Players of Year Awarded in Boys Swim, Wrestling and GymnasticsSubmitted: 03/14/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

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!

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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