RHINELANDER - We see them up and down the sidelines of some of our favorite sporting events. Big stuffed birds, dogs, and some things we wouldn't even know what they were, unless they were our very own.
The Rhinelander Hodag is in a national mascot competition where the winner will be named...
"The Best High School Sports Mascot in America"
It all started with a phone call from USA Today to Rhinelander School District's Activities Director Charlie Laham.
He was asked to describe the story behind the unique Rhinelander High School mascot.
"It's my recollection that the hodag would eat white bull dogs. That's how the story was around the campfire and as I was told. So I shared that with him and got quite a chuckle."
The Hodag was selected along with five other Wisconsin mascots to compete nationally for the best mascot title.
The competition will last throughout the month of March with several winners advancing through different rounds.
In the end only one, enthusiastic, person-stuffed suit can win.
"This fictitious, prehistoric creature, from the woods that is one of a kind and just seeing it, I think you'd have to vote for it."
Voting for the first round of the competition ends in six days. You can help the Hodag win by following the link under this story on our webpage.
RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.
The class is in full swing for the season.
Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.
Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.
It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.
"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.
The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.
It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.
"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.
You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.
ANTIGO - Shaughn Novy figured the perfect place to make a big announcement would be, literally, on her high horse. On a brown horse, Wenesday Novy announced a significant grant to help promote a rodeo dedicated to Antigo's rich equestrian history.
Novy and her family recently opened the non-profit Black Hawk Hill Horse Park in Antigo. It focuses on teambuilding and leadership, using horses to teach those skills.
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