9-year-old Holmen hunter bags first deer

Do you remember the first deer you shot?
I do, and so does everyone else who has ever hunted deer with gun, bow, muzzleloader or crossbow.
Whether it was a doe, spike buck or large antlered beauty, they are all trophies in the eyes of the beholder.
Those "first deer" memories last a lifetime, and you can bet your best buck knife they are told every year in deer camps throughout the country. Trophy deer tales and others are also told in camps each year, but the "first deer" stories are the best.
On Sunday, my good friend, Gary Gonczy, sent me a photo in an email about his 9-year-old grandson, Grayson Zielke, of Holmen.
"My 9 year old grandson's first deer," Gonz wrote. "Shot it yesterday with a crossbow."
The photo and few words instantly brought back memories of my first deer - a small forkhorn. It made this old hunter smile while fishing off Ol' Tom's boathouse.
Gonz is a proud grandpa and should be, but not as proud as Grayson. Indeed, that's quite an accomplishment for a fourth grader.
Grayson now joins a long list of "first deer" storytellers. I wonder how many times he's told the story and shared photos at school today.
Congrats Grayson.

Packers, Brewers, Badgers, UW-L fans suffer tough weekend

Needless to say, it was a rough weekend for Wisconsin fans.
* The Green Bay Packers tied the Minnesota Vikings, 29-29, in overtime at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
* The Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, at Miller Park, on Sunday ending their series winning streak at seven.
* No. 6 Wisconsin was upset by Brigham Young University, 24-21, at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.
* And NCAA D-III No. 23 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse suffered a 35-17 old-fashioned butt kicking at the hands of NAIA No. 20 Dickinson State at home on Saturday.
The Packers appeared headed to victory after going ahead, 20-7, at one point. However, the Vikings scored 22 fourth-quarter points forcing overtime. Green Bay's Mason Crosby missed a potential game-winning 52-yard field goal attempt on the last play of regulation.
Vikings' rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed two field goal tries in overtime resulting in the tie.
Despite the tie, The Packers and Vikings remain atop the NFC North with 1-1 records.
The Brewers last lost a series on Aug. 19, winning seven straight, three-game series. However, the Pirates ended the streak winning the "rubber game" in Sunday's three-game finale.
The Bucs have been the Brewers nemesis all season with Milwaukee winning only 5 of 16 games. The two teams have one three-game series, left, too, and of course everyone remembers the five-game Pirates' sweep of the Brewers before the All-Star break.
The Brewers could have cut into the Cubs' lead in the NL Central Division, but still top the wild-card race by three games.
Wisconsin suffered its first loss of the season and first nonconference home loss since 2003. After a 14-14 halftime tie and 21-21 deadlock after three quarters, a BYU field goal put the Cougars ahead, 24-21, with 9:58 left in the game. Wisconsin's Rafael Gaglianone's 42-yard field goal attempt missed wide left with 41 seconds remaining ending the Badgers' rally.
UW-L Coach Mike Schmidt described his team's loss to Dickinson State as "a butt kicking."
After a bye week, UW-L opens its 2018 WIAC schedule at home against UW-Whitewater on Saturday, Sept. 29. The Warhawks finished 7-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference last season.

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Brewers' playoff hopes begin with Cubs

Let's get serious for a few minutes.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in a precarious position entering their remaining schedule.
Let's be real. The Brewers aren't going to win their division. The Cubs are way too good.
Second, the Brewers only chance is to get a wild-card playoff spot and that's not a given either, although they are on top of the wild-card standings this morning.
Give credit to general manager David Stearns. He appears to have pushed all the right buttons to put the Brewers in a playoff push. But, is it enough?
The Brewers face a critical three-game homestand against the Cubs beginning today. They must win at least two games, not one, but at least two!
Then it's the Giants at home for another three games before the Brewers go to Chi-town for three games against the Cubbies. Then it's a return to Miller Park for a three-game stand again the Pirates and another three against the Reds. The Brewers then take to the road to Pittsburgh for three games and three more at St. Louis before closing out the season with three games at home against the Tigers.
By no imagination, is it an easy task.
I've said all year the Brewers "play up" to their competition, but also "play down" to their competition. With 12 of its 24 remaining games against opponents with poor records, it's time for Milwaukee to show it truly belongs in the postseason. The Brewers must continue to win series against the best teams, but also add at least one three-game sweep against the sub-par teams.
What do you think?

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Does HE really walk on water?

Will he or will he not play on Sunday? That is the question.
Well, not really. Green Bay's God is a good bet to start against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
At least that's how Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer referred to Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who injured his left knee and was carted off the field late in the second quarter of last Sunday's opener against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers returned in the second half to rally the Packers from a 20-0 deficit for a 24-23 victory.
In a conference call with Wisconsin media earlier this week, Zimmer said this about Rodgers: “He walks on water, so I’m sure he’s going to play.”
Question: Was that a compliment or a wise crack?
Rodgers is working with the rehab unit this week, even admitting that his injury progress is a day to day thing. However, with or without Rodgers, the Packers face a stiff challenge and could be 1-1 after Sunday's matchup with the Vikes.
Why? Because the Vikings are far superior on defense. Rodgers is far better than the Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, but he certainly won't be 100 percent healthy if he does play. The Packers also have superiority against the Vikings weak offensive line, but it ends there. The Vikings defense reigns supreme.
The Packers also revealed on Wednesday that No. 1 receiver Davante Adams sat out practice with a shoulder injury. Adams says he hurt the shoulder on his touchdown catch. He described it as a minor injury and feels good about being ready for Sunday
A lot has to happen from now to then with Rodgers, Adams and the rest of the Packers squad.

Will Brewers live up to 'Boober's' baseball wisdom?

Coach William" Boober" Parizek, God rest his soul, had two trademark sayings when I played for the La Crosse American Legion baseball team in 1964, the year I graduated from high school, and the year our team finished runner-up in the State Legion Tournament.
I might add that Boober was not only a legend in La Crosse during his baseball and 12-inch fast-pitch softball playing days, he was one helluva American Legion coach. He was also the best baseball historian in La Crosse, no questions asked. If I ever had a question, Boober would get me the answer.
The first advice Boober always told the players on our Legion team was that when a batter walks, "He scores seven out of 10 times."
Boober's other saying was, "In the Major Leagues, win series and you win pennants."
I followed those two pieces of wisdom throughout my playing days and also my watching days. Interestingly, they really do occur more often than not.
The Milwaukee Brewers, my second favorite team after the St. Louis Cardinals, have won six straight series and lead the National League Central. They go for their seventh straight series victory on Sunday when they meet the Chicago White Sox in the final of a three-game set in "Chi-Town."
Boober was my friend and best baseball coach ever. If he were here today, I would nudge him in the side and gently remind him the Brewers had eight walks off White Sox' pitchers on Friday, with not one of them scoring in an 8-3 loss. Sorry, Boober!
However, if the Brewers can continue to win series, they will remain on top of the Central Division at the end of the season. Their only stumbling block is the Chicago Cubs.
I admit the Brewers have overcome the Cardinals' jinx so far this year, having won two of three series. They host the Cards in a four-game series later this month. Then they travel to St. Louis for a three-game set in August and another three games in late September. Time will tell if their series winning streak will continue.
The Brew Crew also has 11 more games against the Cubs.
In honor of Boober's memory, I hope and pray he will be right... again.
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