Sports

Wed
21
Nov
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MHS' boys basketball team forced to adjust

The way many viewed it, things were over before they even began.

On Oct. 5 — roughly one month before the start of basketball season — Middleton’s Max Schlicht collapsed on the football field. The 6-foot-7 Schlicht — arguably the Cardinals’ best basketball player — suffered a torn ACL for the second straight year.

Middleton, considered a contender for the Big Eight Conference title, was written off by many.

The Cardinals themselves had just three words for the doubters.

Not. So. Fast.

“I’m really optimistic,” said Cardinals senior forward Jake Klubertanz, whose team opens their year Wednesday against Waterford. “Obviously, when Max went out, everyone had their head down. He’s irreplaceable.

Wed
21
Nov
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Football Cards earn all-Big 8 honors

Middleton’s football team enjoyed another solid year on the field.

And the Cardinals were justly rewarded when it came to all-Big Eight Conference recognition.

Middleton players were named all-conference at 19 different spots. Five Cardinals were also named all-region.

Senior Kevin Meicher was named first-team all-conference at both cornerback and as a utility player/return specialist. Senior offensive lineman Gavin Adler, junior running back Kallion Buckner, junior defensive lineman Billy Johnson and junior punter Jake Wuebben were all named first-team all-Big Eight, as well.

Those players were also named all-region.

Wed
21
Nov
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MHS spikers earn all-Big 8 honors

It was another magical season for Middleton’s boys’ volleyball team.

A seventh straight Big Eight Conference title. A sixth consecutive sectional crown, which meant a sixth straight trip to state.

As expected, several Cardinals received postseason honors for their impressive seasons.

Senior libero Dylan Griffith was named first-team all-Big Eight Conference and first-team all-state. Junior outside hitter Parker Van Buren was named first-team all-league and second-team all-state, while senior outside hitter Eagan Peters-Michaud earned first-team all-Big Eight and honorable-mention all-state honors.

Senior setter Matt Ballweg, and senior middle hitters Sam Dettman and Owen Engling were both named second-team all-Big Eight, as well.

Wed
21
Nov
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MHS girls win season-opener

Jeff Kind summed things up perfectly with just a few words.

“First games are always kind of sloppy,” said Kind, Middleton’s girls basketball coach. “And we lived up to that for sure.”

Middleton committed 30 turnovers and missed 12-of-19 free throws last Friday — and won.

As sloppy as it may have been, the host Cardinals never trailed and defeated Madison East, 47-36, in the season-opener for both teams.

“I think every coach in the league feels like they could use another month to prepare for that first game,” joked Kind. “There’s always a big jump in quality of play between the first and second game ... just have to get that first game out of the way.”

Middleton has now defeated East five straight times, dating back to the 2016-17 season, which included the Cardinals beating the Purgolders in a sectional final. Middleton beat East twice last season with two separate one-point victories.

Thu
15
Nov
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MHS swimmers make it a three-peat

Failing to qualify a relay team for the state meet would have been a devastating blow to most programs.

But Middleton girls’ swimming team isn't like most others.

Instead, the Cardinals used it as motivation and put on a dominating display en-route to their third consecutive WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving championship at the UW Natatorium last Saturday.

Middleton finished with 249.50 points – 61.5 points ahead of second-place Cedarburg with 188. Sun Prairie finished third with 170 points and Verona /Mount Horeb took fourth with 169 points.

“Certainly you never want those things to happen and it stinks, but it was almost a blessing in disguise,” said Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka. “I think we’re a really solid, deep team with a lot of talent and sometimes you can ride on that. And when that gets taken from you, then you have to really show what you’re made of.”

Thu
15
Nov
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Boys spikers fall in state quarters

MILWAUKEE — The WIAA boys state volleyball tournament moves from Wisconsin Lutheran College to the Resch Center in Green Bay next year.

Middleton, for one, can’t wait.

The Cardinals reached the state tournament for a sixth consecutive season — the second-longest streak in the state. But for the sixth straight time, Middleton was ousted in the first round.

Kenosha Indian Trail rallied from a 2-1 deficit and upset the Cardinals, 25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 26-24, 15-9, last Friday. Middleton finished its stellar season 35-6 overall, but like its recent trips to state, also exited with a hollow feeling.

“I’d say we had a lot of confidence coming in,” Middleton junior outside hitter Parker Van Buren said. “I had a lot of confidence that we were going to win this game and advance to at least the semifinals. So that’s very frustrating.”

Middleton coach Ben White agreed.

Thu
15
Nov
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Girls basketball team thinking big

Jeff Kind read the book ‘Legacy’ this past offseason.

And Middleton’s girls’ basketball coach immediately knew what the theme was going to be for his 2018-’19 Cardinals.

The book tells stories about champions doing extra, how they handle pressure and what their secrets to success are. And Kind has stressed them all since beginning practice last week.

Middleton, which opens its season by hosting Madison East Friday at 7:30 p.m., now hopes to create its own legacy this winter.

“We’ve talked about it before that you’re trying to leave a legacy here,” said Kind, who was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “We’re trying to develop a culture, maintain some of the tradition from over the years and hopefully add to it.”

These Cardinals certainly have a chance to do just that.

Wed
07
Nov
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Middleton swimmers chasing greatness

As the adage goes, nobody is perfect.

But don’t tell that to coach Lauren Cabalka and Middleton’s girls’ swimming team.

The two-time defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Cardinals are within reach of a third consecutive perfect season.

Cabalka said the Cardinals’ will to win is strong.

“This senior class, the only meet they lost was freshman year when they got second at state,” said Cabalka, who is in her ninth season as head coach. “They’ve won every other meet.”

Senior captain Hannah Aegerter, the team’s lone top seed at state, said Middleton won’t give up its championship hopes without a fight.

“It’s been amazing,” Aegerter said of the unbeaten streak. “It’s just crazy how much we’ve grown as a team, especially for us seniors. We’re taking it all in. We will be sad to leave all the success that we’ve had.”

Wed
07
Nov
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Middleton swimmers win sectional title

There was joy, euphoria, happiness and delight.

Then came confusion, bewilderment and frustration.

Middleton’s girls’ swimming and diving team — the two-time WIAA Division 1 state champion — won its own sectional last Saturday.

The Cardinals won the meet with 317 points, while Sun Prairie was a close second at 312. Madison West (291), Verona-Mount Horeb (289) and Madison Memorial (250) rounded out the top five.

It should have never been that close, though.

Middleton’s 400 freestyle relay team — one that would have contended for a state title — was disqualified for false starting and is now ineligible to compete at the state meet.

“It was incredibly tough to end the meet with a disqualification to our 400 free relay,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “This is one of the top relay teams in the state and certainly would have contended for a state title. 

Wed
07
Nov
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Boys spikers headed back to state

Middleton’s boys’ volleyball team has done it again, and this time they did it in dramatic fashion. 

For the sixth year in a row and the 11th time in school history, the Cardinals are headed to the WIAA Division 1 state volleyball tournament at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.

Top-seeded Middleton rallied from a 2-1 deficit and notched a thrilling, 25-16, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21,15-8 win over third-seeded Kettle Moraine in a sectional final held last Thursday at Madison Memorial High School.

Middleton is just the third team in Wisconsin history to make it to the state boys volleyball tournament six consecutive years. Waukesha (1950-1961) and Marquette University High School (2002-2018) are the others.

The Cardinals’ 11th state appearance is now tied for the fifth-most appearances in state history.

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