Scholarship provides new cleats for Hodag runnersSubmitted: 04/20/2019

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's track and field team values leadership above all else.

For two Hodag runners, those leadership qualities paid off with new track shoes, of all things.

The scholarship was established in the name of Ira Rebella, a track and field referee from Merrill who passed away in November.

The scholarship had enough money for two Rhinelander kids to buy running spikes.

Hodag head coach Aaron Kraemer said Rebella was a decent man who had a profound influence on his program.

"[He was] somebody that was a staple of this area for our track meets," Rebella said. "We always saw him here. A very kind gentleman, a leader in his field, somebody that made me as a first year coach five years ago feel at home during a track meet."

Adam Bloom and Morgan Johnson won the scholarship.

In order to qualify, applicants had to write essays about how they've displayed leadership.

Bloom says the contest gave him a clearer idea of what it means to be a leader.

"You need to be able to stand up," Bloom said. "You need to be able to show what people have to do in a calm and inspiring manner. Just because you're the leader doesn't mean you need to have lack of respect for who you're leading."

Rhinelander's next track and field meet comes on Tuesday at Lakeland Union High School against five other programs, including GNC stalwarts like Tomahawk, Northland Pines and Lakeland Union.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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NORTHWOODS - The Great Northern Conference will no longer exist for high school girls hockey.

The W-I-A-A approved the merger between Rhinelander, Lakeland, Antigo, Tomahawk and Three Lakes.

The team will keep the name Northern Edge which formerly included just Rhinelander and Antigo.

Rhinelander will be the host town but practices will be in all four towns.

Tom Roeser will remain the head coach. 

He says the merger has been a long time coming and is excited for roster numbers to be strong again.

"I enjoy the completion in practices. The girls will compete for spots and I think this will make them step up and play at a different level," Roeser said.

Northern Edge will have to travel farther to play now.

Roeser hopes they can find some J-V games and stay overnight to play games on both Fridays and Saturdays.

Northland Pines considered joining the Edge but will try and increase their numbers next season. 

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PHILLIPS - Baseball season will finally start in the Northwoods with all the snow melted off the fields.

But in order to play baseball at any level, teams need money.

The youth softball and baseball teams in Phillips want peoples' old shoes to raise money for renovations to their baseball complex. 

They're hoping to collect 100 bags of shoes.

Those shoes go to a company called Funds2Orgs in Florida, which pays 40 cents per pound.

If they get to their goal, it will raise roughly $1,000.

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MINOCQUA - The Lakeland Union baseball team traveled south for most of its games.

Because of that, it has managed to avoid a lot of the cancellations that have hit the rest of the Northwoods.

The T-Birds have played seven games, which is more than most of the other area schools.

All of those games have been played over an hour and a half away from Minocqua.

They were all the way down in Mauston Thursday for a doubleheader with Northland Pines.

Coping with that travel has been a fact of life for teams in the Northwoods.

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PHILLIPS - The softball season started months ago, but most teams can count the number of times they have played outside on one hand.

"It's just kind of becoming old hat," said Lakeland head softball coach Jason Morris.

Now teams are traveling at least two hours to play a conference game.

"We are pretty used to it," said Northland Pines head softball coach Jacob Schueller. "You know we travel to Medford, Mosinee and Antigo is just as far so that's not a huge deal, an hour is a short trip for us."

Northland Pines and Lakeland played a conference game in Phillips Thursday afternoon.

The Loggers have actually hosted a number of games over the past few weeks.

"A lot of people in our community really pitch in and help," said Phillips head softball coach Blake Edwards. "The city plowed early and then the parents pitched in, a lot of community members, the staff and our athletic director are always helping. We've had some success in past years and it's amazing how many people come and help when that happens."

The biggest concerns now are the rain and cold temperatures. 

"The girls will adapt, they are young and they understand that this what you have to do to play ball in the Northwoods," Morris said.

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WESTON - One of the fastest growing sports in the United States can be hard to find in Northern Wisconsin.

Until last year, Stevens Point was the northern-most rugby club for GIRLS in Wisconsin.

The Wausau Area Rugby club decided to change that and now the high school girls' team just started their second season.

"There is a rush of energy that you get from putting another girl in the ground that you don't get from anything else," said Wausau girls rugby captain Erica Rupple.

The best way to describe rugby is a mixture between soccer and football. Only catch is you have to throw the ball backwards.

"It's all about working together for the common goal," said Wausau girls rugby coach Nalik Trupp.

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MILWAUKEE - Sam and Joey Hauser have decided to transfer from the Marquette University basketball team, per statements posted on both of their Twitter accounts.

Both Hausers committed to Marquette after playing at Stevens Point Area Senior High School. Sam averaged 14.9 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. Joey averaged 9.7 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Sam has used three years of eligibility while Joey has used one.

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AUGUSTA, GA: (AP) - The comeback is complete. Tiger Woods has his fifth Masters title.

The 43-year-old Woods shot a 2-under 70 for one-stroke victory Sunday and his 15th major championship. But it was his first since the 2008 U.S. Open, capping a remarkable recovery from debilitating injuries and embarrassing personal problems.

Woods showed he still had the game to compete with the world's best when he triumphed in last year's Tour Championship, his first victory of any kind since 2013.

Now, he's back on top with his first green jacket at Augusta National since 2005.

In a final round that was played in threesomes off both tees to stay ahead of approaching thunderstorms, Woods grabbed the outright lead for the first time with a two-putt birdie at No. 15.

Then, with Olympic champion Michael Phelps standing behind him on the tee at the par-3 16th, Woods wrapped things up by sticking an 8-iron within 2 feet of the cup for another birdie and a two-stroke lead.

Francesco Molinari began the day with a two-shot advantage over Woods and Tony Finau. But the Italian self-destructed on the back side, dunking two balls in the water on the way to double-bogeys at the 12th and 15th holes.

This is the first time Woods has ever come from behind on the final day to win a major championship, leaving him three behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major titles.

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- The Pro Football Hall of Fame says Green Bay Packers great Forrest Gregg has died at 85.

The Hall did not disclose details in its statement Friday.

Gregg starred at tackle and guard for the mighty Packers teams of the 1960s. Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi called him the "best player I ever coached."

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