College students take advantage of Granite Peak's early openingSubmitted: 11/18/2018

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WAUSAU - Getting college kids to wake up at 8 a.m. is tough when it's for class.

That's not the case when it's the opening of ski season at Granite Peak in Wausau.

"We're just kind of out here having a good time," club president Brandon Haines said. "There's no real goal in mind or race or anything like that. We're just out here having fun with each other."

Haines is part of UW-Stevens Point's ski and snowboard club, which comes to Granite Peak several times per year to ride, tailgate and enjoy the company of friends.

"This is a group of kids that likes to have fun," Rachel Tomasik said.

Former club president Scott Moline graduated from UW-Stevens Point in May, but didn'twant to graduate from hanging out with his club.

"I've got a big smile on my face now that I get to be out here and riding," Moline said.

Moline only had 20 members in the club when he started as president. By the time he left, more than 200 people signed up.

The club started posting videos of themselves doing tricks on their Snapchat account. That led to a YouTube page, and their popularity has only grown from there.

"It's just a way for more students to meet each other on the hill and off the hill, whether that be communicating or seeing that someone else is going up to the hill," Moline said.

Ever since they started, more students have gone from following the club on social media to following their friends down the slopes.

"It's just kind of a nice break away from class and lets you de-stress a bit," Haines said.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander soccer coach Dan Millot will not return to the team next season.

He has led both the boys and girls teams for more than two decades.

Both teams have won six GNC titles with Millot as head coach.

Millot says he is stepping down for personal reasons, but will miss being on the sidelines.

"Most of the memories come from the kids," Millot said. "The kids are different every day. Kids surprise you every day and that's truly been the joy and the passion that I've had is being able to work with the kids over the years."

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RHINELANDER - The holiday season always bring cold weather.

That means staying active can be more difficult.

But the Rhinelander Ice arena is trying to keep people on their feet.

People can lace up their skates and hit the ice in Rhinelander for the next few months.

Open skating is offered every Saturday from 6-7:30.

Kids and adults can get their groove on while getting in a good workout.

RIA rink manager Brett Aylesworth says the rink tries to have multiple community events like these throughout the winter.

"More so it's the exposure that kids and family get to ice skating," Aylesworth said. "Some of these kids will come and join our hockey or figure skating programs or even if they don't, they just enjoy the sport and can come out and do some fun things on a Saturday night when maybe there's not a lot else to do around."

The ice arena also offers noon time hockey every Tuesday and Thursday.

Anyone is welcome come play some pickup hockey. 

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NORTHWOODS - Hundreds of people in Wisconsin started their morning a little earlier Saturday.

Hunters in neon orange filled the Northwoods for the first day of the gun deer season.

That means the state conservation wardens will be putting in some extra hours for the next 9 days.

Warden Supervisor Dave Walz started monitoring at five Saturday morning.

Walz said the biggest violation this season has been baiting and feeding the deer.

This can cause the spread of the chronic waste disease.

He did have to give out some tickets but said no accidents had been reported.

"We started out this morning working five bating complaints from other hunters so we ended up working those and then one feeding complaint," Walz said. "That's mostly all we've dealt with today."

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Thursday Night Sports Report Submitted: 11/15/2018

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CRANDON - It's pretty rare that a state bound team returns every single girl on the roster the next season.

The Cardinals have all their talent back and have their eye on something even bigger. 

"It definitely feels good to be back out here with the girls. I've been looking forward to it all year," Neilitz said.

It's been 8 months since first team all-conference player Alexa Neilitz and the Crandon Cardinals competed 
at the state basketball tournament for the first time ever.

This season, the team has the same goals but with a different mindset.

"We definitely want to work on staying positive all season and picking each other up," Neilitz said.

The players say they are focusing on keeping their expectations in check.

"I know that we can never look past a team. We still have to work hard, harder than last season. I think that if we stick together, we will make it just as far," Neilitz said.

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All anyone could think about was the one person who wasn't there: former Merrill bowling coach Dan Adamec.

"We love him," Adamec's niece Staci Olson said. "That's why everyone is here."

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"I think I have the ability to lead the team and carry the offense this year," Ramesh said.

She also carried the offense last season with 12 goals.

"She was our leading goal-scorer last year and she knows that's going to be expected of her this year," head coach Patrick Schmidt said.

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The star of the show Sunday night was second-year running back Aaron Jones.

He ran for a career high of 145 yards and two touchdowns to lead the offense.

Not only did Jones bust out his best moves to push the Packers back to .500, he played his heart out for his family.

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MADISON - A dozen Northwoods swimmers competed for the last time this season.

Rhinelander, Medford, Merrill and Tomahawk all had swimmers at the state meet in Madison

The talent at the state meet was insane.

Tomahawk started the day a little rocky, their bus broke down on the way to the Natatorium, but that didn't 
keep them from reaching the podium multiple times Friday.

All three hatchet relays made it onto the podium, another one of its school record broken.

Tomahawk senior Kaylie Svacina and junior Kylie Thieler podiumed in all four of their events.

The Hatchets placed third overall, a moment they have been waiting for a long time.

"Considering we swam our absolute best, we are happy with that," said Tomahawk senior Katy Volz. "With it being my senior year I just wanted to enjoy every moment with teammates and get to be able to share that with them is super special."

Merrill added to their season's success too.

Freshman Grace Shultz reached the podium in the 100-yard backstroke.

The team had three other top 10 finishes too.

Head coach Kristie Winter said the best word to describe the Bluejay season is iconic.

"It's just been a great season. It's been a Cinderella story," Winters said. "We started off winning our first meet in 20 years back in August and since then we just kept going on and on and on and winning."

Medford's Erin Bergman also podiumed in the 100-yard backstroke.

Rhinelander's Makenna Winnicki placed 7th in the 500-yard freestyle.

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