Sports

Fri
22
Jan
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Middleton’s girls basketball team starts new journey

Jeff Kind wasn’t sure if this moment would ever arrive.

His Middleton girls basketball team certainly had their doubts, too.

After a season of uncertainty, Middleton superintendent Dana Monogue and athletic director Jamie Sims approved the return of winter sports on Jan. 11, with all games to be played outside of Dane County.

Now, Kind and the Cardinals will begin their extremely truncated season Friday with a game at Mosinee.

“The first time we play will be the first time we see live competition,” Kind said. “Gotta love a challenge.”

There’s no doubt, whatever games the Cardinals can get before the postseason arrives on Feb. 9 will be a challenge.

Due to pandemic restrictions imposed by Dane County health officials, in addition to not being able to play games in their home gym or anywhere in the county, the Cardinals must maintain six feet of social distancing during practices and can only have 10 players in the gym at the same time. 

Fri
22
Jan
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Boys hoops team happy to have a season

There were times in the past few weeks when Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery thought it might be easiest to punt on the 2020-21 season.

The Cardinals didn't have an offseason. Most of the state was playing games, while schools throughout Dane County were in a state of limbo.

“There were times … I thought maybe it was just best for us to officially be done and let everyone move forward emotionally,” Bavery said.

Last week, all it took was a few “thumps” of the ball for Bavery to know he was wrong.

“Once you hear that sound of the ball hitting the floor and you see the 'masked smiles' and see the body language of being around the game again it's pretty invigorating,” Bavery said.

Fri
22
Jan
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Hockey Cardinals hope to shine

Dan Truehl’s happy place has always been the ice rink.

So naturally, Truehl — Middleton’s first year hockey coach — was one happy camper last week.

On Jan. 11, Middleton superintendent Dana Monogue and athletic director Jamie Sims approved the return of winter sports to MHS, with all games to be played outside of Dane County. And for the first time since taking the job last spring, Truehl could do what he enjoys most — coach his Cardinals.

“I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling,” Truehl said. “I took the job in March with all sorts of tasks, goals, and structure to build. Then, just like that everything stopped. It’s been a difficult start to my coaching career at Middleton, but being back on the ice with my coaching staff and our skaters was well worth the wait.”

Fri
22
Jan
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Wrestlers excited for chance to compete

In the classic movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas falls in love with a woman named Mary Swanson, who doesn’t return Carrey’s affection.

At one point in the film, Carrey puts it all on the line.

Lloyd Christmas: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?

Mary Swanson: Not good.

Lloyd Christmas: Not good like one in a hundred?

Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one in a million.

Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance?

For the next month, Middleton wrestling coach Kent Weiler is going to channel his inner-Lloyd Christmas and try bucking all of the odds himself.

On Jan. 11, Middleton superintendent Dana Monogue and athletic director Jamie Sims approved the return of winter sports to MHS, with all competitions to be played outside of Dane County.

Fri
22
Jan
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Swimmers fall to Sun Prairie

Middleton’s boys swimming team dropped a 121-49 virtual meet against Sun Prairie last Friday and Saturday.

Cardinals’ sophomore Nick Chirafisi won the 200-yard freestyle and freshman Noah Dorn was fifth. Chirafisi was also second in the 500-yard freestyle, while senior Ian Bohachek was fourth and Dorn was fifth.

Junior Blaise Lin was second in the 100-yard butterfly, while sophomore Emre Gunay was third and sophomore Tyler Choedak was fourth.

Choedak was third in the 200-yard IM and senior Koby Renfert was fourth. Sophomore Theo Wolf was third in the 100-yard backstroke, while senior Colby Livezey was fifth.

Sophomore Jack Madoch was third in the 100-yard freestyle, while senior Joe McNerney was fifth. Bohachek was also third in the 100-yard breaststroke and Renfert was fifth.

Madoch was also fourth in the 50-yard freestyle and senior Alex Starr was fifth.

Fri
22
Jan
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Gymnasts have high hopes

The wait was excruciating.

But now that they’re back, they have big plans.

Middleton superintendent Dana Monogue and athletic director Jamie Sims approved the return of winter sports on Jan. 11, with all competitions to be played outside of Dane County. Now, the Cardinals girls gymnastics team is hoping to make the most of what’s left of their season.

“While things might look very different, we're so excited to be able to have meets, especially knowing sectionals is coming up quickly,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said.

Amazingly, sectionals will arrive on Feb. 18. Between now and then, the Cardinals will try making the most of unique practices and compete in a handful of virtual meets.

Right now, Middleton’s first virtual meet is slated for Feb. 4 against Sun Prairie.

Mon
11
Jan
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MHS gives winter sports the green light to begin competing

It’s go time!

That was the message from Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims late Monday night, announcing that competitions for winter sports would begin immediately.

Sims, the Cardinals’ first-year A.D., and Superintendent Dana Monogue were given authority to make the decision regarding the fate of winter sports. And after extensive research and numerous positive developments across the state, the duo gave winter sports the green light to begin.

“There was no road map for this,” Monogue said Tuesday. “We heard from a lot of people and respected everyone’s opinions on the subject.

“We know that extracurricular activities affect mental health and physical health, and we wanted to do everything possible to bring those back in a safe manner. We feel we have the safety protocols in place to do this the right way. I have nothing but absolute trust in our leaders and we will do this the right way.”

Mon
11
Jan
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MHS swimmers thrilled to be back

It had been nearly 11 months since the Middleton boys’ swimming and diving team was able to pursue its passion in the pool.

But the agonizing wait finally came to an end last week, and senior Koby Renfert was ecstatic.

“It made me appreciate how great of an opportunity it is to compete,” Renfert said after Middleton opened its delayed season last Friday and Saturday.

“Normally it’s part of the routine. You go to the meets and compete and have fun. But because there aren’t many meets, it’s made me take a step back and realize that they are pretty important and it’s something I’m going to remember for a long time.”

The Cardinals were eager to become the school’s first sports program to compete since Middleton’s girls’ basketball team qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state tournament last March.

Thu
07
Jan
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Middleton’s year in sports

Thrilling victories. Magnificent individual performances. Memories to last a lifetime.

These are the norm inside the sports programs at Middleton High School.

But there was nothing normal about 2020.

The sports world came to a screeching halt on March 12 due to COVID-19. And amazingly, the Cardinals didn't have a single event the rest of the year.

Oh, there were a few memorable moments. There was also a lot of waiting, watching and wondering.

Times-Tribune Sports Editor Rob Reischel looks back at the top-10 stories of 2020.

 

1. Middleton A.D. Bob Joers dies

Bob Joers led Middleton’s athletic department into the 21st century.

Joers helped the Cardinals become arguably the top athletic program in the state.

And through it all, he remained one of the most flexible, accessible and personable people in his industry.

Thu
24
Dec
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Outlook bleak for winter sports

It’s been said practice makes perfect.

If that’s the case, the athletes at Middleton High School should be a fine-tuned group if they’re ever allowed to have a winter sports season.

Public Health Madison & Dane County issued Emergency Order #11 on Dec. 16, and that order will be in effect for 28 days.

The order mirrors much of the previous Order #9 and allows indoor gatherings of up to 10 people, with physical distancing and face coverings. It also allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, with physical distancing.

The health order is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At Middleton High School, that means winter sports teams will be allowed to gather for small group practices once again. Because the order extends into mid-January, though, the chances of winter sports competitions looks bleak.

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