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Wausau West defeats Menasha 9-2Submitted: 04/30/2016

WAUSAU - Wausau West hosted the Menasha Bluejays Saturday.

They were locked in a stalemate through two innings.

Menasha pitcher Luke Romnek looked dominant getting the first two outs of the second inning pretty easily.

That's until Warrior pitcher Grant Hill steps in.

He smokes a liner back up the middle, and West has life in the second.

Then Zach Raeder walks, followed by another walk to Payton Nelson.

That loads the bases.

Garrett Hohn then grounds to third, but the throw comes too low and wide.

Hill is already in.

Raeder wheels in too.

West pulls in front on the error.

Grant Hill made sure they stayed there, striking out three straight batters.

Hill's dominance shows, and it pushed the Warriors to the 9-2 win over Menasha.

It's West's fourth win in a little more than 24 hours.



Story By: Dan Marz

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 LOCAL SPORTS

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Hodags compete near the top of the Great Northern Conference in many sports.

A big reason for that is senior Brandon Reinthaler, who plays quarterback for the football team, guard for the basketball team, and third base for the baseball team.

"I got started playing sports when actually my dad and brother, we used to have a big backyard, so we'd always go out there and play catch, whether it be football or baseball, and then we got into basketball too," Reinthaler says.

Even though he's a star athlete for three of Rhinelander High School's sports, Brandon says they're all just too different to pick a favorite. He says he enjoys the challenges that each one brings.

"It's kind of an even love for everything, just because they all provide their different advantages," Reinthaler says. "For football, it's such a great team sport. You can't have just one player doing everything. You have to have everyone working together. For basketball, it's just, there's so much excitement, especially with rowdy Rhinelander, and everything going on. And then baseball is just such a mental sport, and they all kind of combine to form the person I am, and I'm really enjoying everything."

Fans know Reinthaler's role in Rhinelander sports now, but Brandon wasn't always the guy calling the shots under center.

"I was actually a center all my life, and then just watching sports, and watching Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre, I just kind of fell in love with how they kind of control the game in that aspect," Reinthaler says.

He wasn't always on the hot corner, either.

"I was always kind of a shortstop in little league, and when I came to varsity baseball as a freshman, I was right field, which was a big step for me," Reinthaler says. "So I just kind of tried to develop myself, and then my sophomore year, I moved to third base."

And he got pretty good at it.

But high school might be the end of the big time sports for Brandon.

He'll be heading to UW-Madison, where he wants to shift focus to his studies.

"I'm actually interested in becoming something in the medical field," Reinthaler says. "I'm thinking of either majoring in pre-med or something along those lines, and hopefully become a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist when the time comes."

But Brandon won't forget where he came from.

"I'm definitely going to try to compete in some intramural sports in college and do all that stuff as well, but nothing can beat the competition aspect of high school sports," Reinthaler says.

Brandon hopes those high school experiences help him moving forward.

So take in a baseball game or two this spring, because you won't see the same face wearing the number 10 next year.

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TOMAHAWK - Andrew Bartelt hopes the racing at this track in Tomahawk will draw vistors in.

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Bartelt took over Tomahawk Speedway in July of 2015. The track transformed into this.
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That passion led to the track making the front cover of nationally published magazine called Cirlce Track. The magazine focuses on the technical side of racing.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin Badger from Wausau will play his first season of college football in 2016.

Jake Whalen redshirted last year.

The freshman linebacker got plenty of reps during the spring game.

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MERRILL - This time last year, Merrill baseball Head Coach Brian Artac began the last leg of his storied career with the Blue Jays.

He made the decision mid-season to step down.

Former Assistant Coach Shawn Schultz now helms the team, the Greg Gard to Artac's Bo Ryan.

"If I can be half as successful as he was by the time I'm done, I'll be real happy," Schultz says. "Brian and I coached together for 17 years, I think it was, and had a lot of fun. We knew I wanted to coach, but at the same time, I couldn't have had a better teacher."

Merrill's had a slow start to the year, beginning the season with a pair of losses to the Antigo Red Robins, but it's proof that Schultz and Artac are two sides of the same coin.

"I was there the first game that he coached as the head coach, and it was a rough one down at Point," Schultz says. "He was here the other night when we played Antigo on Friday and it wasn't a real pretty game."

So if that's any sign of what's to come, Schultz should have a terrific career in front of him. Because Schultz has been around for a while, he has a good rapport with the kids, which means he can jump right in with his game plan.

"I really want us to go out and play solid baseball every time we take the field," Schultz says. "We need to get to the point where, when we step on the field, we know what we're going to get. It can't be, 'some nights we're up, some nights we're down.' We've talked to the kids about being real even-keeled, and playing with confidence."

Patience after a not-so-perfect start can be hard to hold, but Coach Schultz knows it's the key to success.

"[I] hope every game we improve, and that's what we're looking at," Schultz says. "You asked earlier about a goal, and that's every time we take the field, we get better. Every day. Practice, game, whatever it is."

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MERRILL - You could also see an impressive showing Friday afternoon in high school baseball between Rhinelander and Merrill.

Usually you see a stable of hits in a high school baseball game.

Rhinelander's Brandon Hess made sure that wasn't the case.

Hess gave up a lead-off single, and didn't allow another hit until a single in the sixth inning.

He added a walk and a single of his own en route to Rhinelander's 7-0 victory.

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Off the ice, he works at the Vilas County Sheriff's Office, where he was promoted to chief deputy.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander High School will see an athlete play at the Division I level for the first time in nearly 10 years.

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St. Cloud plays in the WCHA, the same conference as Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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