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Antigo holds annual Stallions TournamentSubmitted: 07/26/2015

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ANTIGO - You could find baseball in more spots than just Plover this weekend.

Antigo hosted its' annual Stallions baseball tournament.

Teams travel from all around Wisconsin to play in the tournament.

Some even come from as far away as the Upper Peninsula and Minnesota.

The amount of teams and players gets bigger every year.

"This is the biggest tournament we've held so far with 46 teams," says Vice President of Stallions Baseball Lon Ebel. "Usually it's between 36 and 40. A lot of the teams, once they come, they love it, they come back."

The teams come back consistently from year to year.

It takes hard work to keep the fields in top condition.

"I think they like our facilities," says Ebel. "Our organization has put in a lot of efforts and money, donations that we receive that really build up our facilities. We have great fields here. I think people know that we do a good job. We have good umpires, and a lot of good baseball teams come."

The tournament ran all weekend with the championships being played Sunday.


Story By: Dan Marz

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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PLOVER - You won't find a lot of opportunities to play or watch baseball around the Northwoods at this time of year. But diehard fans of the game got a chance indulge their passion Saturday when people flocked to Woyak Park in Plover for the Plover Baseball Tournament.

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MINOCQUA - Two Lakeland High School athletes represented the Northwoods in the USA Track and Field outdoor championship outside Chicago earlier this month.

After a successful freshman track season, Kav Fitzpartrick ran in the 1500 meter run and the steeple chase.
Emily Scott competed in the high jump.

They had to meet certain standards to qualify for the nationwide meet.

The two competed in the 15 to 16 division.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River Pickleball Association opened up its newly renovated courts at Riverview Park Thursday.

The association was first referred to a refinisher to help with the renovations.

But they couldn't afford it.

So they raised $17000 and did it by themselves.

"So let's do it, so we just went ahead," Eagle River Pickleball Association Secretary Melody West said. "The worst thing that it could be is that it turned out rotten. And fortunately, if you see the colors, they let me pick the color so I'm pretty happy."

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RHINELANDER - High school football won't start for another few weeks, but the Rhinelander Hodags are already getting themselves ready.

Coaches held a preseason camp this week.

The idea is to get players into shape before practice officially begins.

Head Coach Chris Ferge says things will be a little different in his second year.

"It definitely becomes more of a program your second year," says Ferge. "A lot of the things, they're very familiar with a lot of the things we are doing. We still are doing a lot of new things though so this does help us out a great deal to get them started early."

Fans will see many returning faces to the team, but that doesn't mean they will return to the same roles.

"We're looking for different people to be playing different positions right now," says Ferge. "The camp, it's a football camp. We try to have fun but we're looking for different kids playing different, multiple positions. So that's basically what we're looking at, and trying to figure out who fits where."

The Hodags officially begin practice in early August.

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RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Babe Ruth League finally won a state championship for the first time in 60 years. Now the team will travel to the Ohio Valley regional tournament in Eau Claire Thursday  to compete against teams from West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

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RHINELANDER - Many basketball gyms don't look busy this time of year, but Rhinelander High School, which won the Great Northern Conference last year, is the exception to the rule.


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RHINELANDER - Some people in the Northwoods would probably love to make fishing a career.

But that isn't always realistic.
 
One young champion angler has found a way to do it, even if it doesn't include going pro.

Chris Burgan graduated from Rhinelander High School in 2011 and from the University of Minnesota this past spring.

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HAZELHURST - Will and Luke Bodewes are upperclassmen at Lakeland High School. They recently raced in the Tour Divide Bike Race.

"I got one hotel you know one shower the entire time for 17 days for just sweating the whole time," said Will.

The Tour Divide started in 1999. The bike race starts in Baniff, Alberta,and travels through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. That's 2,745 miles.

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GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers fans will pour into Titletown Saturday, when the team will induct former quarterback Brett Favre into the Packer Hall of Fame.

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MERRILL - Merrill native David Jesperson will come back home after spending a year playing college basketball at Pepperdine University in California.

That's because he'll get to play for the UW Green Bay Phoenix.

"Being able to see all my family, friends, having family and friends come to games, that'll definitely be huge," says Jesperson. "Green Bay has always been the school I've been interested in playing [for], so when I found out about the new coach, and I already had a teammate that plays there—I played with him in AAU—so I already had that connection. And then when they contacted me it really just kind of really sparked my interest, and I took my visit and I loved it."

Jesperson had other schools he wanted to visit, but UW-Green Bay was at the top of the list.

"That was the first visit I took," says Jesperson. "I wanted to save, I waited until I got home to take any visits, and that was the first one I set up. So that was the one I was most interested in."

The decision came easy, but so did the process thanks to his older brother Paul.

"He transferred as well, after his sophomore year," says Jesperson. "I guess that's more of a coincidence than anything, but it was definitely nice having him already been through the process. He could kind of tell me the ins and outs of it."

Jesperson will have to sit out a year to remain eligible to play, but he's excited to learn.

"I kind of want to use it as a learning year," says Jesperson. "It's a new coach, a new system. So it'll give me the chance to get the growing pains out of the way while not playing. Use it in practice, learn the new offense, learn all that. Learn the things the new coach wants to do."

Green Bay's last head coach, Brian Wardle, left to coach Bradley University earlier this year, but Jesperson says the change didn't affect his decision.

"It wasn't really a huge influence," says Jesperson. "But I know the new coach. It seemed like Wardle, the older coach, kind of valued athleticism over skill and it seems like the new coach kind of values skill over athleticism to a point, so that definitely intrigues me."

Jesperson will try to fill the hole left by former Phoenix players like Alec Brown and Kiefer Sykes, but he already has his sights set high.

"I just want to try to maximize our potential," Jesperson. "Myself included. My potential and the team's. Win as many games as I can, make a run in the tournament, hopefully, and just take things as they come."

Jesperson says he's looking forward to the fresh start more than anything.

"It's almost like being a freshman again," says Jesperson. "Technically, it would only be my sophomore year, sitting out. Yeah, just the new start, new team, new guys, new school, new coaches, everything. It's new, so it's exciting."

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