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.
MERRILL - Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he didn't want to spend too much time at the Republican National Convention last week because he wanted to get back to campaigning in his home state.
The senator from Oshkosh stopped at the Lincoln County Fair on Saturday.
He faces a tight races against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis).
Johnson gave a speech on Tuesday in Cleveland about national security, as he is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.
He seems pleased with the Republican presidential ticket.
"I think it's really complimentary to the skills Donald Trump brings to the table," Johnson said. "You got Donald Trump with the private sector experience. You got Mike Pence with a real record accomplishment both in the House and as the governor of Indiana. I think it's a pretty good pairing."
He said he wouldn't pay too much attention to the speeches at the Democratic National Convention this week.
"They've got their ticket, we've got our ticket," Johnson said. "They'll make a bunch of promises they can't deliver on. And what we're going to focus on is economic growth, strengthen our economy so we can strengthen our military, so we can defeat ISIS and secure our borders."
SHAWANO COUNTY - UPDATE 5:13 p.m.--Police say six people, including children, were taken to area hospitals after two sport utility vehicles carrying Boy Scouts crashed in Shawano County.
The accident happened Saturday morning on Highway 29 near Bonduel.
Police say one of the SUVs was towing a trailer with equipment. The driver of that vehicle went off the roadway then overcorrected and lost control. The second SUV hit the first, and both went off the road. The trailer flipped and the second SUV landed partially on top of the first.
Bonduel police Chief Todd Chaney tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that one of the injured, a troop leader, was airlifted to St. Vincent's Hospital in Green Bay with a head injury.
Chaney said he didn't think any of the injuries were life threatening.
MADISON - State attorneys have asked a federal judge to stay a ruling allowing people to vote without photo identification in November's election pending an appeal.
In Milwaukee this week, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a preliminary injunction allowing people who haven't been able to obtain IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 election if they sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn't get the identification.
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