more fun for everyone involved.

"The seniors when we were younger, they did it and it just gets some friendly competition and see who can do it faster," said Guzik.

Guzik's team finished first in the alumni division and Francisco's team finished first for the current players.

Mike Webster is now known as the first former NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE after numerous concussions. The money raised from the run goes to new helmets and other safety equipment to prevent injuries like CTE.

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ANTIGO -

The Rhinelander Hodags boys tennis team clinched the Great Northern Conference on Friday before the meet even started.

The seedings and points tallied during the season made it so Rhinelander won the tournament before they even hit a ball. 

"Some years we've done it easier than others. Freshman year was not easy at all, but every time we've done it, I think the time and effort put in definitely pays off. It's proof to the testament of Coach Heideman and our program, how much work we put in," said senior Markus Johnson.

The Hodags have now won the title seven out of the last eight years.

That means the senior class has won conference all four years.

This season was Head Coach Bob Heideman's 31st year with the team.

Heideman says the countless titles during his time are all because of the commitment of his team.

"The first thing is that I try to scare them as far as how good the competition is going to be; that if they don't work hard, it's not going to come," said Heideman.


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NORTHWOODS - Three Lakes/Phelps topped Laona-Wabeno 6-3 to win the Northern Lakes Conference softball title.

Crandon split a doubleheader with Elcho in baseball, giving the Cardinals their second NLC loss of the season.

Rhinelander upset Tomahawk in Game 1 of a softball doubleheader, but the Hatchets won Game 2 12-2.

Check below for other area scores from Thursday night.

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WOODRUFF -
In some ways, Lakeland Union's trip to the state golf tournament last year came as a surprise.

"Last year, the team came out of nowhere and went to state. Nobody was really watching us as much," said Lakeland sophomore Ansen Nomm.

It was a team with no seniors that didn't even win its own conference.

But in 2018, the T-Birds are the center of attention.

"This year, everyone is looking at us, they're gunning for us, they want to beat us," said Nomm.

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WAUSAU - Wausau East sophomore Cinneidi Comfort feels at home in the net for the Wausau Wolfpack lacrosse team.

"My lowest save percentage was 60%. I think that's a little bit above the average save percentage in the state for girls goalie," said Comfort.

Comfort had up to a 90% save percentage this season. Comfort is the top goalie in the state with 89 saves in only eight games.

"It feels really good because I've worked so hard for it, but it's any other day," said Comfort.

She isn't the only player on the Wolfpack that's playing with a top spot in mind.

Junior Natalia Robinson is second in the state for goals, with 36 goals in eight games. The top scorer has 40 goals in 12 games, so Robinson's on track to become number one.

Robinson started playing lacrosse in sixth grade when she lived in Rhode Island.

"It's so popular down on the east coast, I just fell in love with it. My coaches there were really great and they're great now too," said Robinson.

She moved to Tomahawk a few years later and was happy to see that there was a team for her, even if that meant a 45 minute drive to play.

"It's 100% worth it. Lacrosse is my sport, it's my passion," said Robinson.

Just like Comfort saying it's a regular day, Robinson also wants to downplay the spotlight and get the focus back to her teammates.

"This year, I've been trying to at least keep my goals per game average up to four to five goals per game. Usually after I score four goals in a game, then I try to settle down and get other girls with an assist," said Robinson.

That team-oriented mindset is paying off. The Wolfpack is 7-1 so far and the girls now play their home games at Thom Field for the first time ever.

"We're playing in the stadium, we're getting announced, we're being recognized by the schools, so that feels really good," said Comfort.

The sport of lacrosse is growing fast in Wausau and both Comfort and Robinson hope to see that continue.

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NORTHWOODS -
Three Lakes/Phelps overcame a four run deficit in the 7th inning in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader to defeat Elcho. The Blue Jays won Game 2 and are now tied with Crandon for first place in the Northern Lakes Conference.

Antigo swept Rhinelander in a baseball doubleheader to stay unbeaten in the Great Northern Conference at 11-0.

Rhinelander soccer lost just it's second GNC game in six years with a 1-0 home loss to Ashland.

Check out those highlights and our area scores below.

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