Sports

Thu
08
Apr
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Middleton rallies past Verona

The adage that an elephant never forgets applied to the Middleton football team as it awaited last Thursday’s first of two meetings this season with the host Verona Wildcats.

The Cardinals still had nightmares of Verona running over, around and through Middleton’s toothless defense over a year ago, which hung around their collective necks like an albatross.

But it turns out that revenge was sweet as senior quarterback Sawyer Pertzborn ran for a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and added a two-point conversion pass to senior tight end Bryce Hensen to rally Middleton for a thrilling 18-15 victory.

The Cardinals spoiled the debut game for the Wildcats in their new stadium. It also led to some back-and-forth trash talking as the game wound down that distressed both coaches.

Thu
08
Apr
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Swimmers second at sectionals

Middleton girls’ swimming coach Lauren Cabalka has come to expect the unexpected.

After a shortened alternate fall season courtesy of the WIAA, created as a COVID-19 accommodation, the Cardinals were poised to compete at the state meet April 6 at Waukesha South High School.

Following a sixth-place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in 2019, Middleton was again poised for a top 10 finish following a runner-up finish at the Verona/Eau Claire North Sectional.

“If you would have asked me three months ago, I would have said, no way. It’s not happening,” Cabalka said of the Cardinals competing in a state meet. “But as the season got underway, everything seemed to fall into place and seemed like it was only going to get better.

“This is such a great group of girls. They come in every day with a smile on their face. They walk out and say thank you. We’re excited and thankful that we get to swim (at state).”

Thu
08
Apr
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Girls spikers headed to postseason

Charting the progress of the Middleton girls’ volleyball team became a little easier last week when the Cardinals met conference foes Janesville Parker and Sun Prairie for the second time this season.

Consider it a split decision, as Middleton (5-6 overall) swept Janesville Parker, 25-17, 25-8, 25-23, on March 30, but dropped a five-set match to Sun Prairie, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 27-25, 15-12, last Thursday to close out the week.

The Cardinals also opened the week on March 29 dropping three sets in a non-conference match to Edgerton, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15.

Despite going 1-2 on the week, Middleton coach Maddie Vogel was anything but disappointed, especially with the marathon match against perennial Big Eight Conference power Sun Prairie.

Thu
01
Apr
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Middleton golfers ready to roll

The last thing Becky Halverson wanted was to be invited to graduation parties this summer after not coaching her seniors this spring.

So Halverson — Middleton’s girls golf coach — was naturally giddy when she found out in mid-January that the Cardinals would have a golf season.

On Monday afternoon, Middleton was back at Pleasant View for its first practice since the 2019 season ended nearly 18 months ago.

“The first practice is always a special time,” Halverson said. “This one made only more special by the wait.”

The Cardinals’ season typically runs in the fall. Due to COVID-19, though, the WIAA gave teams the option of postponing fall sports to the spring, and Middleton elected to do just that.

Roughly 80% of the state’s teams played golf last fall, meaning there won’t be nearly as many scheduling options for Halverson and the Cardinals. And while this season will pose some unique challenges, no one in Middleton’s camp is complaining.

Thu
01
Apr
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Middleton's Shroyer competing at Augusta

Middleton’s Mitchell Shroyer, a fourth grader at Northside Elementary, will participate in the 2021 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday.

The event will take place at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., and will kickoff Master’s Week.

Golf Channel will broadcast the event live across North and South America.

Shroyer advanced to the National Finals after nationwide qualifying featuring hundreds of events and tens of thousands of participants across the country.

Shroyer, 10, plays out of Bishop’s Bay.

"Mitchell is very determined and wants to win more than anyone so that will be something we talk about on harnessing in a positive way,” said John Shipshock, the head professional at Bishop’s Bay and Shroyer’s personal coach. "His ability to be comfortable in the moment and let his skills take over will be the key."

Before competing at Augusta, Shroyer took time to answer a few questions:

Thu
01
Apr
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Middleton runners start strong

Middleton’s boys and girls teams both won their season-opening meets on March 24.

The Cardinals’ boys defeated host Verona, 24-31, in a dual meet. Middleton’s girls rolled past the Wildcats, 15-40.

Middleton senior Ryan Schollmeyer won the boys race, completing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 16 seconds. Cardinals junior Griffin Ward was second (16:16), senior Alexander Marrione was fifth (17:43), sophomore Dean Montour was sixth (17:55) and sophomore Nathan Kurtz was 10th (18:44).

“Verona was a nice rust-buster for the team and just good to see where we were at because we have a lot of unknowns this year,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “I was happy to see we won it and the boys raced well for the first meet and with the crazy wind.” 

Thu
01
Apr
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Girls spikers win two of three

Middleton’s girls volleyball team won two of three matches last week.

DeForest toppled the Cardinals, 25-18, 25-21, 25-21, on March 24. Middleton rebounded, though, with wins over Janesville Craig on March 25 and Racine Park on March 27.

The Cardinals defeated Craig, 25-12, 25-20, 18-25, 25-20. Middleton then toppled Case last Saturday in a match its varsity reserve team played.

DeForest is one of the top teams in the area and got the better of Middleton. Sierra Pertzborn led the Cardinals with six kills and three blocks, Evin Jordee had seven assists and two aces, and Olivia Underwood added seven assists.

“We had a tough matchup against DeForest,” Middleton coach Maddie Vogel said. “We struggled to get into a rhythm in the back row, which made it difficult to fully execute on offense. DeForest's defense was solid all around as well, making it tough for us to put a ball down.”

Thu
01
Apr
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Swimmers win Middleton Invite

Amazingly, the postseason is here for Middleton’s swimmers.

And the Cardinals seem poised to make quite a splash.

Middleton hosted a four-team invitational Saturday and rolled to an easy win.

Middleton finished with 752 points, while Verona/Mount Horeb was a distant second at 395.5. Janesville Parker/Evansville (303.5) and Sun Prairie (299) rounded out the four-team invite.

The Cardinals were at the Verona Sectional on Tuesday. Middleton then heads to the WIAA state meet April 6 at Waukesha South High School.

If the Middleton Invite was a postseason tune-up, the Cardinals seem ready to roll.

Middleton won all three relays and 10 of 11 events overall.

The Cardinals’ 200-yard medley relay team of Lauryn Abozeid, Serena Haack, Eva Anagnostopoulous and Ryanne Woodall finished first, while the quartet of Lily Mair, Molly Keebler, Brianna Acker and Taylor Carbon was second.

Sat
27
Mar
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Middleton rolls past Beloit Memorial

They had waited nearly 17 months for this moment.

When it finally arrived, Middleton’s football team was filled with passion, fury and hunger.

And Beloit Memorial paid the price.

In its alternate-fall season opener on March 26, Middleton’s defense and special teams dominated. The offense also played well after a slow start and the host Cardinals rolled to a 38-0 win.

“It felt great. It was amazing,” said senior safety Josh Stormer, who had a touchdown on offense and another on special teams. “We haven't played in so long. It felt great being back with the team. It was awesome.”

Running back Elijah Gray, who had a rushing touchdown and a kick return score, agreed with Stormer.

“It was just great to be back,” Gray said. “I felt we played a good game, especially because it was our first game in over a year.

Wed
24
Mar
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Friday Night Lights set to return

Jason Pertzborn has spent the last two weeks playing doctor, nurse, receptionist, motivator — and oh yeah, football coach.

Middleton’s second-year boss has taken temperatures before practices, shuffled through piles of administrative work and tried keeping morale high — all while getting his team ready for Friday’s season-opener against Beloit Memorial.

At times, Pertzborn himself admits he’s been “beaten down.” But after a long battle just to have this alternate football season, all Pertzborn needs to do is look at his team to quickly feel rejuvenated.

“It’s been a lot of work, and it’s been stressful,” Pertzborn said. “But when we’re out on the field, it’s been therapeutic. The energy and the chatter of the kids has been awesome. There’s no place they’d rather be.”

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