Kindness for Kids Toy Drive will be Friday in RhinelanderSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Kindness for Kids Toy Drive trys to give every child in Oneida County a Christmas toy.

The toy drive this year will help nearly 400 children.

That would not have been possible without the help of young student athletes.

Friday night could turn into a fun one in Rhinelander. Rivals Antigo and Rhinelander, will play each other in basketball and give toys to kids. Just a mile away, the Rhinelander Hockey team will skate with kids.

"It's just fun bringing the toys in the middle of the court," said Rhinelander Boys Basketball Player Cole Oettinger. "We don't get to meet the kids but it's fun to know that we are doing something together to help the community and the kids bringing new unwrapped toys to them."

Players have already collected gifts. But they can always use more. Players on the hockey side seem excited for the skate.

"It's just like a big ol' Christmas party," said Northern Edge Girls Hockey Player Gabbe Millot. "Its two hours getting to know community members. Making friends just having fun."

"Well I think for a third and fourth grader to come out here on the ice and have a high school kid in his game jersey skating and talking to you is a thrill," said Rhinelander Boys Hockey Coach Michael Laggis. "Judging by the smiles on their faces and the amount of kids we've had in the building, they're completely excited about it."

"It's good to get people on skates I really enjoy that we offer this free thing," said Northern Edge Girls Assistant Coach John Forster. "A lot of people come out and enjoy it."

The basketball teams also think the extra fans will add to the atmosphere inside the gym.

"With it being a double header to it just adds to the hype," Oettinger said. "Two varsity games on the same night, easily our biggest rivalry of the year."

"It should bring a lot of energy towards Rhinelander, which is exactly what the basketball teams are pushing for this year," said Rhinelander Girls Basketball Player Kylie Hunter.

You can help the energy by bringing your own unwrapped gift to help.

The hockey skate starts at 5 P.M. at the Rhinelander Ice Arena.

The girls basketball game starts at 6 P.M. at the high school.

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Sleigh Rides can be another fun way to get outdoors in the winterSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - For some people, a sleigh ride seems like the perfect activity to get into the Christmas spirit.

When the snow starts to fall, these draft horses begin to pull sleighs through the woods behind Northland Pines High School in Eagle River. Sleigh driver Karrie Dollar says the woods are magical.

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Mestelle steps down as Lakeland's head football coachSubmitted: 12/17/2014

MINOCQUA - Lakeland Union will need to look for a new head football coach.

Former Head Coach Mike Mestelle resigned from the position Monday.

Mestelle says the head coaching job wasn't for him.

He prefers to stay on as an assistant coach instead.

Mestelle feels that job suits him better.

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Jabari Parker tears ACL Submitted: 12/17/2014

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Jabari Parker tore his ACL Monday night against the Phoenix Suns.

Parker led all NBA rookies in minutes, points, and rebounds at the time of the injury.

The Bucks currently sit with a 13-12 record.

They're 6th in the Eastern Conference standings.

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Spirit of the North: family and friends catch 600 crappies during summer 14'Submitted: 12/15/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Summertime in the Northwoods seems like a distant memory now.

But that won't stop Newswatch 12 from reflecting on the fun success stories of the 2014 summer.

Like one retired sheriff's deputy and his wife hosting 54 friends and family throughout the summer.

They caught nearly 600 crappies on the Eagle Chain.

It's the kind of outdoor fun that truly shows the spirit of the North.

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Marshfield takes down Mosinee 57-43Submitted: 12/13/2014

MOSINEE - The Mosinee Indians hosted Marshfield in a non-conference showdown Friday.

It was a clash of the titans between these two.

Both teams made spectacular plays all game long.

Mosinee's Aaron Maas drives hard right side.

A little pick down low from Matt Bolanda lets Maas get the easy lay in, but Marshfield is prepared to strike back.

Tanner Boson takes the three.

It bounces off the front iron, but Caleb Alexander is right there to clean it up.

Great awareness there.

The Indians came right back with it.

Maas has it up top.

He drives again.

This time he finds a cutting Jared Novitzke underneath.

A really nice play there.

Mosinee does it almost the same way on their next possession.

Maas goes deep to Jordan Budnik.

He gives it up to Novitzke on the great no-look pass.

The two teams kept trading body blows for nearly the whole game, but Marshfield pulls away at the end.

They win on the road 57-43.

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Lakeland drops Hancock 46-22Submitted: 12/13/2014

MINOCQUA - A lower scoring affair over in Lakeland Friday.

The T-Birds welcomed in Hancock in another non-conference battle.

Lakeland was in control of this one early.

Lilith Schuman puts up the long ball.

It misses left, but Sydney Ziebart corrals the rebound.

She gets the second chance shot to fall.

Great follow from Ziebart there.

The T-Birds jumped out to a good lead thanks in part to their swarming defense.

Three players battle for it.

Lakeland gets it out to Ziebart.

She pushes it up to Shaina Rayala.

Lots of contact underneath, but Rayala uses the left hand to get the tough shot to fall.

Hancock kept battling back.

Some good ball movement on the outside.

A nice drive along the baseline gets them a good bucket, but Lakeland got one back for every Hancock bucket.

Clara Schroeder gets it at the free throw line.

She sinks the long two, and they wouldn't look back.

Lakeland wins this one 46-22.

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Antigo outlasts Tomahawk Submitted: 12/12/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Antigo defeated Tomahawk 47-32 for their first Great North Conference win of the season.

Antigo will take on Northland Pines next on Tuesday.

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Rhinelander stomps Medford Submitted: 12/12/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander defeats Meford 40-9 in Rhinelander Friday night.

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Wabeno/Laona downs Crandon 50-41Submitted: 12/12/2014

CRANDON - A Northern Lakes matchup in Crandon Friday.

The Cardinals welcomed in Wabeno/Laona.

The Logrollers were the away team, but it felt like they had home-court advantage.

Michael Gilpin dishes out to Cooper Chrisman.

He gives it right back to Gilpin.

He finds the bottom of the net for the first score of the game.

They weren't done there from behind the arc.

Chrisman gets it off the inbounds and drains another longball for a 6-0 lead.

Crandon still scoreless at this point, but Wabeno/Laona's Gilpin isn't.

Another nice inbounds pass sets him up for his second three ball of the game.

Some great hustle plays like this one helped get Crandon right back into the thick of it after the first quarter, but Wabeno-Laona was able to hold them off.

They win it 50-41.

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Lakeland hands Northland Pines a 58-34 lossSubmitted: 12/12/2014

EAGLE RIVER - Another Great Northern Conference matchup in Eagle River Friday.

Northland Pines hosted Lakeland Union.

The Thunderbirds held the edge in this one early, but the Eagles kept fighting back.

Michael Rosinski gets the ball at the corner.

He splits the defenders and drives straight to the hoop.

The T-Birds answer right back.

They're trying to get something going before the half.

Joey Jirikowic gets it down low.

He misses but is right there to clean up his own mess.

A great momentum play there going into halftime.

Pines trying to get back in it in the third quarter.

Will Janklow passes to AJ Skarbek.

He's quickly swarmed.

He passes it back out to Janklow.

He drains the triple to try and keep Pines within striking distance, but the Eagles couldn't fight their way back.

Lakeland wins it 58-34.

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  WJFW TV-12 Sports Team