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
WISCONSIN - Mud, debris, and damaged property still cover parts of Northern Iron County after a storm ripped through there more than two weeks ago.
The lack of money to repair certain areas is largely keeping the rebuilding process from getting started.
That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.
It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.
"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.
Wisconsin Emergency Management currently believes the damage caused by the mid-July storm is around $38 million across 10 counties and Bad River Reservation. Around $15 million of that happened in Iron County.
FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.
"They have sights selected so they will be showing us a lot of these sights." Said Christensen.
Those sights included multiple towns, Saxon Harbor, and crumbled highways.
This week Iron County gave its damage estimates to FEMA.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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