Chris Madden cruises to Sun Drop Shootout win

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Chris Madden holds up his $10,000 check after winning the 50-lap feature.

Chris Madden started in the pole position and led all 50 laps to claim first in Tuesday’s Sun Drop Shootout at Shawano Speedway.

The win moved Madden into a tie for first in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series point standings with Mike Marlar, who finished seventh.

Madden and Jonathan Davenport led the field to the starting line before Madden began his dominance. He had built a comfortable lead by the time the first caution of the race occurred on lap seven. Before the green flag could be waved, another caution flag was brought out.

After green flag racing finally resumed, Madden again built a sizable lead. This time, the race was not halted by any more cautions and the 43-year-old Madden eased to his first career win at Shawano Speedway, securing the $10,000 to win feature race.


Brewers’ new faces create powerful infield logjam

If it’s true that nothing succeeds like excess, then the Milwaukee Brewers hit the jackpot before the league’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Brewers, who began the season trying to find playing time for all of their big-hitting outfielders, now face the same pleasant dilemma with their infield.

After getting third baseman Mike Moustakas from Kansas City in a trade for a couple of minor leaguers, they scored another big bat at the deadline when they moved infielder Jonathan Villar and two prospects to Baltimore for second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

The trades have made the Brewers better, at least according to one of the computers spitting out those kinds of algorithms. Last week, they were given a 64 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 3 percent chance to win the World Series. On Wednesday morning, they were at 76 percent to make the postseason and 4 percent to win it all.


Anvelink’s late charge seals victory

On the track, Late Model ace Nick Anvelink used a last lap pass to win his fourth feature of the year on Saturday and Shawano Speedway.

Marcus Yarie went wire to wire for a $1,000 payday in the IMCA Modified feature, his second win of the year. Dan Michonski came from ninth to win his second IMCA Stock Car feature in a caution-free affair.

In IMCA Sport Mod action, 15-year-old Jayden Schmidt won his first feature of the year. Schmidt won his first-ever feature a year ago during Racing For a Reason. Mighty Four pilot Lucas Hacker secured his first feature win this season carrying Mitchell’s number 57 on the side of his car instead of his usual 17.

The eighth annual Racing for a Reason once again brought out a huge crowd to Shawano Speedway to raise money for childhood cancer charities. The night was also highlighted by a memorial to honor former track champion Mark Mitchell, who passed away this past winter after a battle with cancer.


Waukau plays in WFCA All-Star Game

Leader file photo Meshaen Waukau represented Menominee Indian High School one final time at the WFCA All-Star Game.

Menominee Indian standout Meshaen Waukau had an incredible high school career on the football field, racking up numerous awards and records.

In his senior season alone, Waukau was named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) All-State Team as an offensive back after rushing for 1,937 yards and 18 touchdowns. Waukau, who was named the co-player of the year in the MONLPC, left Menominee Indian as the program’s all-time leading rusher.

One of Waukau’s most memorable moments on the gridiron came a week ago, when he joined the 8-man South team in the WFCA All-Star Game at UW-Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium.

Even though the North team picked up a 36-18 victory, Waukau had a blast donning his high school jersey one final time.

“It was really nice and a blessing to be selected for the All-Star Game,” he said. “It’s a beauty to see your work pay off for the things you love. It was nice to be able to rep that blue helmet and my tribe.”


BABA Roundup

July 22

East-West Division

Bowler 11

Shawano 5

Bowler took down Shawano to improve to 3-7 on the season. Shawano fell to 1-9.

Landon Kroening earned the win on the mound for Bowler while Walker Miller and Cody Montez each provided two hits. Paul Murphy legged out a triple.

Dan Buettner was dealt the loss for Shawano but finished with two hits. Josh Ebert doubled twice.

Little Falls 3

Clintonville 2

Little Falls earned a critical win over Clintonville in 10 innings.

Chris Dunn picked up the win after striking out 14 batters in 10 innings. Hunter Gruenwald posted three hits and scored two runs while Cam Gruenwald and Drew Radies each added two hits for the Loggers (9-2).

John Dunlavy suffered the loss after pitching the final 5⅔ innings. Jake Mattsen pitched the first 4⅓ for the A’s (7-2). Jeremy Schoenike drove in a run while Turner Doornink doubled.

Marion 13

Leopolis 1


Copper, agate hunting in Michigan’s UP fun

California’s Silicon Valley may rule the 21st century with its computer chips and internet giants like Google, but in the 1840s to mid-1900s, Michigan’s Keweenaw Copper District dominated the world’s production of copper.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has always meant one thing to me: Da Yoopers, that wacky, offbeat band that made a modest living off its musical tales of crazy deer hunters and backwoods adventures. On a family vacation to the UP this week, I learned much about the history of the area and its geological importance as the king of copper.

Thanks to my own computerized metal detector, a Garrett AH Pro, I even managed to find and bring home some native copper samples scrounged from the tailings of a few abandoned mines in the Houghton and Hancock areas.


Ski Sharks win 2nd straight title

Contributed photo The Ski Sharks pyramid team finished with the fifth-best score at Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids last weekend during the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships.

Winning the Division 3 Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships in 2017 moved the Shawano Ski Sharks up a division for this year’s state competition.

Just competing in the D2 field was an accomplishment for Shawano, which was going up against teams with much larger rosters, so you can imagine the Ski Sharks athletes’ surprise when they found out they claimed the Division 2 State Championship last weekend while competing at Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids.

“We have a small team compared to everyone else, but we skied a very clean and fast paced show with minimal falls,” said Cody Siolka, the team’s show director. “What really helped us was that we weren’t focused on winning or beating other teams or rivals. Despite our size and early season struggles, we proved to everyone that we’re a force to be reckoned with and ready to play with the big dogs.”


High school fall sports right around the corner

Leader file photo Shawano’s Roman Purull and other local schools open football practice on Aug. 1.

Although the start of the 2018-19 school year is still more than a month off, high school fall sports are about ready to get started.

The first day of August marks the start of the fall’s earliest sports practices, when local football teams will step on the gridiron to prepare for the regular season. Teams will have just over two weeks to ready for the openers, which can be played on Aug. 17.

The final day for a playoff-bound team to play a regular season game is Oct. 12 before the first round of playoffs open on Oct. 19-20. The state championship games will be played on Nov. 15-16 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

Last year, Bonduel and Wittenberg-Birnamwood, both Division 5 programs, were the only local schools to make the postseason.


NFL moves goal posts in anthem gridlock

Reasonably satisfied with its most recent defining of what constitutes a caught ball, the National Football League last week demonstrated there is also some ambiguity in a national anthem policy.

The league put on hold, until the peripheral issues are sorted out, its new rule that players stand during the playing of the national anthem.

The sorting-out could include, among other things, the collusion lawsuit filed by the NFL Players Union against the league involving safety Eric Reid and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Both players were active in the anthem sit-downs and kneel-downs — which protesters said was done to draw awareness to unfair treatment of minorities by police — and both are free agent veterans unable to get hired. Their prospects for latching on somewhere aren’t great, either. Barring some tangible evidence, collusion cases are highly subjective and tough to prove in court.


Shawano cannot get past Antigo pitching at Rhinelander

Photo courtesy of Robert Mainhardt Shawano catcher Brad Bartz attempts to tag out Antigo’s Matt Winter (11) at home plate in Sunday’s contest.

Despite having only three other teams to compete against in the Class AA Rhinelander Regional, the Shawano Legion baseball team knew it had a tough road out of the regional pod.

The regional was headlined by Antigo, which had made it to state in each of the last three seasons, and Rhinelander, which lost just once during the regular season. Northwoods filled out the regional.

Shawano handily took care of Northwoods to pick up two wins, but dropped a pair of contests to Antigo. Despite not scoring in either game against Antigo, the Patriots were competitive until the very last out.

“Going into regionals, we knew that we were going to be a very competitive team and that we had a shot at being the best at that tournament,” Casey Baumann said. “We knew that Antigo is probably one of the best teams we have played all year, which really got us fired up because we wanted to beat them so bad.”


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