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Rhinelander hosts gymnastics and swimmingSubmitted: 12/10/2016

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NORTHWOODS - Rhinelander finally got their gymnastics season started Saturday morning, after having to cancel their first meet due to lack of officials.

Rhinelander hosted the snow flake meet and 10 teams competed. In the Christmas spirit, they asked all the teams to donate toys to the Kindness for Kids in Oneida County.

"We were very excited to see how many people provided toys for the children in town. We had a couple boxes filled so that was a great turnout for our toys for tots," said April Denis, Rhinelander's Co-Head Coach.

For the meet itself, Ashland took home first, then Marshfield in second, Antigo in third, Medford in fourth, and then Rhinelander came in 5th.

On the boys swimming side, they were right across the hallway in the Heck Family pool.

They hosted seven schools for the Hodag boys relay swim meet.

Green Bay United cruised to a first place victory with 160 points.

Three Northwoods schools followed suit as Lakeland Union finished with 118, Tomahawk finished with 80, and Rhinelander finished with 78.

Lakeland Union finished second in three different events and won the 800 yard freestyle relay.

The Hodags finished in the top three in four events on their way to a fourth place finish in the meet.





Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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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!

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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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