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Rhinelander High School welcomed home Gene Shepard's Bell
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Antigo football rivalry dates back to 1935.

The teams compete for the sole possession of Gene Shepard's Bell.

It had resided in Red Robin territory since 2006 until last Friday when the Hodags beat Antigo 20-10 during homecoming.

The bell finally made its way back to Rhinelander and was welcomed with open arms.

The sounds of Gene Shepard's Bell rang through Rhinelander High School for the first time in 13 years on Tuesday.

"It felt awesome," said senior running back Drake Martin.

Hodag students and fans celebrated the bell's homecoming with a pep rally.

"For a small town like us and all the support we get through our sports and with the success this year its just ben great getting all of this recognition from everybody," Martin said.

The football team painted the legs of the bell green and replaced the Antigo decal on the front.

"It was just a cool thing we will remember this the rest of our lives," Martin said.

Rhinelander head coach Aaron Kraemer said the homecoming win jumped started a successful streak for the school.

"Now's the time we can continue that streak and continue building on what we want our school to portray," Kraemer said.

But the team says this is just the beginning.

"We are making history and we are just going to keep going and do what we do," Martin said.

"This is an excellent monument for our season, it's great for the middle of the season for us but I hope that you know and we exemplify this because we are not done, we are not done," Kraemer said.

Rhinelander's win over the Robins clinched its first non-losing season since 1994 and is one win away from becoming playoff eligible.

The Hodags will travel to Mosinee on Friday night. 

Story By: Mazie Vincent

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