MINOCQUA - For the second straight season, the Rhinelander High School girls soccer team crowned themselves atop the Great Northern Conference.
The Hodags downed Lakeland 2-0 in sloppy conditions Tuesday night to clinch at least a share of the conference title.
"When we look at a 2-0 win, at least a share of the conference championship, it's a great night for us," said Hodags coach Dan Millot.
Pounding rains left the field in a messy condition for kickoff. Standing water, in some cases several inches deep on the field, made for a night of creative play.
"On a night like tonight, the ball is slippery, you're playing under the lights, they even had one bank of lights out – we were playing out of the shadows. Backyard soccer," Millot laughed.
Rhinelander scored both of its goals in the first half, and was never seriously at risk of giving up a tally to the Thunderbirds.
Gabbe Millot found a seam in the seventh minute and put a shot past charging Lakeland goalie Natalie Jonas for the first score.
"We were fortunate for Gabbe to get that goal in early and pressure them. I think they were a little bit surprised, going down 1-0 early in the game after playing so many opponents extremely tough," Millot said.
The Thunderbirds had not allowed a goal in GNC play since a May 7 loss at Northland Pines.
In the 32nd minute, Claire Tracy arched a free kick from about 30 yards to the perfect spot to put the Hodags up two goals.
"It was (placed perfectly). She's got the leg to get it there. We've got a few girls on this team, if you give them the green light to shoot from distance, to put the ball on net, (good things happen)," Millot said.
A stingy Rhinelander defense kept up their solid play Tuesday night.
In five GNC games, they have yet to allow a goal.
Morgan Voigt had eight saves in goal for the Hodags, none of which required extraordinary play. Credit for that goes to the Rhinelander defense in front of her.
"We've done a fantastic job all season of keeping people off of her," Millot said. "To have zero goals allowed in conference, that's awesome. That's awesome. Hopefully we can continue that this Thursday against Medford."
That game against the Raiders could secure an outright conference championship for Rhinelander with a win or tie.
"Medford brings a lot of tenacity to the game. They only have one loss for the conference season. That was against Lakeland. We had a nice showing against them early in the season, but you have to throw everything out the window," said Millot, referring to a 4-0 Hodag win over the Raiders in what was counted as a non-conference game.
Medford certainly still has something to play for. A Raider win would secure a tie with Rhinelander for the GNC title. But Millot reminded his players they're going for two in a row.
"We are the defending conference champions. We are conference champions until someone knocks us off. (Our team) is really going to have to earn that."
Rhinelander at Lakeland Tuesday, May 21 Rhinelander 2 0 – 2 Lakeland 0 0 – 0 First Half: 1, R, Gabbe Millot, 6:58. 2, R, Claire Tracy, 31:15. Team Stats R L Shots 10 12 Shots on Goal 8 8 Corner Kicks 4 3
WAUSAU - Police in Wausau expect to forward forgery charges to the Marathon County District Attorney against four people after finding counterfeit money in the area.
Patrick J. Eppolite, Jr., 22; Michael A. Beck, 27; Jeremy J. Hess, 36; and Amanda M. Bender, 32, are currently in jail on probation holds, but investigators believe they're connected to some counterfeit 20 dollar bills in the area, according to the Wausau Police Department.
EAGLE RIVER - The Northland Pines fishing team is about as basic as it gets.
Just two kids, bait, and their gear.
"I didn't expect to go anywhere," said Northland Pines Junior Mike John.
But in their first year the team is headed to nationals after getting second BASS Wisconsin High School Fishing Tournament. It was the first tournament they've competed in together.
Mike John is going to be a junior. Harmon Marien became a freshman right before the state tournament started.
"Wednesday previous I was in 8th grade and then that Saturday and Sunday we took second in the high school tournament," Northland Pines Freshman Marien said. "That was pretty cool, good way to start high school."
RHINELANDER - This week, a seven-year-old put his life in danger to save his baby sister and little brother from a house fire near downtown Rhinelander.
On Friday, the Rhinelander Fire Department honored that little boy for his bravery.
Rhinelander firefighters now call Adam Granger, 7, a hero.
"He tells me over and over how he wasn't scared and just wanted to save his sister's life and didn't want her to die," said Jenny Schroeder, Adam's mother.
Adam saved his six-month old sister and four-year-old brother from a house fire in downtown Rhinelander.
"His actions, his quick thinking, saved two lives that day," said Rhinelander Fire Assistant Chief Tom Waydick.
Investigators still don't know the exact cause of the fire, but they say it started in the kitchen. Adam's father, Adam Granger, Sr., went outside for a couple minutes to start a campfire, and the next thing
he knew his house was up in flames.
"And the kids were in and out of the house helping him," Waydick said.
When he saw the smoke, Adam's father and his brother ran inside to get the three kids upstairsï¿½ï¿½"not realizing they had already gotten out. To do that, Adam had to run past the fire to get to the bedroom where his baby sister was. Then he went back towards the flames and led his younger brother down the back steps to safety.
"[I'm] Very proud and honored to have him as my son," Schroeder said.
Schroeder doesn't want to think of how it could have turned out.
"We've talked about how the other outcome could have been worse," Schroeder said.
GREEN BAY - Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her mother and injuring a third person in the Green Bay area.
Jacob Cayer of Ashwaubenon was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. WLUK-TV reports Cayer also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary and bail jumping.
MERCER - You don't expect to see crowds in secluded parts of Iron County, but loons tend to be a big draw.
"There's a lot of people who have had interest in loon research," said DNR wildlife biologist John Olson.
"Monitor change overtime in the wildlife population here in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Are loons increasing or staying stable or decreasing the numbers of breeding pair?" said retired wildlife biologist, Bruce Bacon.
The community has shown interest in the animal and with the research collected, the volunteers can maintain a steady population of loons in the water.
"Over the years, there have been a number of people who have done real exciting loon work up here," said Olson.
Over the last few surveys, the DNR have decided to expand its research to all wildlife in water and on land, not just the loons.
"The survey has developed into being more all-inclusive of any wildlife we see out here. Especially breeding birds," said Olson.
Some animals seen on Friday include a deer and her fawn, ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, and of course multiple loons.
The Turtle Flambeau Flowage is a total of 14,000 acres. Individual volunteers maintain the area year round. If they notice a home or shelter destroyed, they will help start a new one for the animals.
"It's rewarding to see a place like the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Wisconsin and this monitoring gives us a sense of how to monitor and protect it," said Bacon.
Overall, the goal for the group is to collect data on the animals and maintain that number to keep the Northwoods booming with wildlife.
The power of volunteerism was in full effect on Friday. Six boats covered all 14,000 acres of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.
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