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Packers Tailgate Tour Stops in Wausau Submitted: 06/21/2016

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WAUSAU - A Wausau Child Care camp was a stop for the Packers Tailgate Tour, meant plenty of good fun.

The cheers and excitement reminded Jared Abbrederis of his childhood.

"Growing up I was a huge Packer fan and I know the importance of it and that's why I try to do as much as possible," said Abbrederis.

The Packers wide receiver joined a number of fellow players Jayrone Elliot, and Sam Barrington during the team's annual tailgate tour Tuesday. Packers Superbowl Champions LeRoy Butler, Robert Brooks and Sean Jones also joined the crowd at Wausau Child Care.

"It inspires you to know that I can achieve a goal like that if I put my mind to it," said former Packers Wide Receiver Robert Brooks.

Brooks tied the record for the longest catch from the line of scrimmage. It was a 99 yard catch from Brett Favre. But on this statewide tour, he just feels like everyone else.

"I'm a lifelong learner and I'm a lifelong kid," said Brooks.


The former and current players took part in numerous activities.

Playing with the Packers isn't a bad day at camp. Zach Pond got to play catch with Sean Jones. Which he learned isn't an easy task.

"I caught like two balls," said Pond.

Regardless, he'll have a story for when he gets backs to school after the summer.

"Probably when the teacher asks, what did you do over the summer, I might just say I got to play catch with the Packers," said Pond.

As for Robert Brooks, well he'll have a story about his favorite activity Wednesday.

"Kickball man, it ended early, we were about to make a comeback," Brooks said. "We had a couple guys little kids kicking the ball and they were outkicking my coverage. Abbrederis was my coverage out there."



Story By: Nolan Blair

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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- People traveled to the Badger State Games in Wausau on Saturday and Sunday. The games serve as a meeting point for teams to come together and compete.

Baseball and softball tournaments were up for this weekend.

The games are an organized way for travel teams of all ages around the state to come together on the field.

"It's great for not only the fans but the softball players and the teams themselves and the coaches, for people to come out. We've had a beautiful weekend to come out and enjoy softball together and have a lot of fun," said June Bug Softball Classic Director Paul Dykstra.

The tournaments are about improving skills during the off season but they are also a time to get outside and have some fun with teammates.

"I love my team and I love being out here. We're like 15 brothers on the team and we love playing together. We played our hearts out," said Wisconsin Panthers' Noah Berger (15 and under league from Appleton).

Other games such as lacrosse, basketball, and even pickleball will be played as part of the summer long event.

All games are open to the public to attend.

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NEWTON, IOWA - Eagle River's Paige Decker finished 31st in her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut.

She finished 56 laps down.

Her goal was to qualify and finish the race.

Decker raced for Victor Obaika Racing.

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PHELPS - Hillside Resort celebrated its 25th annual Hank Lesniak Valley of the Giants fishing tournament Saturday.

Hank Lesniak was a muskie fisherman from the Northwoods who passed away in the late 1980s.

The tournament is to honor him, and it is held on Father's Day weekend every year to create more bonding time for families.

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CONOVER - Newswach 12 spent part of the day competing on the water.

We were raising money to help fund pediatric brain research.

The Callie Rohr Memorial Media Canoe Race rounded out the day of races Saturday.

"You know, I feel pretty pumped up," said Newswatch 12's Lane Kimble.

Our first canoe included defending team champion Ben Meyer. His partner? Lane Kimble.

"I have every confidence in him," said Meyer.

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NEWTON, IOWA - The Eagle River native Decker Sisters hoped for a successful night in Iowa.

Paige and Claire tried to qualify for the NASCAR Xfinity race.

Unfortunately, Claire Decker didn't qualify for the race.

She had to qualify on time while Paige qualified on Victor Obaika's owner points.

So even though Paige had the slower time, Claire's time was not fast enough to qualify.

But, Claire had another chance to race tonight.

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NEWTON, IOWA - A pair of Eagle River natives became the second set of sisters to ever race in a NASCAR truck series race.

Now Paige and Claire Decker will race this weekend in a higher and more competitive series.  

The sisters have been waiting for another chance to show off their talents.

"Give us some more track time and let us prove it," said Paige.

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GRAND CHUTE - Rib Lake's baseball team played for the Division 4 state championship today.

Things started off well, but Rib Lake couldn't hold on, losing to Ithaca 10-4.

Last season, Rib Lake fell to Ithaca in the semi-state game. This spring, they were ready for their redemption. The Red Men were off to a great start and their bats were hot early. That momentum soon shifted and Ithaca came back.

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MERRILL - The Wisconsin River Rodeo put on a show in Merrill.

Roping steer, wrestling, Bronco Riding, Barrel racing and of course Bull riding were some of the events Sunday in Merrill.

"Gotta keep progressing every year," said bull rider Wade Phelps.

The Wisconsin River Rodeo is a part of the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association. It attracted cowboys and cowgirls from Missouri, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

"These are not amateurs these are people that do this for a living," said Director Pete Annis.

The purse for the 2015 Wisconsin River Rodeo was around 37 thousand dollars. That's about a thousand dollars to each individual winner.

Wade Phelps is a 27-year old cow boy. He's a horseshoer and farrier from Roanoke, Illinois. The Pro Rodeo is his weekend job.

"I love rodeo and anything western, playing cowboy as a kid, grew up riding horses, wanted to get into a rodeo event and that was kind of my best option at the time," said Phelps.

Wade won the Wisconsin River bull riding contest last year.

"It's 90 percent mental, you still got to be in shape, it's an athletes sport. You got to workout, you got to do drills, there's a lot of mechanics to it too," said Phelps.

The mechanics we're on display Sunday. But Wade's most important tool may not have been.

"If you don't have your head right you're not going to stay on," said Phelps.

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EAGLE RIVER - Fishermen hoped to make the big catch this weekend.

The 36th Spring Classic on the Eagle River chain got 131 teams out in boats and on the water.

The muskies had to be at least 34 inches, still be alive and thrown back once measured. Dale Peterson was one of the judges who would measure and take notes on each fish caught.

"We verify the length, we fill out the information on lake caught, time caught, bait and any other information," said Dale Peterson.

Fishermen travel from all over the Midwest for the tournament. They came with a game plan to find the prize.

"We have our favorite spots, of course, everybody does. And we hit those spots first and try and get something going," said fisherman Bob Dekker.

"Keep pounding and grinding on these fish. You've just got to get a hot bite and find a window and get one or two," added fisherman Jake Stadler.

Congratulations to the first place winners, Dylan and Cole from Hortonville and Green Bay.

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RHINELANDER - The Second Saturday in June Car Show lined the streets behind the courthouse for everyone to see.

Many decades of vehicles were on display for everyone to admire.

"This year, it's been a really great turnout. We have over 130 registered cars, approximately. And that's pretty good since it's a pretty hot day," said Co-Director Tarsie Goes.

Susan Fry loved her first car. So much that the 1960 Impala was on display.

"This is my first car. Never owned one. The oldest of 5, never even dreamt of owning a car and here she is," said Susan Fry

The car was in storage for quite some time but when they took it out, all it needed was new tires. Everything else is authentic.

"She's got the original muffler, the original clamps. Same upholstery, same carpeting," said Fry.

For many owner's, it was a day to show off all the hard work put into restoring their beauties.

"Started with the frame and the cowl, which is right in front of the windshield and the the gas tank. The rest we've built out of wood," said 1931 Woody owner, John Hausch.

There were even participants from out of the state. Cars traveled from Illinois and Michigan to participate.

"It's been a great correlation between the courthouse, the art fair that the chamber puts on, and then our car show. You can't beat that for a Saturday," said Goes.

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