Maddie Smith to walk on for the Wisconsin BadgersSubmitted: 02/09/2015
Story By Nolan Blair

Maddie Smith to walk on for the Wisconsin Badgers
EAGLE RIVER - Maddie Smith will head to Madison to play volleyball in the fall.

She will be the first volleyball player from Northland Pines to play for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Maddie first played volleyball during an intramural game in seventh grade. But she didn't enjoy the experience.

"No, I did not like it," Smith said with a laugh.

But in high school Maddie realized that her mother played Division I volleyball for the Wisconsin Badgers.

"I realized that my mom played for a big volleyball team and I was like, 'This is pretty cool," Maddie said. "I actually started to engage in it, and I finally caught on and was like, 'This is fun.' So I just kept with it and joined club and just got better and better."

Maddie may have lost some of her passion for the game in the last few seasons because Northland Pines went three years without a win in the Great Northern Conference.

Her first year on the team, as a sophomore, the Eagles went 0-12 in conference.

Then Maddie's mom, Julie Smith, became the coach and last fall the team won seven conference games.

"We ended up taking third in conference, so we made a huge jump," said Maddie.

Now Maddie will play in Madison as a walk on for one of the best programs in the country.

"I'm really excited to go to Madison, I can't even explain it," Maddie said. "I feel like it's a major accomplishment for myself to be able to be a part of the fourth-[ranked] volleyball team in the nation."

According to Julie, Maddie wanted to play at Wisconsin since she started to take volleyball seriously her sophomore year.

"Since her sophomore year, she's just had this dream to play for Wisconsin," Julie said. "As a mom, as we got closer to that point in her senior year, I wanted to develop a backup plan for her, but she said, 'Mom, I'm going to play for Wisconsin."

Julie started as a walk-on the Wisconsin volleyball team too, eventually earning a scholarship.

It's Maddie's goal to earn a scholarship eventually too, just like her mother.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


RHINELANDER - Oneida County will close its snowmobile trails Sunday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

According to a press release from county recreation coordinator Joe Renik, the trails are rapidly deteriorating.

Most of the county's trails opened on Dec. 29, 2018, which means riders saw nearly three months of continuous riding.  Oneida County trails closed on March 20 in 2018.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Shelves stocked with ferret food, fish tank cartridges, and reptile basking bulbs would suggest Jennifer Marshall knows a thing or two about pets.

"We can say our zoo has grown, considerably," Marshall said.

With 21 pets of her own -- from snakes, to geckos, to a hedgehog -- Marshall certainly does, but that wasn't always the case.

"I didn't even own a reptile until last year," Marshall said.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A Wausau manufacturer will relocate its operations to Merrill. A big reason for the move is the city provided FreMarq Innovations a $100,000 loan. If FreMarq keeps at least 50 jobs for the next two years, it will not have to pay the loan back.

Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson said it's a win-win for Fremarq and the city.

"The council did the right thing and they voted to approve this. And now we have this program going and it will be to the benefit of the city," said Johnson.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Instead of worrying about blizzards, soon you'll be watching out for thunderstorms. Severe weather season will soon be here.

Our Weatherwatch 12 Meteorologists went to MHLT Elementary in Minocqua Thursday to talk weather with the third grade class.

The students learned how forecasts are made and where the energy for thunderstorms comes from. They also heard about tornadoes, flooding, wind, and hurricanes. It's all part of a weather unit that's been taking place at the school.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - President Trump issued the first veto of his presidency last Friday. He rejected a resolution that would have blocked funding for a border wall without congressional approval.

Wisconsin 7th district representative Sean Duffy said Republicans and Democrats agree on about 95% of immigration reform. The wall is where they differ, but Duffy said immigration reform cannot happen without border security.

"To say we're going to do [immigration reform] with an open border I think is insane, stupid, and will never work," said Duffy.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The treadmills and elliptical machines that used to fill the building at 51 Brown Street in downtown Rhinelander will be replaced with armchairs and high top tables.

"The kind of atmosphere that we're striving for is for kids to be able to have some control over what they need," said Special Education and Pupil Services Director Maggie Peterson.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Northwoods will soon get the chance to experience what it's like to travel in Iceland. 

Nicolet College Art Gallery plans to exhibit one photographer's journey in pictures. 

Craig Pilecky of Antigo traveled to Iceland twice in the years of 2016 and 2017.

He traveled to well known sites, such as the nation's legendary Ring Road, to capture its beauty. 

Since then, he's spent much of his time choosing photos for his exhibit debut. 

"I've worked very hard on it. I've spent a long time in post processing and going through a lot of my images," said Pilecky. "When you are on these trips you take thousands of shots."

The exhibit will open March 25th at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. 

Pilecky hopes his gallery will help people learn more about the history of Iceland. 

+ Read More
+ More General News