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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait  Jan. 2017

home : lt sports January 24, 2017

Lakeland's Top 10 sporting events of 2016
Ben Gauger/Lakeland TimesIn this Oct. 29, 2016 file photo, the Lakeland boys’ cross country team celebrates the WIAA Division 2 state championship at The Ridges in Wisconsin Rapids. It was Lakeland’s first team WIAA title since 1992.
Ben Gauger/Lakeland Times


In this Oct. 29, 2016 file photo, the Lakeland boys’ cross country team celebrates the WIAA Division 2 state championship at The Ridges in Wisconsin Rapids. It was Lakeland’s first team WIAA title since 1992.

Another year comes to an end.

Another year of memorable sporting events, and Lakeland Union High School was no exception. From football heartbreak, to tennis extraordinaires, to the school's first WIAA state title in over two decades.



Here are 10 moments for Lakeland's year in sports as determined a panel of writers who covered LUHS sports in 2016 - Ben Gauger, Evan Verploegh and Nick Sabato.

Friday, December 30, 2016


T-Birds fall to Medford 73-68 in GNC showdown
An extra night to prepare didn't help the Lakeland Union High School boys' basketball Tuesday night, as it fell to Medford 73-68 in a battle for first place in the Great Northern Conference at the LUHS Fieldhouse. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 20, 2017

Matt Ritchie once again looks to World Championships
For a shot at the snowmobile World Championships at the AMSOIL World Championship Derby Track in Eagle River, Minocqua native Matt Ritchie will look once again to improve upon his previous results. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 20, 2017

Hockey: Raiders knock off Lakeland in OT shootout
Postponed a day from Monday, the Lakeland boys' hockey team couldn't take advantage of the extra day of preparation, falling to the Medford Raiders in a shootout 1-0, after skating to a 4-4 tie in overtime. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 20, 2017

Mercer hoops fall in Flambeau
Both Mercer basketball teams traveled to Flambeau Monday night.

Both teams left in defeat. (subscriber access)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nordic Ski performs well in Wausau, Iola
Taking on two different courses in two different places on two consecutive days is a lot to ask for a team, but the Lakeland Nordic Ski team handled the challenge well, competing in the Snekkevik Nordic Ski Race at the Nine Mile Forest in Wausau last Saturday, followed by the Iola Skate Invite in Iola last Sunday. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 20, 2017

Sign up now for the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous Ski Marathon
Come "ski with the pack" in Minocqua Winter Park's cross-country ski marathon and half marathon on Saturday, Feb. 4. The 42Kcourse is a single loop that incorporates all of the best and most challenging trails at Minocqua Winter Park.
Friday, January 20, 2017

Hitting the slopes
Zach Kane is representing Lakeland Union High School this winter in downhill skiing. Kane is competing the Wisconsin Interscholastic Alpine Racing Association's Northern Conference, which held its first meet of the season Thursday, Jan. 12 at Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau. Kane placed 24th out of 31 skiers in the boys' downhill division, placing 22nd in slalom and 25th in both giant slalom and Super G. Pictured, Kane competes in the slalom race during the Jan. 12 meet at Granite Peak. The next Northern Conference race of the season is set for Monday, Jan. 23 at Christie Mountain in Bruce.
Friday, January 20, 2017

Lakeland sixth-graders win tourneys
The Lakeland sixth-grade girls' basketball team continued their success as it took first place in Medford on Jan. 14, beating Medford 48-24, Chippewa Falls 48-31 and DC Everest 44-10. The team also took first the previous weekend in Siren, defeating Eau Claire Shamrock 70-4, St. Croix Falls 60-34 and Pine City 61-28.
Friday, January 20, 2017

Both Mercer hoops teams hit free throws in final minute to beat Ironwood
MERCER - Late game heroics were the theme of the night at Mercer High School on Thursday. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rhinelander gymnasts edge Lakeland after long hiatus
RHINELANDER - Pertussis threw a monkey wrench into a variety of athletics for both Lakeland Union and Rhinelander high schools, but maybe none more than gymnastics. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

T-bird girls hold off Medford in battle of GNC unbeatens
Extending its winning streak to six, the Lakeland Union High School girls' basketball team put together another strong second-half performance to hold off Medford Friday night for a 60-56 victory. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

T-Bird hockey iced by Pines 6-0
The Lakeland Union High School boys' hockey team found themselves on the wrong side of shutout Thursday, falling 6-0 to the Northland Pines Eagles Thursday night at the Eagle River Sports Arena. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lakeland/Tomahawk doubles down on Beaver Dam, Chippewa Falls
While defense had been the strong suit early in the season for the Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team, the offense has risen to the occasion in the last few games, and that was no exception Friday and Saturday at the Lakeland Ice Arena. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LUHS wrestlers bounce back after loss to Medford
Two days after getting thumped by Medford in a Great Northern Conference dual meet, the Lakeland Union High School wrestling team was back in action at the Northland Invite at Ashland High School on Saturday. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

T-Bird swim topples Antigo
Continuing its dominance in the Great Northern Conference, the Lakeland Union High School boys' swim team won its eighth straight GNC dual of the year, as the Antigo Red Robins were unable to dent the Thunderbird's lineup Thursday night. Lakeland took the dual 100-69 in Antigo. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nordic Ski finishes Hodag Challenge
Taking part in the second day of the Hodag Challenge, the Lakeland Nordic Ski team returned to the trails at the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom in Rhinelander, where slightly warmer conditions greeted the team for a roughly six-kilometer classic-technique pursuit race on Sunday, Jan. 8. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 13, 2017

Lakeland's FitzPatrick named WCCCA coach of the year
Several member of the WIAA Division 2 state champion Lakeland Union High School boys' cross country team were honored at the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Clinic in Brookfield this past weekend. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 13, 2017

Lakeland/Tomahawk marches past Medford 11-1
In its highest scoring output of the season, the Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team raced past Medford with little resistance, defeating the Raiders 11-1 Monday night at the Lakeland Ice Arena. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 13, 2017

Tiger hoops teams fall in Monday night action
It was an unsuccessful night for Mercer basketball Monday night. Both the boys' and girls' squads dropped their games by double-digits. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 13, 2017

Kevin Bolger wins US Cross Country Ski Championships
Former Lakeland Union High School cross country skier Kevin Bolger has soared to new heights. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 13, 2017

T-Bird boys sneak past Mosinee in final seconds
Continuing their trend of playing close-knit games all season, the Lakeland boys' basketball team had another one Friday night against Mosinee. The Thunderbirds were on the winning side of the contest, taking a 66-64 victory with Tavian RisingSun-Doud making the game winning free throws with five seconds left the game. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mercer boys take roller coaster win
MERCER - If a roller coaster defines the Mercer boys' basketball season so far, it definitely described their victory over Drummond Thursday night. The Lumberjacks came in undefeated on the season, but Mercer overcame, dropping a 10 point lead to score with less than five seconds to get the 62-60 win. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS swimmers rounding into form down the stretch
It was a busy week in the pool for the Lakeland Union High School boys' swimming team. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nordic competes at Hodag Challenge
RHINELANDER - Competing in their first event of the new year, the Lakeland Nordic Ski team took part in the Hodag Challenge at the CAVOC trails in Rhinelander on Saturday. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS/Tomahawk girls' hockey dismantles Blizzard
Dropping their two-game losing streak in strong fashion, the Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team blitzed past the WSFLG Blizzard in Grantsburg on Saturday afternoon, winning in dominating fashion 7-1, the team's strongest win since a 7-0 win over Medford on Nov. 29. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS boys' hockey beats Chequamegon/Phillips
Building upon their play in Madison, the Lakeland boys' hockey team looks to be taking their experiences down state and applying it well back home. The Thunderbirds took their second straight win, defeating Chequamegon/Phillips 5-0 Thursday night. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS blitzes Northland Pines
Lakeland Union High School's girls' basketball team was prepared to stop the most explosive scorer in the Great Northern Conference.

The Thunderbirds designed a special defense just to stop Lexi Smith when Northland Pines paid a visit to the LUHS Fieldhouse on Thursday night. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mercer girls down Hurley, Drummond
The Mercer Lady Tigers are on a roll, extending their win-streak to five with wins over Drummond (58-20) and Hurley (40-24) on Thursday and Friday nights, respectively. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS wrestling takes on Bluejay Challenge
Coming off the holiday break, the Lakeland wrestling team looked to get back into the swing of things on the mat, heading to Merrill for the Bluejay Challenge. Three wrestlers placed in the top five for Lakeland: Jake McClintock took second at the 152 weight class, Jack Scandin took third at 138 and Dejay Nordrum placed fifth at 120. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LUHS swim holds back Tomahawk
The Lakeland Union High School boys' swim team chalked up another win Tuesday night, remaining undefeated in Great Northern Conference play. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

Five new members inducted to LUHS Wall of Fame
The newest additions to the Wall of Fame at Lakeland Union High School were inducted on Friday, Dec 30. in Lakeland's fieldhouse. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

LUHS girls' hoops defeat Marathon 73-53
A milestone was achieved Tuesday night as the Lakeland Union High School girls' basketball team defeated Marathon 73-53 at the LUHS field house. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

Lakeland offense heats up in win over Merrill/Wausau East
Though the temperature hovered around zero degrees outside the Lakeland Ice Arena on Tuesday, inside the Lakeland Union High School boys' hockey continued its offensive hot streak, defeating Merrill/Wausau East 5-1 in a non-conference contest. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

LUHS cagers pull away from Pines late
Lakeland Union High School made the trip to Northland Pines on Tuesday night as the grind of conference play resumed after a trip to Milwaukee for the Redcat Holiday Classic. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

Lakeland/Tomahawk falls to Waupaca in OT
In a back-and-forth game that featured last minute heroics by both teams, the Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team came up on the short end of a 4-3 decision to Waupaca Monday night in a Great Northern Conference contest at the Waupaca Expo Center. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

Four LUHS wrestlers place at Northern Badger Classic
Lakeland Union closed out 2016 by competing in the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic in River Falls. (subscriber access)
Friday, January 6, 2017

LUHS girls' hockey ties, wins at Culver's Cup
MADISON - The Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team found themselves in a similar situation to the T-Bird boys at the Culver's Cup in Madison, competing for fifth place in the tournament. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mercer boys thrash Three Lakes 71-47
The Mercer boys' basketball team broke its three game losing streak Thursday night, dominating Three Lakes on its way to a 71-47 victory at the MHS gym. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lakeland basketball falls to Grafton in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - Even after coming off its largest loss of the season, the Lakeland Union High School boys' basketball team was determined not to fall victim of disappointment again. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

LUHS boys' hockey splits first two games at Culver's Cup
MADISON - The Lakeland Union High School boys' hockey team was playing for fifth-place Friday in the Culver's Cup holiday tournament at the Madison Ice Arena. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, January 3, 2017


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