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Best of Milwaukee 2016 Winners: Sports and Recreation

Jan. 18, 2017
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Favorite Admiral

FIRST PLACE:
Jimmy Oligny

Jimmy Oligny began his run with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2014 after playing for Rimouski Oceanic and Prince Edward Island Rocket. After a brief stint with the Cincinnati Cyclones in 2015, Oligny signed a two-year contract with the Admirals beginning in the 2016-2017 season. As a rock-solid defender, Oligny leads the team’s defense and recorded one goal and five assists in his rookie year. At only 23 years old, Oligny has a long time to create a lasting legacy with the Admirals. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP:
Justin Florek
Adam Payerl
Juuse Saros

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Favorite Brewcity Bruiser

 

FIRST PLACE:
VerucAssault

The Brewcity Bruisers bring the hurt, but nothing quite like Rushin’ Rollettes VerucAssault. They call her “the everlasting block stopper.” She puts her body out there with abandon. In 2015, she put up impressive numbers, with five jams as blocker in four separate bouts including the semi-finals and championship games. Unlike her namesake, this VerucAssault is one good egg who just happens to be tough as nails. You might find her rolling on her bike for transportation or fun, but rolling with the derby is where her real passion lies. (Lisa A. Kortebein)

RUNNERS-UP:
Latina Heat
Sharkira
Zo-Tay

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Favorite Brewer

FIRST PLACE:
Ryan Braun

His PED scandal may have forever tarnished his reputation, but here in Milwaukee, Ryan Braun can do no wrong. Certainly it doesn’t hurt that even in his 30s, the face of the franchise is still producing all-star numbers—including 30 home runs during an incredible 2016—but the truth is no Wisconsin athlete has shown more dedication to the community than Braun who, for several years running, has flown into the city to greet fans and collect canned goods at the team’s annual Thanksgiving food drive. He’s not nearly the monster that booing Cubs fans would have you believe he is. (Evan Rytlewski)

RUNNERS-UP:
Chris Carter
Scooter Gennett
Jonathan Villar

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Favorite Buck

FIRST PLACE:
Giannis Antetokounmpo

In just three short years, Giannis Antetokounmpo (or “The Greek Freak” as he’s also known) has gone from a relatively unknown Bucks prospect to being on the cusp of NBA superstardom. The 22-year-old, 6’11” forward from Athens, Greece, finished the 2015-2016 NBA season averaging an impressive 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists while the team finished with a disappointing 33-49 record. With his career trajectory rapidly rising, Antetokounmpo is sure to become (a rather difficult) household name soon enough. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP:
John Henson
Greg Monroe
Jabari Parker

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Favorite Packer

FIRST PLACE:
Aaron Rodgers

Packers fans showed just how much faith they had in their franchise QB in this year’s balloting. When the voting closed, Rodgers was struggling (and dealing with some less-than-flattering personal business being dragged into the spotlight) as the Packers appeared bound for their worst finish since his rookie season. But the months since showed why Rodgers was rewarded as this year’s Green and Gold favorite and why he might be the most popular Packer of all time. Nothing short of signing with the Vikings would take the shine off A-Rod’s star. And even that would be forgiven in time. (Matthew J. Prigge)

RUNNERS-UP:
Eddie Lacy
Clay Matthews
Jordy Nelson

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Favorite Wave Player

FIRST PLACE:
Ian Bennett

Besides a short stint with the Rochester Rhinos in 2010, Ian Bennett has been an integral part of the Milwaukee Wave since 2009, winning the Major Indoor Soccer League championship in both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. Bennett controls the flow of the game with his play in the midfield and has scored more than 40 goals during his time with the Wave. With his consistency and skill, Bennett is sure to be named alongside Wave greats such as Peter Knezic and Michael King when all is said and done. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP:
Hans Denissen
Marcelo Fontana
Tenzin Rampa

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Gym

FIRST PLACE:
Wisconsin Athletic Club
Multiple locations
414-328-1300
TheWAC.com

With seven locations across the metro area, the Wisconsin Athletic Club (WAC) offers a wide variety of training programs and athletic facilities that cover a range of both mental and physical wellness activities. Founded in West Allis in 1976 as a private racquetball club, the WAC eventually developed into one of the area’s premier fitness chains. The WAC opened its Downtown Milwaukee location (411 E. Wisconsin Ave.) in 1999. (Matthew J. Prigge)

RUNNERS-UP:
Barre District
INVIVO
Legacy Gym MKE

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Paddlesports Store

FIRST PLACE:
REI
13100 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
262-783-6150
rei.com/stores/brookfield

Summer may seem a distant memory or too far in the future to consider. Yet soon enough the warm weather will return and paddlesport enthusiasts will flock to the lakefront and Milwaukee’s rivers, anxious to get back on the water. As the season begins, some may determine they’re in the market for a new kayak, canoe or paddle board, and many area folks will trek out to REI in Brookfield. In spring and summer, REI is well stocked with everything the watersports devotee needs. Rentals are available for those not ready to invest. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

RUNNERS-UP:
Erehwon Mountain Outfitter
Milwaukee Kayak Company
Sherper’s

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Public Park

FIRST PLACE:
Lake Park

Lake Park received some extra attention this year—far, far more than it wanted—when it became one of the country’s hottest destinations for the fad game Pokémon Go. Thousands of players flocked to the park each week to collect Squirtles and Charmanders, much to the chagrin of neighbors and overworked parks staff. But hopefully some of those visitors looked away from their cellphones long enough to enjoy the view. With its lake overlook, thoughtful layout and hidden bluffs and ravines, Lake Park remains the most scenic park in the city. (Evan Rytlewski)

RUNNERS-UP:
Estabrook Park
Grant Park
Humboldt Park

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Sports Talk Radio Show

FIRST PLACE:
Brewers Baseball (620 WTMJ)

Let’s be frank, sports talk radio is awful. The meathead hosts, the ill-informed callers, the inane and reactionary prattle: No, the Packers should not trade Aaron Rodgers; no, the Brewers cannot void Ryan Braun’s contract, etc. Who wouldn’t prefer an afternoon with Bob Uecker and Brewers baseball on the radio? It provides a perfect backing soundtrack to any lazy day in the summertime and the only shouting comes when the Brewers hit one out. (Matthew J. Prigge)

RUNNERS-UP:
The Big Show (105.7 The Fan)
The Bill Michaels Show (105.7 The Fan)
The Mitch Nelles Show (The Big 920)

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Wisconsin Ski Hill

FIRST PLACE:
Alpine Valley
Alpine Valley Resort
W2501 County Road D, Elkhorn
262-642-7374
AlpineValleyResort.com

Alpine Valley has been a favorite for Wisconsin skiers and snowboarders for years, and for good reason. The Elkhorn ski resort features more than 90 acres of skiable white snow—with 20 separate runs and a vertical drop of 388 feet. The resort prides itself on its diverse slopes that offer something for people of all ages and abilities. This, plus the picturesque, hilly landscape, makes it an ideal destination for a day- or weekend-long family outing. (Rob Hullum)

RUNNERS-UP:
Granite Peak at Rib Mountain State Park
Little Switzerland
Sunburst

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