Rhinelander boys swim team focuses on depth in successful start to the seasonSubmitted: 12/11/2019

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander boys swim team knows what it takes to be one of the best teams in the state. 

The Hodags are off to a 2-0 start to the season...while still trying to recharge.

Rhinelander graduated three strong swimmers, two being state champions. 

But head coach Jenny Heck says the teams has six new talented freshman. 

Half of them are already swimming on the varsity level thanks to some help from the veteran captains. 

Senior Devon Gaber says he hopes to teach these kids what he learned from his seniors. 

"I do feel that it's a privilege to help and be with great group of guys who are working hard everyday in the pool and achieving goals that we want to achieve," Gaber said. 

Gaber says the main goal is to build off the teams success from last year.

The boys added that the Hodags depth this season is what might just make this team special. 

"It's great, just the Hodag emblem and everything, just to be a part of this swimming legacy that we've started to put together now," said freshman swimmer Jack Antonuk. This year we are going to try and go big just like last year so even though we've lost a couple good guys we are going to try and fill those shows and be better."

The Hodags beat Tomahawk and Medford by more than fifty points.

Rhinelander hosts its first home meet Thursday against Antigo. 

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LAONA - Laona/Wabeno coach Bill Taylor has a game to get his team ready for, one that they've been anticipating for six months.

"We're hoping this could be a once in a lifetime chance for most kids," Taylor said.

It's not every day that a small Forest County school gets to play in the home of the Milwaukee Bucks.

"We're pretty excited," sophomore Reed Christianson said. "We've been waiting almost all year, we've known that the trip was coming, so we're pretty excited to get down there and play."

The Bucks offer high schools the chance to play in Fiserv Forum if they raise enough money to buy a certain amount of tickets.

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PASADENA, (AP) - Wisconsin will face Oregon in the 106th edition of the Rose Bowl.

These schools are regular New Year's Day visitors to Pasadena: Wisconsin is in the Rose Bowl for the fourth time in 10 seasons, while Oregon earned its fourth berth in 11 seasons.

The Badgers haven't played in the Rose Bowl since 2012 where Oregon beat Wisconsin 45-38.

Wisconsin hasn't won the game since 2000.The announcement was made Sunday, Dec. 8 after the Badgers lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.

The 2020 Rose Bowl Game is a college football bowl game that will be played on January 1, 2020, with kickoff scheduled for 4:00 p.m. CST on ESPN.

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Friday Night Blitz: 12/6/19Submitted: 12/06/2019

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Abbotsford 24, Auburndale 81
Phillips 48, Assumption 46
White Lake 26, Crandon 69
Elcho 33, Goodman/Pembine 55
Lakeland 59, Hayward 57
Marshfield 53, La Crosse Central 83
Medford 70, Antigo 46
Niagara 18, Coleman
Northland Pines 75, Rhinelander 71
Prentice 32, Stratford 78
Port Edwards 34, Almond-Bancroft 44
Tomahawk 41, Mosinee 69
Phelps 39, Florence 62

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Local Sports Report 12-3-19Submitted: 12/03/2019

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NORTHWOODS - Merrill boys basketball defeated Lakeland Union, 82-63.
Tomahawk boys basketball dropped a tough one against Wittenberg-Birnamwood.
White Lake girls basketball was outlasted by Marion, 50-20.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) ‚Ä" Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the snow and the Green Bay Packers rebounded from a dismal West Coast performance to beat New York 31-13 Sunday.

The Packers sent the Giants to their eighth straight loss, their worst skid since 2004.

Rodgers finished 21 of 33 for 243 yards with no interceptions on a slippery, snowy day at MetLife Stadium. Rodgers hit Davante Adams on touchdown passes of 8 and 17 yards, found a wide-open Allen Lazard for 37 yards and capped the performance with a 1-yarder to Marcedes Lewis.

The Packers (9-3) also intercepted Giants rookie Daniel Jones three times, with the picks setting up 10 points.

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Riverwolves entered their third season with some new expectations and a new head coach.

Three seasons with three different coaches can make for some challenging times for the NA3HL program.

But they are trying to build foundation that will stay put.

"It's really hard to build a foundation when you are tearing away the base," Bailey said.

Wausau native Colin Bailey stepped up as the Riverwolves third head coach in three years.

"I was more than happy to take in on," Bailey said.

He inherited a third-year team trying to find its identity.

"It's not for lack a skill by any means, we have a very skilled team here," Bailey said. "It's just capitalizing on our opportunities that's tearing us apart."

The Riverwolves sit below .500 on the season, but are still searching for their strengths.

"We are a fairly fast team. We can move the puck pretty quick. The only thing holding us back is the burying. We gotta put it in the net," said Riverwolves forward Ian Raddatz. 

After all the main goal is to keep the players playing hockey for as long as they can.

"These are the best years of your life and you don't want to sacrifice that. Just keep going, keep going, show up and keep getting better." Raddatz said. 

Coach Bailey says he plans to stick around to make that happen.

"I'm just making sure they stay with it mentally as much as physically. Just keeping them engaged and making sure that every day that are loving it," Bailey said.

The Riverwolves play the Breezy Point North Stars on Friday in Wausau at 7:30.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander girls swim team finished the season as fifth best in the state.

In honor of the girls' accomplishments throughout the season, Mayor Chris Frederickson proclaimed November 26th the RHS girls swim team day. 

"It meant so much to us," said sophomore swimmer Malia Francis. "It was so cool to have something like that and recognize what we've done this season and I just think its super special."

Summing up the Rhinelander girls swim accomplishments this year is quite the list: conference champs, sectional champs, four state podium finishes and two gold medals. 

"I think they need to use this as their motivation being like hey this is good but we need to do even better next year," said Rhinelander swim coach Jenny Heck.

The Hodags also shattered nine pool, varsity and conference records.

"It was great to get rid of those records, some of them are really old and records are made to be broken," Heck said.

Two-time state champion Malia Francis even broke a few of her sister's record and she's only a sophomore.

"It's really encouraging and it's cool to have it up there and so I have my name up there and those are kind of like my goals now," Francis. 

Now November 26th, 2019 will serve as a staple for what hard work can accomplish.

"I just think it's super special and I am so grateful to be a part of it," Francis said. 

The Hodags had seven entries at the state meet in Madison.

The boys season will be underway next week. 

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Hodags boys soccer team raised 200 dollars for a local woman fighting breast cancer.

Members of the team came together after their practice for winter sports to present the check.

All the money was from their sale of Kick Cancer t-shirts.

It's a task they saw as both a privilege and a responsibility.

"I think every high school team should have a responsibility to give back to the community because they support us all," team member Hugh Wiese said. "They support the high school, they support all sports."

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MOSINEE - Mosinee celebrated another athlete committing to play on the collegiate level this week. 

Stanford Swid will take a swing on the division two circuit next year. 

He is headed to Winona State in Minnesota.

The senior said he's so glad he finally found a new home. 

"I knew I wanted to play college golf but I am very relieved," Swid said. Now I can go onto my next season and just kind of relax and all the weight is lifted off my shoulders so I can just go play."

Swid finished 14-over par and tied for 24th at last year's state tournament. 

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ANTIGO - Schofield Stadium in Antigo starting football games nearly a century ago.

The field is starting to show its age, and Robin football fans want to do something about it.

Chad Matuszewski has watched a lot of Robin football games here.

"There's just really a lot of tradition in Antigo football," Matuszewski said. "There's a lot of pride. We've had several state championship teams."

The more Matuszewski watched, the more he noticed what was wrong.

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