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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Burnett's status won't be known until Saturday

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GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy says he won’t decide until tomorrow whether safety Morgan Burnett will play on Sunday against Washington. 

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Burnett was again limited at today’s practice.  McCarthy said he took part in some team drills – and he has strong leadership skills to go with his experience in the Green Bay secondary.  Corner Jarrett Bush missed today’s practice, after he hurt a hamstring in yesterday’s workout.  Bush and corner Casey Hayward were the only Packers not to make it onto the practice field today.  McCarthy also said rookie safety Chris Banjo is ready to play – and he’s looking to take a step up on Sunday against Washington.  Both teams are 0-1.

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Kyle Lohse hopes to get back on track, when the Milwaukee Brewers open a weekend series at Miller Park tonight against the Cincinnati Reds.  The right-hander Lohse gave up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings last Friday in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.  Two starts before that, Lohse gave up a career-high 13 hits and five runs in five-and-a-third frames against Pittsburgh.  Except for those games, he’s 4-1 since the All-Star break with a solid ERA of 1.98  For the season, he’s 9-9 with a 3.95 ERA.  The Reds will put up right-hander Mat Latos tonight.  He’s 14-5 with a 3.02 ERA.  Latos will try for a second time to surpass his victory total from a year ago.  He gave up his first homer in nine starts last Saturday in a seven-inning no-decision against the L-A Dodgers.  Cincinnati is fighting to keep its Wild Card playoff spot.  The Brewers are fighting to stay out of last in the National League Central.  The Crew is one-and-a-half games ahead of the last-place Cubs at the moment.

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Brewers’ first baseman Corey Hart is getting better.  The big question is whether the team thinks he’s good enough to play for them next season.  Athletic trainer Dan Wright says Hart has almost recovered from the surgery on his right knee that he had just before the start of this season.  The Brewers only expected the three-time All-Star to be out for a couple of months – but he injured his left knee during his rehab, and he had surgery on that knee in July.  Wright says Hart will have a follow-up meeting on Monday with the doctor who performed the operation – and he’ll then check in with his teammates.  Wright says Hart should be ready to return next year – but it’s still a question of whether he’ll be 100-percent.  The 31-year-old Hart is a free agent at the end of the year, and the Brewers must decide if he still has enough in the tank to be a reliable first baseman – something his teammates have shown not to be.  Hart says he likes being a Brewer – and manager Ron Roenicke says the feeling is mutual.  Roenicke says general manager Doug Melvin is quote, “going to try to figure things out” in getting Hart to return. 

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The UW-River Falls football team is 0-2, after losing at home to Saint Thomas of Saint Paul 25-7.  The Tommies, who are ranked second in the NCAA's Division III, improved to 2-0.  Matt O'Connell threw for 260 yards as Saint Thomas outgained River Falls in total yardage, 438-to-244.  The Tommie defense had five sacks, as they won their 36th straight regular season game.  River Falls' top receiver, 6-foot-7 Charles Dixon, did not have a catch.

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 Two nationally-ranked Wisconsin small college football teams will have non-conference opponents tomorrow.  UW-Platteville, which is No. 9 in Division III, will play at Dubuque.  10th-ranked Oshkosh is on the road to face Marian of Indiana.  La Crosse is at home against No. 6 North Central.  Two other WIAC teams are also in action.  Eau Claire is at Saint John's of Minnesota, and UW-Stout plays at Jamestown in North Dakota.  Also, Carthage of Kenosha travels to Sheboygan to take on Lakeland.  Wisconsin Lutheran is at Olivet.  And Concordia-Mequon is at home against Macalester.

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A full schedule of conference football games is on tap for tomorrow in the Midwest Conference.  Lawrence of Appleton is 0-and-1 in league play, after falling to Cornell of Iowa a week ago.  The other teams will begin their first conference action.  Lawrence hosts Lake Forest.  Ripon College entertains Carroll.  Beloit is at Monmouth.  Saint Norbert College travels to Knox.  And Grinnell hosts Illinois College.  Carroll, Ripon, Lake Forest, Illinois College, and Cornell are all 1-0 overall.  The six other Midwest teams are 0-1.

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It's been 10 years since Wisconsin's Matt Kenseth won his only championship in NASCAR top circuit.  Now, the Cambridge native is in first place in the point standings, as the 10-race season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup begins this weekend.  The Geico-400 is up first on Sunday afternoon.  Qualifying takes place late this afternoon at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.  Kenseth has 2,015 points as the Chase begins.  Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are three points back in a tie for second.  Only the Top-12 drivers in the point standings will race for the season title.  The others will race for points and money.  That includes Paul Menard of Eau Claire, who missed the Chase field by four places.  Beloit-born Danica Patrick and Travis Kvapil of Janesville are also entered.  Kenseth is also entered for the Nationwide Series race, the Dollar General-300 tomorrow at Joliet.  Johnny Sauter of Necedah is in eighth place in the Camping World Truck Series' standings, going into a race tonight.  The Enjoy Illinois-225 will be run at the Chicagoland Speedway. 

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Four people were given citations after a series of fights at a high school football game in Madison.  Police said a fight broke out on the field during the game between Madison Memorial and West high schools at Mansfield Stadium.  That triggered numerous fights in Memorial's parking lot, where about 200 people had gathered.  Almost 30 police officers responded.  They tried to detain a 13-year-old girl when her family members reportedly interfered -- and that's what led to the citations.  An 18-year-old woman was cited for disorderly conduct.  Three juveniles were ticketed for disorderly conduct, and one of them was also cited for resisting an officer.  All four were released after police questioning.  Memorial won the game, beating Madison West 28-20.

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UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay will both begin their Horizon League men's basketball schedules the day after New Year's.  The conference has unveiled a 16-game schedule in which teams will play all eight of their league opponents twice over a period of nine weeks.  UW-Green Bay will open at home on Jan. 2 against Cleveland State, and the Phoenix will host Youngstown State two days later.  Milwaukee also open at home, facing Youngstown on January second and Cleveland on the fourth.  Oakland of suburban Detroit is the Horizon League's newest member.  Milwaukee will play at Oakland on Jan. 8, and Green Bay will host the league's newcomers on January 22nd.  The conference tournament runs from March 4th-through-11th.

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The University of  Wisconsin men's soccer team fought both the weather and their opponents in beating South Florida 2-0 in Tampa last night.  The match was delayed more than two hours by thunderstorms.  The Badgers won despite being outshot by the Bulls, 11-4.  Nick Janus and Paul Yonga scored, making the most of Wisconsin's three shots-on-goal.  The Badgers remain unbeaten at 3-0-1.  South Florida dropped to 1-1-2.

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