THE NORTHWOODS - Many high school athletes helped their teams to state during the winter sports season. But some had standout performances that deserve to be recognized. It's time to begin announcing our Newswatch 12 Players of the Year.
In boys swimming, Lakeland star Nick Garcia finished with another impressive year in the pool. Garcia had a huge night at state, taking home three medals and four top eight finishes.
Nick took 4th place in both the 100 and 200 freestyle and 6th as part of the 200 freestyle relay team. Garcia's only a junior and already looking forward to challenging himself more next year.
For wrestling it's hard enough to win one title, much less repeat. But that's exactly what Merrill's Tyler Schmidt did. Tyler defended his title in D1 220 at the state tournament in Madison.
Schmidt won the championship match by major decision 11-2 over La`Ryan Johnson of Kenosha Bradford. Tyler finished his career as a Blue Jay with 70 wins and 5 losses.
And in the high flying world of gymnastics Antigo's Lindsay Berndt was the top Northwoods finisher at state. Lindsay took 13th in the All Around Competition and she finished 17th in both vault and floor. Berndt also competed in the team event for Antigo where the Red Robins had a 9th place finish.
All of our winners will receive a plaque courtesy of R&D Trophies of Tomahawk. Congrats!
MERRILL - People know Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill as the place to go to get your fall season fix.
The pie makers and apple peelers come in early to crank out caramel apple pies fresh throughout the day.
When people come to Helene's, they are usually greeted by the smell of the pies before they even see them.
"I love being out in the parking lot when people step out of their cars and smell the air. It doesn't smell like a lot of other farms. It's distinctly the cinnamon sugar you smell," said Helene' Hilltop Orchard baker Olivia Telschow.
Helene's is only open for six weeks from mid-September to late October; however, Telschow works alongside her mother Helene throughout the entire year.
Even in the winter, the apple orchard is checked on.
"February is pruning season. Think of me when it's minus ten and it's snowing and windy and snow drifts because I will be out there," said Telschow.
The orchard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 30th.
Helene's will close Sunday for the season, but pies will be available to order for Thanksgiving.
RHINELANDER - The finishing touches of Rhinelander's Downtown Streetscape project will include painting crosswalks, removing traffic gates, and completing sidewalks. Planting dozens of trees downtown will also help the city finish the major project.
Nationwide, "Arbor Day" falls in late April. But the city proclaimed Tuesday Arbor Day in Rhinelander.
It's a recognition of the importance trees play in finishing the streetscape project and in Rhinelander as a whole.
RHINELANDER - Next Monday Northwoods youngsters will go house to house in search of Halloween candy and fun with friends.
But on Tuesday some Rhinelander high school students went going door-to-door a few days early.
Students from a business club took to the street to collect donations for their first ever 'Trick or Can' food drive.
Some students hope going into the community will help the event be successful.
"The idea is that it's no easier to give back in a food drive mentality than if we came to your house and asked to it. So in the theme of Halloween we took trick or can, and instead of asking for candy we are asking for cans in order to give back to our community," Rhinelander High School Senior Elliot Fehlen.
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