February 2016

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Sun
28
Feb
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Middleton's Meicher hoists gold

They call him “Ice.”

Calm. Composed. Cool. Collected.

You’d never know that Middleton wrestler Kevin Meicher was a freshman.

Meicher certainly didn’t act his age at last weekend’s WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Instead, the poised and unruffled Meicher acted several years older.

Meicher stunned the field and won a state championship at 126 pounds. Meicher defeated top-ranked and defending state champion Justin Folley of Wauwatosa West/East, 9-8, in Saturday’s finals at the UW Kohl Center.

On the state’s biggest stage, “Ice” refused to melt.

“I’m surprised,” said Meicher, who finished the season with a 43-3 record. “My goal has always been to win four state championships since I don’t even know when, kindergarten.

“When I came here and wrestled the older guys here, I just knew I wanted to be here one day and win as many as I could. Being my freshman year, it’s pretty good.”

Pretty good is a major understatement.

Sun
28
Feb
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Middleton races past Parker

The lead — once as high as 12 points — was gone now.

Janesville Parker was smelling an upset. Heavily favored Middleton was trying to regroup.

So the Cardinals turned to their gifted veterans, who delivered in a big way.

Middleton defeated Janesville Parker, 92-74, in a WIAA Division 1 regional final Saturday night at Middleton High School. And the Cardinals’ most experienced players keyed the win.

Parker opened the second half on a 6-0 run to tie the game, 40-40. But over the final 16 minutes, juniors Bria Lemirande, Alexis Thomas and Alyssa Lemirande combined for 39 points to lead the Cardinals to an impressive win.

“In these games, especially playoffs … I think it’s important for the people that are returners to just kind of step up,” Bria Lemirande said. “We need to be leaders, in this kind of game especially.”

They were.

Bria Lemirande had a huge game with 29 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Sun
28
Feb
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Middleton girls ready for loaded sectional

Welcome to the Big Eight Sectional.

Middleton’s girls basketball team, which shared the conference’s regular season title, now aims for a sectional title and a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament this weekend.

The second-seeded Cardinals meet third-seeded Janesville Craig Thursday at 7 p.m. in a sectional semifinal at Madison La Follette. Top-seeded Verona and fifth-seeded Sun Prairie meet in the other sectional semifinal.

The winners square off Saturday at 1 p.m. in a sectional final at Janesville Craig. That location could move, though, depending on who emerges from the sectional semifinals.

“It’s a tough sectional,” said Janesville Parker coach Jennah Hartwig, whose team lost to Middleton in the regional finals last Saturday. “It’s tough when only one team from the Big Eight is going to be able to make it to state.

Fri
26
Feb
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Middleton forced to share Big 8 title

Everything was in place for a party that was long overdue.

But someone forgot to tell Janesville Craig that Thursday was supposed to be a night of celebration for Middleton’s boys basketball team. Instead, the Cougars decided to crash the Cardinals’ bash.

Middleton had a chance to secure the outright Big Eight Conference title with a win over the upstart Cougars. Instead, Craig toppled the Cardinals, 59-54, and Middleton was forced to share.

Middleton, Sun Prairie and Madison Memorial all tied for the league’s top spot with 14-4 conference records. On a happy note, it did mark the first time Middleton has won a share of the league title since 2001 — when many of the current Cardinals were 2- and 3-years old.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Middleton junior forward Tyree Eady, who led all scorers with 20 points. “We should have won tonight and we wouldn’t have had to share conference.

Thu
25
Feb
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James & Wendy Rush

Wendy Lee Rush (Wixson), 48, and James (Jim) Carl Rush, 52, were killed in an automobile accident on Friday, February 19, 2016, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

Jim and Wendy were parents, aunt and uncle, mentors, coaches, volunteers, co-workers, and friends within the Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois communities in which they resided over their 21 years of marriage.  Since 2011 they have made Green Bay their home with their two children, Megan and Christopher, who are currently a freshman and a junior, respectively, at Pulaski High School.

Wendy was born July 1, 1968 in Flint, Michigan and graduated Flushing High School in 1986.  Raised by Jean and Ray Hagan who reside in Flushing, MI, she has one brother, Ronald Wixson, who lives in Saginaw, MI with his four children.

Wed
24
Feb
Wed
24
Feb
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Hockey Cards survive, advance

One step from state.

That’s where Middleton’s hockey team finds itself after defeating Verona, 3-2, in double overtime in a sectional semifinal Tuesday night. Troy Reifsteck had the game-winning goal in the second overtime on assists from Preston Lewis and Garrett Graf.

The top-seeded Cardinals now face second-seeded Madison Edgewood in a sectional final Saturday at 7 p.m. at Sun Prairie Ice Arena.

The state tournament is March 3-5 at the Alliant Energy Center. Middleton will be trying to reach the state tournament for the fourth time in school history and the first time since 2011.

Middleton’s win over fourth-seeded Verona marked the third time this season the Cardinals slayed the Wildcats. Middleton also toppled the Wildcats, 3-1, on Jan. 9, and 4-1 on Feb. 11.

Tue
23
Feb
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Wrestlers aiming high at state

This has always been the plan for Kevin Meicher.

When Meicher began wrestling as a kindergartner, there were flashes of greatness. When he began competing in national tournaments as a sixth grader, his vast potential was evident.

Now, Meicher gets a chance to display his immense skill set on the state’s grandest stage.

Meicher, a freshman at Middleton High School, won the championship at 126 pounds at the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Sectional last Saturday and qualified for the state tournament. Meicher (39-3) will meet Union Grove’s Brett Kieslich (40-9) in a first round match Thursday at 3 p.m. at the UW Kohl Center.

“With Kevin, this has always been the expectation,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “Coming in, we knew he was good. But he’s trained hard and had a great year.”

So has teammate Chris Rogers, a junior who will be making his second straight appearance at state.

Tue
23
Feb
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Girls basketball team shares Big 8 crown

The odds were stacked against them from the start.

Few believed a Big Eight Conference championship was possible this winter for Middleton’s girls basketball team. Instead, Verona was a consensus favorite to win the league.

But history has shown that overlooking Jeff Kind’s Middleton program isn’t wise. And that was certainly the case in 2015-’16.

Middleton notched a pair of wins last week and captured a share of the conference title. The Cardinals and Verona finished the year 17-1 in the Big Eight, three games ahead of third place Janesville Craig.

Middleton clinched a share of this year’s title thanks to an 87-74 win over visiting Janesville Craig last Saturday. The Cardinals also rolled past Beloit Memorial, 76-37, last Thursday.

Tue
23
Feb
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Swimmers 7th at state

Led by sophomore Michael Draves and a podium-finishing 400-yard freestyle relay, Middleton finished a solid seventh at the WIAA Division 1 boys state swimming and diving meet Saturday at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium.

Middleton, which had been ranked in the top 10 of Division 1 programs most of the year, validated that ranking.

The Cardinals scored 123 points and were edged out of sixth place by the Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial co-op (125 points). Fifth-place Franklin beat had 132 points, just nine ahead of the Cardinals.

Madison Memorial won its sixth straight title with 314 points, while Madison West was second at 202.

“We had a very solid overall meet,” said Middleton head coach Sam Niesen, a former standout swimmer at MHS.

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