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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

home : lt sports February 19, 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


LUHS boys' hoops top Tomahawk 70-60
The Lakeland boys' basketball has started to regain the composure and quality they showed at the beginning of the season, winning their fourth straight game by defeating Tomahawk 70-60 at home Tuesday night. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 17, 2017

Big second half sends LUHS past Antigo on senior night
The Lakeland Union High School girls' basketball team clinched the Great Northern Conference championship Feb. 10 with a win at Antigo.

On Monday, the two teams squared off once again, with not much on the line.

The Thunderbirds already secured a No. 2 seed in the playoffs, along with clinching the conference, yet they still found something to play for. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gymnastics powers past Mosinee
The Lakeland gymnastics team earned another strong win on the season, taking down Mosinee at home Tuesday night, 111.075-81.375. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 17, 2017

Fifth/sixth grade basketball teams take first
The Lakeland sixth grade girls' basketball team took first in the Lakeland Great Northwest Basketball League tournament on Saturday, Jan. 28, beating Ashland, Wausau East, and Merrill.
Friday, February 17, 2017

Local martial artists compete in Italy
The world recently got to see what Team USA was all about in Eboli, Italy at the World Pankration (Mixed Martial Arts) Championships. Team USA consisted of nine specially-selected athletes from around the U.S., with the majority coming from the Northwoods area.
Friday, February 17, 2017

Lakeland puts Tomahawk on ice in first round of playoffs
It's always tough to beat a team three times in a season.

If Lakeland Union High School's boys' hockey team wanted to advance to the second round of the WIAA Playoffs, it would have to beat Great Northern Conference foe Tomahawk for a third time when the two went toe-to-toe on Tuesday night at Lakeland Ice Arena. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Swim looks for successful State meet
Will it be a fairytale ending for the Lakeland boys' swim team, who so far this season has taken on every challenge and come out on top?

The Thunderbirds travel down to the UW-Natatorium to take part in the State swimming meet tonight. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pee Wee Hawks A headed to state championships
The Lakeland Hawks Pee Wee A's hockey team advanced to the state championship games, beating Marshfield, Rhinelander and Antigo. The championship will be played in Amery on March 10 through 12. Pictured, front from left, are Cody Olson, Brody Vizanko, Max Masayesva, and Cooper Fink; middle, Brayden Warchol, Nick Carlin, Gray Wagner, and Jack Rubo; and back, JJ Albee, Thomas McCumber, and Matt Haggart.


Friday, February 17, 2017

T-Bird girls clinch GNC title
ANTIGO - Even with three games remaining on their schedule, the Lakeland girls' basketball team will finish the season on top. The Thunderbirds clinched their Great Northern Conference title Friday night with a 65-47 victory over Antigo on the road.

But it didn't look like it would be an easy task at the beginning of the game. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Swim earns first sectional title
STEVENS POINT - A dominating year for the Lakeland swimming team had yet to conclude for a large portion of the team.

On Saturday afternoon, the Thunderbirds had several reasons to celebrate.

First, they claimed their first sectional title in school history, besting River Falls by a mere two points for the honor. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

T-Bird cagers stay in hunt for GNC title with win at Mosinee
MOSINEE - The start of 2017 has been a roller coaster for the Lakeland Union High School boys' basketball team thus far.

The Thunderbirds started out by winning three in a row, before dropping three straight, but a win at Mosinee in Great Northern Conference play Thursday night would give them a third consecutive win. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boys' ski takes third straight state title
CABLE - For the third straight year, the Lakeland boys' Nordic Ski team has pulled off the pinnacle of their season. And for the third straight year, they are state champions. The Thunderbirds scored 15 points to take the title over Ashwaubenon and Madnorski, each with 21 points. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Boys' hockey splits final two games of regular season
It was another up and down weekend for the Lakeland Thunderbird boys' hockey team as they win one game only to drop the next. On Thursday, they hosted Chequamegon, who, after a slow start, handled solidly for a 7-2 victory. Two days later, Lakeland traveled down to Waupaca for a makeup game, only to fall to the Comets 4-1. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Three T-Birds earn regional titles
ANTIGO - The season didn't develop the way Lakeland Union High School hoped on the wrestling mats. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lakeland gymnasts have big day at Ashland invite
ASHLAND - The main priority for any high school team during the regular season is to improve every competition. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

State Champs
The Lakeland Nordic Ski team returned from Cable late Sunday, bringing home the boys' third straight State Nordic Ski title. The girls' team also competed, finishing in sixth. Turn to page 17 for the full story in today's edition.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mercer hoops earn wins
Both Mercer teams chalked up wins Friday night. The boys took on Hurley, while the girls faced Bayfield, both at Mercer. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sparks earns shutout in final game at Sara Park
TOMAHAWK - Lakeland/Tomahawk are in the midst of its first season as a co-op on the ice. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Swim looks for first sectional title
After sweeping through conference with the culmination of the Great Northern Conference meet one Feb. 3, the Lakeland swim team moves on to another goal.

"We are now looking to Sectionals to see how many individuals and relays we can get to state," head coach Chris Garcia said. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 10, 2017

LUHS girls' hoop past Pines push
Another game, another victory.

No Great Northern Conference team has yet to find a way to uphend the Lakeland girls' basketball team this season. They fought their way to their 11th straight overall victory and to stay 9-0 in the GNC by defeating Northland Pines 70-65 Tuesday night. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Minocqua native prepares for MMA return
Minocqua native Heather Bassett is preparing for her next mixed martial arts fight after taking time to recover from an injury and train for her return to the sport.

Bassett, a Lakeland Union High School graduate, said she got into mixed martial arts fighting through a friend of hers while she was at college. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lakeland/Tomahawk downs Medford 11-1 for second time
The Lakeland Thunderbird girls' hockey team clearly like their matchup against the Medford Raiders, defeating them for the third time this season, and for the second time by the score of 11-1. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 10, 2017

Boys' hockey falls to Hodags 2-1
Facing off for the second time in less than a week, the Lakeland boys' hockey team was unable to secure a second win over Rhinelander, falling 2-1 Monday night in Rhinelander. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 10, 2017

Mercer girls turn it on in second half to blow out Hurley
MERCER - Mercer Public School is playing some of its best basketball of the season heading down the home stretch of the regular season. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 10, 2017

LUHS girls win 10th straight, down Hodags 62-49
The Lakeland Union High School girls' basketball team is on a roll. 

The T-Birds won their 10th straight game Thursday night, defeating Rhinelander for the second time this season, this time 62-49. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

T-Bird skiers capture Northern Conference titles
The run of success for the Lakeland Union High School Nordic ski teams continued Thursday as both boys' and girls' squads took Northern Conference titles on the Seeley OO Trails in Cable. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LUHS wrestlers perform well despite illness-riddled lineup
ANTIGO - Lakeland Union High School entered the Great Northern Conference Tournament with uncertainty after a trying week. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lakeland wins GNC swim meet, concludes perfect conference season
ANTIGO - Despite an undefeated dual season, the Lakeland boys' swimming team still had goals to achieve. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LUHS beats Rhinelander in OT, shutout by Mosinee
Senior night is always a night that draws a big crowd and gives a team an extra step. Factor in a big rival and the importance is amplified even more.

Lakeland Union High School hosted Rhinelander on Thursday for senior night at Lakeland Ice Arena. (subscriber access)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LUHS boys' hoops regain winning ways
After a three-game losing streak, the Lakeland boys' basketball team is back on the winner's table. The team earned two hard fought victories over the weekend over Northland Pines 67-63 and Hayward 75-70. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Girls' hockey splits games
Continuing the best part of their season, the Lakeland/Tomahawk girls' hockey team had mixed results over the weekend, falling to Central Wisconsin on Friday 0-4, but came back Saturday to take down Northern Edge 3-0. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mercer girls roll, Mercer boys survive in OT in Butternut doubleheader
MERCER - The Mercer High School girls' basketball team entered Friday night's home tilt against Butternut looking to bounce back from a loss at Washburn earlier in the week, which halted a three-game winning streak. (subscriber access)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Statement victory
Sometimes the third time is the charm.

Lakeland/Tomahawk squared off with Northland Pines in girls' hockey action on Monday evening, this time in a non-conference game at Lakeland Ice Arena. (subscriber access)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Lakeland gymnasts move past Chequamegon
Coming off a strong performance at the invite down in Antigo over the weekend, the Lakeland gymnastics team turned the experience into a victory over Chequamegon Tuesday night on the road, defeating the Screaming Eagles 106.85-104.125. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 2017

Packer tailgate tour to stop in Rhinelander April 7
The Hodag sported a Green Bay Packers hat Tuesday as it was officially announced Rhinelander would be one of the five stops on the 12th annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour in early April. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 2017

Mercer can't take down Washburn
It was a rough night to be a Tiger as both Mercer basketball teams made the trek north to Washburn, only to come back disappointed. Both teams fell to the Castle Guards, the boys' 72-47 while the girls' were defeated in a closer contest, 48-39. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 2017

The book closes on another year of the Prediction Board
Well, the dust has now settled on The Lakeland Times' world famous NFL Prediction Board season. In what was the most competitive year in recent memory, Jeremy Petrie of Willow Creek Press can firmly be declared the victor with a final record of 173-93. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 2017

Lakeland can't hold back D.C. Everest
Coming off a 5-2 loss to Rice Lake over the weekend, the Lakeland boys' hockey team looked to avoid another defeat traveling down to D.C. Everest. It wasn't meant to be for the Thunderbirds, as they fell to the Evergreens 5-2 Tuesday night. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 2017

LUHS wrestling to forfeit dual with Rhinelander due to illness
Rhinelander High School has been plagued by illness for much of the winter athletics season. (subscriber access)
Friday, February 3, 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. The 24K race is much tamer and does not include any of the "expert" trails that the 42Krace uses.

The Wolf Tracks Rendezvous 42KMarathon begins at 9 a.m. and the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous 24K Half-Marathon begins at 10 a.m.

Friday, February 3, 2017


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