- The Winter Sports season is beginning to wind down. It's time to announce some of the Newswatch 12 Players of the Year for the Winter sports season.
In boys hockey, Chequamegon/Phillips junior Pierce Pluemer had quite a year for the Seals.
He scored 37 goals and added 35 assists for 72 total points. That's among the state's best.
He's also a 4.0 student and part of the National Honor Society.
Marshfield girls hockey star Paige Johnson was named Ms. Hockey at the state tournament. The senior defenseman scored 37 goals - had 21 assists for 58 points. In addition she has a 3.99 PGA and is also a member of the National Honor Society.
In Nordic Skiing, Lakeland's Delaney FitzPatrick dominated the competition. She was the state champion in both the pursuit and sprint events. She is also among the best in the classroom. She has a 3.94 grade point average.
In snowboarding, Rhinelander's Emily Babcock also captured gold this year. She won the girls state championship - just the second time in school history. Her sister Amy won the other one back in 2009.
The winners will each receive a plaque.
Next week, we'll announce our Players of the year in boys and girls basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, and boys swimming.
FOREST COUNTY - Forest Count and Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc. (WORVPI) have found a 10,000 acre plot of land they would like to buy for an off-road park, according to WORVPI President John Schnorr.
Schnorr wouldn't discuss the exact location in Forest County, but said they would hope to buy the parcels by June 2014. Right now they’re contracting an engineering firm to evaluate the land.
"That's so environmental concerns can be met," Schnorr said. "We'll look at that as well as a pleasurable experience for an off-road visitor who is going to come up and spend hopefully a weeks vacation in Forest County."
Forest County leaders believe an off-road park could help bring more tourists to the area, and with that more money. The county has the fifth worst unemployment rate, 7.9 percent, in Wisconsin.
WORVPI used Ripon College to perform a feasibility study on the off-road park. It says the average off-roader will travel 300 miles to visit an off-road park. It also projected an off-road park could bring in nearly $28 million per year for Forest County businesses.
"It will take us some time to operate and open it up and develop the trails, the camp sites, the amenities inside," Schnorr said. "Realistically we could see an opening date of Memorial Day of 2015."
The park would host ATVs, motorcycles and other vehicles on off-road trails.
People can help fund the park by purchasing $150 charter membership passes. More than 30 have already been purchased. Schnorr says only 100 will be available.
"The pass will entitle the holder to a park pass, an annual park pass, for the first year when the park opens," Schnorr said. "It will give us some capital up front and afford them a discounted price down the road."
Even with the progress, Schnorr says the project is still in the early stages.
"If you are an optimist, you think a huge amount of progress has been made," Schnorr said. "But if you are a pessimist, not enough progress has been made."
MEDFORD - You know curling from the Olympics. This week, master curlers from across the country are throwing their rocks in Medford. But this kind of curling you won’t see in Sochi, Mixed Doubles.
"Mixed doubles is fun. I really like it. It's really quick, everything happens quick and you're making a lot of precision shots because you don't have sweepers. I like that a lot and I like getting to play with Brady," said Cristin Clark.
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