WIAA Board Approves Basketball Shot Clock, Two Divisions in Boys Hockey Published on 06/23/2017 under Sports STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and approved a number of committee recommendations impacting winter sports, gave initial review and consideration of a newly conceived divisional placement plan for basketball, and engaged in robust membership-related discussions at its June meeting today.

Following a lengthy discussion, the Board voted to implement the use of a 35-second shot clock in basketball for varsity games only to begin with the 2019-20 season.

In other basketball-related action, coaches qualifying for the Sate Tournament will determine the seeds for the four qualifying teams in each of the five divisions with a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association representative breaking any ties that may occur beginning in 2017-18.

Three other basketball recommendations received approval from the Board. If schools choose to play only one half of a junior varsity game and a full varsity game, players will be allowed to play in only two halves. Also approved was extending the coaching box to 28 feet from 14 feet for all levels. In addition, the number of players per team allowed to dress during the Tournament Series will increase to 18 while maintaining the maximum party limit of 22.

The Board also voted to convene the basketball coaches advisory committee following the 2017 Area Meetings to discuss the merits of a newly created basketball tournament placement model. Details of the plan will be shared and discussed at the Area Meetings and at each level of the committee process to be presented to the Board at its Jan. 31, 2018 meeting. General details of the plan is provided below.

The Board supported an amended recommendation for a two-year experiment on sponsoring two divisions in boys hockey beginning with the 2020 State Tournament. The tournament format will feature four teams in Division 1 and four in Division 2 with the smallest 32 programs by enrollment assigned to Division 2.

Another action item in hockey was the approval of the procedure for seeding the State Tournament. The WIAA will conduct a conference call with coaches of qualifying teams to determine the top four seeds, and the remaining four teams will be randomly drawn as opponents of the seeded teams in the brackets. The guidelines for seeding will replicate those for the regional and sectional levels.

Beginning next season, the State Tournament in team wrestling will also be seeded by coaches of qualifying teams. The process will replicate the procedure approved in boys hockey. Another wrestling recommendation approved for 2017-18 increases the total number of medals awarded to 28 at the State Team Tournament, which equals the number of eligible athletes. In other wrestling-related discussions, the Board was informed of a change in the Feb. 1, one-pound growth allowance to take effect on the date of the first regional competition.

The lone gymnastics coaches' recommendation received approval. It requires the final average score of a routine to be posted during meets throughout the season.

The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, general fund financial statements and payments and a spending resolution during development of the 2017-18 operational budget.

Among the additional discussions were a review of the 2017 spring State Tournaments, updates on Assembly Bill 260/Senate Bill 232, the 2017 New Athletic Director Workshop, possible 2017 Area Meeting topics, and potential Constitution items for the 2018 Annual Meeting.

The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Peggy Seegers-Braun of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 41 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.

In Other News

Tomahawk Hockey Team Wins Non-Conference Game
Published on 01/19/2018 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchet Boys Hockey Team defeated Chequamegon 8-2 on Thursday night in non-conference action at Sara Park. Tomahawk scored early in the first period, with Hunter Jones scoring on an assist from Kole Woodall.  Team SEal would score twice in the second and lead 2-1. The lead remained at 2-1 after the second period of play. Tomahawk then scored seven unanswered goals in the third, with Cody Scholz scoring a hat trick.  Max Bembinster added two goals, with Taran Ellenbecker and Jordan Tomaszewski also scoring for the Hatchets.  Aaron Evans had three assists and Jerret Flynn added two assists. Tomahawk travels to Lakeland on Tuesday, with the opening faceoff at 7:00 pm.
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Derby Weekend; Tomahawk's Van Strydonk Looks to Defend World
Published on 01/19/2018 under News Snowmobile riders, racers, fans and enthusiasts are converging in the Northwoods this week, as a world champion is crowned. It's now been 55 years since the first race of what has now become the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Throughout the week, organizers say around 40,000 attend the various derby events which picked back up following last weekend's successful Vintage Derby. Of course, Northwoods eyes will be on the defending champion Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk. Last year, Nick scored his second title overall. We had Nick on our morning forum in late December,to preview the season and talk about a promotion to win a custom racing suit while raising money for veterans. The races will be streamed online at speed51.com, with the World Championship coming up Sunday afternoon.
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Nicolet College Welcomes Acoustic Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto
Published on 01/19/2018 under News A world renown musician will bring his guitar to the Northwoods for a concert this evening. Nicolet College will welcome Hiroya Tsukamoto. The Japanese born performer blends a number of styles that were shaped by his young life. That includes sounds from his native Japan. Tsukamoto also participated in an exchange program in Mexico growing up, where he first learned guitar with a Latin influence. He also picked up some American folk experience attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has released several albums with not only multiple musical styles, but also vocal work in multiple languages. Tsukamoto has performed on stage around the world and says he appreciates smaller venues because of their effect on his music. "The acoustic guitar is a very intimate instrument so I can amplify the sound depending on what effect I want to convey." That concert will be at Nicolet Theatre on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 pm.
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Merrill School Forest to Host Winter Family Fun Day
Published on 01/19/2018 under News There's no shortage of winter activities here in Wisconsin, and the Merrill School District is going to offer up a chance to experience a number of them tomorrow. They'll be hosting their Merrill School Forest Family Fun Day tomorrow morning and afternoon. The organizers say it's a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and try different winter activities. That includes cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. But the organizers will also have a number of educational opportunities highlighted by some historic logging demonstrations. That includes work with live horses pulling logging equipment. They'll also provide tours of the animal museum, the logging history museum and the Cordwood Education Center. If you'd like to attend, they'll be at the Merrill School Forest on Highway 107 from 10am-3pm.
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Tomahawk Police Report
Published on 01/19/2018 under News Officers responded to a two vehicle accident with no injuries reported. The driver of the vehicle, a 50 year old Tomahawk woman was cited for operating after suspension. The vehicle owner will be mailed a citation for lack of insurance on the vehicle. On Monday morning a vehicle owner reported damage to her car which occurred while it was parked on South Tomahawk Avenue. It appeared as though the damage came from a plow, possibly from an adjacent property owner. A woman reported that her tires had been slashed overnight Monday. She first thought it was a flat, then discovered the damage. Officers are following up with potential suspects. Officers responded to a single vehicle rollover on Freedom Trail off County Road A Tuesday evening. The teen driver was not injured, and the vehicle required assistance in removing it.
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Update: Medford Man in Custody Following Stand-Off
Published on 01/19/2018 under News At a hearing Thursday, the Judge set bond at $30,000. Formal charges had not been filed as of Friday morning. _____ A Medford man is in custody following a several hour stand-off last evening in Taylor County. According to the Office, they received a report of a man making threats with a gun at around 5pm. The caller indicated that two adult women and a child were in the home at the time. They were able to make contact with the man, identified as 31 year old Jake Wendt. Officers say he initially threatened the responders. After a several hour stand-off, Wendt came out of the home and was taken into custody without further incident. It was not immediately clear what charges Wendt will face. As a precaution, residents in the area were advised to remain in their homes for a short time. No injuries were reported.
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Busy Night of Hatchet Sports
Published on 01/18/2018 under Sports The Tomahawk Hatchets have a busy night of action, and WJJQ will feature Tomahawk Wrestling hosting Medford at the Fieldhouse.  The opening match is at 6:30 pm, with the Fehrman Orthodontics Coaches Show at 6:05 pm with Jesse Bolder. Also tonight, the Hatchet Boys Swimming Team is at Lakeland, with the opening event at 5:30 pm.  Tomahawk JV2, JV and Varsity Girls Basketball Teams will travel to Medford.  The JV and JV2 games are at 5:45 pm and the Varsity game is at 7:15 pm. The Hatchet Boys Hockey Team is also in action, hosting Chequamegon at 7:00 pm at the Sara Park Ice Arena.
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Deputy Identified in Jan. 4 Shooting in Forest County
Published on 01/18/2018 under News The Department of Justice has released additional details on an officer involved shooting in Forest County earlier this month. They identified the officer as Deputy Craig Justice, a 21 year veteran of the department. According to the news release, Justice responded to a call about a stranded motorist back on January 4. After assisting the motorist, Justice ran a record check and learned that 31 year old Brandon Cude was wanted on warrants in Texas for sexual assault of a child. Investigators say Cude realized Justice learned of the warrants and aimed a shot gun at the Deputy. Justice fired his weapon in response. DoJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos says that Justice is on standard administrative leave. The investigation is ongoing. Once completed, it will be turned over to the Forest County district attorney to determine whether charges will be filed.
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Merrill Volunteers Read to Students with 'Reading Buddy' Program
Published on 01/18/2018 under News For twenty years now, volunteers have entered Merrill classrooms to share a book with students. It's part of a program known as Reading Buddies, started in Merrill back in 1997. Each month, the volunteers bring in books to read in the classroom. The majority are retired individuals choosing to continue to contribute to the community. Jill Seaman is the MAPS Director of Headstart/4K/Early Childhood. She says, "The children get very excited for these special friends that come to share a story and do a story-based activity." The students also receive a copy of the book to take home and enjoy. That's thanks to the Lincoln County Association for Home and Community Education. This year they'll add 12 books to their home collections. Seaman says starting reading early may have an impact on student success. She noted that the graduation rates for students who attended Pine River School for Young Learners has improved in the years since the program was established." Districts across the state have similar programs. One of the Merrill founders, Betty Ann Tubbin said, "By the end of this school year, an estimated one million books will have been donated to early childhood learners across Wisconsin through programs like our Reading Buddy Program here in Merrill."
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DNR Free Fishing Weekend January 20 and 21
Published on 01/18/2018 under News The DNR is encouraging residents to give ice fishing a try this weekend by offering free fishing. Coming up on Saturday and Sunday, the DNR will allow anglers to fish on most inland bodies of water without the regular license. Among the goals is to introduce fishing to new anglers, bring old anglers back, and introduce families to fishing. Pamela and Scott Toshner, a DNR lake and watershed protection specialist and a DNR fisheries biologist, respectively, are avid ice anglers and parents of twin girls. They offered a number of tips for those with youngsters out ice fishing for their first time. First, make sure they are dressed properly for the weather. They say that tip-up fishing is better for youngsters than jigging, as they don't have to sit in one place. Along those same lines, have some other activities, and bring friends along. When a fish is on the line, let the child bring it in and get a picture for a lasting memory. As part of the free fishing weekend, a number of organizations will be offering events. Up in Oneida County the 4-H program will be set up at Perch Lake County Park on Saturday afternoon. The DNR is offering up loaner equipment at nearly 40 locations around the state. They do remind anglers that while you can fish for free this weekend, all other regulations including bag limits are still enforced.
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