Sports

Sat
13
Oct
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Middleton opens playoffs at Sun Prairie

Jason Pertzborn stood in front of his Middleton football team Monday afternoon.

Pertzborn, the Cardinals’ co-head coach, had watched in agony as Middleton was hammered by Sun Prairie, 35-7, just 72 hours earlier.

And before Middleton started a new practice week, Pertzborn had one request from his Cardinals.

“I said to them, ‘Don’t you quit on me,’ ” Pertzborn said. “I said whatever you do, let’s be sure we get another chance at (Sun Prairie).”

That chance will come Friday night.

Middleton received the No. 6 seed in its postseason grouping and will open the WIAA Division 1 playoffs at third-seeded Sun Prairie Friday at 7 p.m.

Wed
10
Oct
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Middleton golfers storm to second at state

VERONA — Let’s get one thing straight.

Until further notice, the word “rebuilding” should not be used when talking about Middleton’s girls golf program.

“Maybe readjusting,” said junior standout Kate Meier.

How about reloading, restocking or replenishing?

Middleton lost three players from its 2017 team that finished eighth at state. With little experience and several questions, expectations were certainly tempered for the 2018 Cardinals.

Late Tuesday afternoon, though, Meier walked around University Ridge Golf Course clutching the WIAA Division 1 runner-up trophy like a mother holding a newborn. The Cardinals took more pictures than some weddings photographers do. And Middleton’s golfers made a human pyramid, then were welcomed back to town with a firetruck escort.

The Cardinals capped one of their most surprising and rewarding seasons in recent memory with a second-place finish at the state tournament.

Wed
10
Oct
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Sun Prairie hammers Middleton

So much for those dreams of sharing a Big Eight Conference title.

So much for a home playoff game.

Middleton’s football team picked the worst time of the year to play its poorest game of the season.

Visiting Sun Prairie came to Otto Breitenbach Field last Friday, dominated from start to finish and hammered Middleton, 35-7.

Sun Prairie remained in a first place tie in the league by improving to 7-1 both overall and in the Big Eight. Middleton fell to 5-3, 5-3 and dropped to fifth place in the conference.

“I think they were more physical than us, but we also have to get more energy out there,” said Middleton senior quarterback Bryce Carey, who was brilliant in defeat. “We just have to get back to what we’re good at. We’ve got to work hard and bounce back.”

Wed
10
Oct
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White notches 400th career win

Ben White deflected the credit to others.

That’s what great leaders do.

But when word spread that White notched his 400th career win last week, several Middleton alumni quickly turned the acclaim back on the Cardinals’ ultra-successful boys’ volleyball coach.

“He was a joy to play for and be around and has impacted everyone that has come through the program in a positive way,” former Middleton standout Connor Zimmick said.

Thomas Robson, a first-team all-state libero in 2017, felt the same.

“He has a passion and a drive to make each and every kid that goes through that program better,” Robson said of White. “It is never a rebuilding year for him he always finds a way to light a fire under each grade to create this fight that allows the program to be one of the best in the state.”

White has certainly made the Cardinals one of the state’s elite programs.

Wed
10
Oct
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Clark, Dettman earn No. 1 seed at state

Maddie Clark thought a top-five seed was possible.

No. 1?

That seemed like a dream.

Well, Clark’s aspirations — and those of partner Karsen Dettman — became a reality last week.

Clark and Dettman — Middleton’s No. 1 doubles team — received the No. 1 seed at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

“I was so excited to hear that we got the (No.) one seed,” Clark said Sunday. “This was definitely one of our goals this season. Karsen and I thought we had a pretty good chance of getting a top-5 seed, but we were so happy that we got the one seed.”

Clark and Dettman received a first round bye, then play their first match Friday at 9 a.m. The Cardinals’ dynamic duo will need to win three matches Friday to advance to Saturday’s semifinals, which would start at 9:45 a.m. The state championship match would be at approximately 2 p.m.

Thu
04
Oct
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Football Cardinals hammer Craig

On two occasions this season, Middleton led a Big Eight Conference power at halftime.

Both times, the Cardinals squandered those leads.

On Sept. 28, Middleton took care of business.

The host Cardinals led Big Eight Conference co-leader Sun Prairie, 13-7, last Friday. Middleton then outscored Janesville Craig, 29-0, in the second half and cruised to an impressive 42-7 Big Eight Conference victory on Senior Night at Otto Breitenbach Stadium.

Thu
04
Oct
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Girls golfers win regional title

Becky Halverson knows expectations are sky high.

Halverson, Middleton’s girls’ golf coach, fully understands the hopes and dreams of her Cardinals are through the roof.

But Halverson wants to make sure her team fully appreciates each step of the journey.

Take last Wednesday, for example.

The Cardinals captured the WIAA Division 1 Middleton Regional, an event most expected them to win. Middleton fired a 351 at Pleasant View Golf Course to edge Stoughton (354) for the team title.

Oregon (358) and Sun Prairie (381) also advanced to the Reedsburg Sectional, which was scheduled for Oct. 1, but was moved to Oct. 3 due to heavy rains at the start of the week.

While winning regionals is a big deal in most places, Middleton has greater goals. So Halverson wanted to make sure her team stopped and smelled the roses before moving on to sectionals.

Thu
04
Oct
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Girls cross country team second at Stoughton

In 1991, a group of five freshman basketball players arrived at the University of Michigan.

The quintet — dubbed “The Fab Five” — was widely regarded as the greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball. And it’s easy to see why, as those youngsters led Michigan to consecutive trips to the NCAA championship games.

Today, Middleton’s girls’ cross country team has a “Fab Five” of its own — and some talented upperclassmen, as well.

And on Sept. 29, Middleton’s gifted youngsters helped the Cardinals race to a second place finish at the Stoughton Invitational.

Madison West won the team title with 45 points, while Middleton was second at 96. Waunakee (98), Monona Grove (101) and Stoughton (134) rounded out the top five.

Thu
27
Sep
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Lauren Cabalka named Coach of the Year

The most successful girls swimming and diving coach in the history of Middleton High School recently received one of the highest possible honors in her sport.

Lauren Cabalka, who has led Middleton to back-to-back WIAA Division 1 state championships, was selected by the Wisconsin Swimming and Diving Coaches Association as the recipient of the 2017-18 NFHS Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award for Wisconsin.

Annually, the NFHS identifies and recognizes a coach from each state for significant achievement in their sport. State level recipients are considered for NFHS Sectional recognition. National Coaches of the Year are then chosen from the sectional winners.

Award recipients are selected based upon a variety of criteria including their coaching record, background, coaching honors, and involvement in community and school organizations.

Thu
27
Sep
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Boys soccer team tops Mount Horeb

The Middleton and Mount Horeb boys soccer teams have each fared similarly in the 2018 season.

Both teams have less than stellar records, but the squads have played better than their records indicate and have played better soccer of late. 

The two teams squared off on Sept. 22 at Brietenbach Stadium in Middleton, and the Middleton held off Mount Horeb, 2-1, to capture a non-conference victory.

The Cardinals improved to 4-6-2 for the season, and sits in seventh place at 1-2-1 in the Big Eight. Mount Horeb fell to 2-9-0 and has a 2-1-0 record in the Badger North, good for third.

“Today was a good step forward for us,” said Middleton head coach Ben Kollasch. “We keep developing and taking steps forward each game. We’ve been trying to put together a full 90 minutes, and today was about there.”

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