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Local teams take part in preseason scrimmageSubmitted: 08/15/2014
Story By Dan Marz

Local teams take part in preseason scrimmage
EAGLE RIVER - A handful of Northwoods football teams could use a scrimmage in Eagle River Friday to gauge their preseason progress.

"You're not worried about getting hurt or whatever," says Phillips Loggers Co-Head Coach Steve Procour. "It's a nice change of pace."

Scrimmages can help players get a feel for the season ahead. Teams from Northland Pines, Rhinelander, Phillips and Crandon finally could compete against someone else.

"It's really important to get out here and practice against the other teams," says Procour. "We spent two weeks beating up on each other, and we finally got a chance to take it against somebody else."

Coaches say the scrimmage couldn't be more helpful with the start of the regular season only a week away.

"Scrimmage is exactly what it is: it's a way to get better, and understanding what you need to work on," says Northland Pines Head Coach Eric Swanson. "Everything looks good on air or in practice, but playing against some fresh competition, it does give us a good chance to look at that."

More importantly, the scrimmage also helps teams get into their regular season mindset.

"With our practices we had early whistles, so we had a little more of a late whistle so people are getting tackled, getting used to going down to the ground and finishing off plays, both tackling and with our guys who have the ball on offense," says Rhinelander Head Coach Chris Ferge.

None of these teams that participated Friday play in the same conference, but coaches say that's actually a good thing.

"I would say [it's] an advantage," says Ferge. "I don't want to play anybody in my conference until I play them. If got a chance to see someone in a scrimmage, it's like playing them twice."

"For scrimmage, I think it's an advantage," says Procour. "We don't go show what we do. Somebody else has to game plan for what we do and our schemes."

"I think a scrimmage against any team is a good experience," says Swanson. "We get a chance to look at our keys and look at our assignments against two different offenses, quite frankly, and so competition-wise, it really don't matter what competition it is, so long as we play right."

Rhinelander, Northland Pines, and Crandon all open their seasons Friday, August 22nd, while Phillips kicks off their season Thursday, August 21st.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/18/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We take our Long Summer Weekend to Vilas County where we show you a garden in Land O'Lakes overflowing with produce - and a strong sense of community.

We talk to participants and organizers of the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River.

And Friday Night Blitz kicks off another season tonight at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10 with football scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Superior at Merrill

Berlin at Antigo

Hayward at Lakeland

Abbotsford at Crandon


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Manitowish Waters would certainly look different today without its cranberry marshes.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Northwoods tourism thrives off of fishing, hunting, and lake life.

Sometimes, people want to take a piece of that Northwoods culture home with them.

You might not recognize this sign in its beginning stages.

Mike Patek makes these handmade signs under the name "Vintage Cabin Signs" in Manitowish Waters. He controls everything from the cut to the paint.

His signs go all over the country. They're based off of Northwoods vacation images from the 30s and 40s; think old fishing magazines, travel posters, and postcards.

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SHAWANO COUNTY - One person died when an explosion leveled a home in Shawano county early Thursday morning.

The Shawano County Sheriff's Department says 54 year old Diane Pickett was found dead in the remains of the house.

A second person who lived at the house was out of town when the explosion happened.

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MADISON - Update:  8/18/17,  5:10pm

The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a $3 billion tax break package for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.

The bipartisan vote Thursday now sends the bill to the Senate, where it must also pass in identical form before it goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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EAGLE RIVER - About 1,300 people will attempt to snag the biggest Musky during a long-standing tournament in Vilas County this weekend.

"When you go on the water and see all these yellow hats you'll know the tournaments on," said Wisconsin Musky Clubs Alliance Secretary Donald Gilbert.

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