Tennis Cards hope wait is worthwhile

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Rob Reischel
Sophia Agapov (and Middleton’s girls tennis team will now compete from March 8 until April 26./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

It would have been easy for first-year Middleton girls tennis coach Matt Given to be bummed last week.

Across the state, several schools started tennis practice. By the weekend, there were dual meets, triangulars and quadrangulars everywhere you looked.

At Middleton High School?

But Given wasn’t complaining.

Middleton recently elected not to play sports this fall due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, and instead will try having a season in the spring. The Cardinals’ alternate season is scheduled to run from March 8 until April 26.

While waiting is the hardest part, Given believes the wait will be worthwhile.

“Honestly, we would love to be starting practice, but unfortunately due to circumstances out of our control we will just have to wait,” Given said. “Like I have told my girls and their parents, the overall safety of my athletes is the No. 1 priority.

“I am just very excited that the WIAA and MHS is allowing us the opportunity to have a season at some point this year. I know my girls are looking forward to the season in the spring, and when that time comes, we will be ready to compete.”

Given knows there will be huge challenges if the Cardinals eventually do have a season.

There’s certainly a chance snow will be on the ground when the Cardinals get going in early-March. The weather throughout March and April in a typical Wisconsin spring can be dreadful.

And with tennis now overlapping traditional spring sports such as softball, track and soccer, some girls might decide to keep their rackets on the shelf.

“I know that some of my girls are multi-sport athletes, and this is usually the time that they are turning their focus to spring sports,” Given said. “So keeping them motivated for tennis will be a little bit of a learning curve. In my opinion the only challenge to this change is the date on the calendar.”

For now, Given will hold Zoom calls with his team and check in to see how they're doing.

He’ll then keep his fingers crossed that the Cardinals’ season will eventually come to fruition.

“Honestly it will be tough at first knowing that we should be competing right now with these teams,” Given said. “But like I said earlier, we are just excited to know our time will come. I hope my girls get the chance to compete for a championship of some type, because I truly feel that we will be solid and prepared when our time comes.”


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