Sports Spotlight: Kenedy Van Zile starts season with a bangSubmitted: 11/19/2018

RHINELANDER - Kenedy Van Zile looks a little young to be a coach.

But when head coach Ryan Clark is away, that's exactly what she is.

"She's always been the leader of our team," Clark said.

That includes on the stat sheet, where she had the team's highest scoring, rebounding and assist totals last year.

"I know people looked up to me because I was scoring the majority of the points," Van Zile said.

Kenedy kept that up against the Merrill BlueJays last week, scoring 40 of the Hodags' 55 points.

"I really didn't think I had that many points until I was told after the game," Van Zile said. "And I was just really shocked."

One person that wasn't shocked was Kenedy's sister Payton.

"I don't think I ever really realized that it was something special because she does it so often," Payton said.

Although Kenedy's offense gets most of the attention, her teammates will be just as important in determining how far the Hodags go this year.

"Kenedy's going to get pressured and double-teamed and face-guarded a lot," Clark said. "I think working together will be a work in progress all year but I think we'll get there."

Rhinelander will try to regroup from its opening loss tomorrow night against Marshfield.

It'll be a tough task; Rhinelander hasn't beaten Marshfield since at least 2002.

If Rhinelander is going to break that streak, Kenedy Van Zile will have to keep on putting up the points.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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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.

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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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MERRILL - Lincoln Lanes had never been so busy, with dozens of bowlers occupying almost every open lane and hundreds more jamming into the event space.

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."

Adamec wanted to support his youth team in person, but his stage four bladder cancer didn't give him the chance.

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EAGLE RIVER - The current generation of the Ramesh family first competed for the Northland Pines High School team in 2009.

While most people in the Northwoods have seen highlights of former Pines running back Austin Ramesh, you may not know his sister Cameron is getting ready for her biggest hockey season yet.

"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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GREEN BAY - After the game, Packers fans found themselves asking which Aaron is more important for the second half of the season--Aaron Rodgers or Aaron Jones?

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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