Sports

Thu
27
Sep
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Football Cards rout Parker

The softest part of Middleton’s schedule is over.

Now, the Cardinals face a Murderer’s Row to finish the season. And how Middleton fares in the final three games will go a long ways in determining whether its year is a smashing success or a disappointment.

The Cardinals rolled past host Janesville Parker, 46-0, on Sept. 21. Middleton improved to 4-2 overall and in the Big Eight Conference and sits in a tie for fourth place.

Madison Memorial, Sun Prairie and Janesville Craig are tied for the league lead at 5-1. Middleton and Verona are tied for fourth at 4-2.

Middleton has won two straight games, defeating Beloit Memorial (1-5) and Parker (0-6). But things are about to get much tougher, as the Cardinals host Janesville Craig Friday at 7 p.m., host Sun Prairie on Oct. 5 and travel to Madison La Follette (3-3) on Oct. 12.

Those three teams are a combined 15-5 (.750).

Tue
25
Sep
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Boys spikers knock off mighty Marquette

MILWAUKEE — Eight seniors had graduated from the winningest boys’ volleyball team in Middleton history.

Sure, the newcomers were talented. But Cardinals senior outside hitter Eagan Peters-Michaud figured a dropoff this fall was only natural.

“When the eight seniors left, we were kind of wondering how this would go,” Peters-Michaud said. “I kind of had more negative thoughts.”

Not anymore.

Middleton has been one of the state’s greatest surprises. And the Cardinals notched one of their biggest wins of the Ben White-era on Sept. 18.

Middleton went into Milwaukee Marquette High School — home of the defending state champions and a school that has won nine state titles since 2002 — and took it to the host Hilltoppers. Middleton overcame a rough second set and toppled Marquette, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 25-21.

Middleton also posted wins at the JV and freshman levels in what was a memorable night for the program.

Fri
21
Sep
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Golfers are queens of the conference

Their first goal is in the rearview mirror.

Now, many other aspirations certainly seem achievable.

Middleton’s girls’ golf team won the Big Eight Conference regular season title on Sept. 12, rolling over the competition at the Beloit Memorial Quadrangular and wrapping up a perfect 9-0 league record. The Cardinals shot a 338 to easily outdistance runner-up Madison West (361). Janesville Craig was third at 378 and Beloit didn’t field a full team.

Middleton has now won the Big Eight all six years that Becky Halverson has been its coach. The Cardinals are a remarkable 53-0-1 in that time.

“With such a young team this year it means a lot to win regular season conference,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “I’m so proud of these girls and all of their accomplishments already.”

Cardinals junior Kate Meier continued her terrific season by firing a team-low 80. Ellie Frisch notched an 85, Glenna Sanderson carded an 86 and Milanne Dahman shot an 87.

Fri
21
Sep
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Football Cards hammer Beloit Memorial

All three units were clicking.

Every part of Middleton’s football did its job.

And the Cardinals routed Beloit Memorial, 42-6, on Sept. 15. Middleton improved to 3-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Eight Conference, while the Purple Knights fell to 1-4, 1-4.

“I was really pleased with the game we put together,” Middleton co-coach Tim Simon said. “We put the emphasis on us and worried about us.”

The Cardinals got touchdowns from all three units.

Senior wideout Sam Close had a 60-yard punt return for a score. Senior quarterback Bryce Carey had touchdown runs of 67 and 10 yards. And Middleton scored twice on defense in a game that had running clock nearly the entire fourth quarter.

“This was not a walk away,” Simon said. “But I told the kids afterwards that this is how I thought and hoped the game would work out.

“Beloit is drastically better than they were two or three years ago. But I thought we played pretty well.”

Fri
21
Sep
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Boys spikers roll at 'Tosa East Invite

Middleton’s boys’ volleyball team jumped to No. 3 in the state rankings last week.

Then, the Cardinals went out and proved the voters know what they’re talking about.

Middleton won the eight-team Wauwatosa East Invite on Sept. 15, rolling past Waukesha West, 25-19, 25-19, in the finals.

The Cardinals opened with a 25-21, 26-24 win over Nicolet in a match that began at 9 a.m. Middleton trailed in the first set, 19-17, before finishing on an 8-2 run thanks to terrific serving and defense by Dylan Griffith. The second set was a battle, but Middleton used its size to its advantage and had some big blocks in the middle by Owen Engling to shut Nicolet down.

“Our play has followed our pattern throughout the season,” Middleton coach Ben White said. “Start a little slow and peak by the end.

Fri
21
Sep
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Girls swimmers win Waukesha South Invite

Middleton’s girls swimming team has hit the halfway point of its regular season.

Really, though, the Cardinals have already done the majority of their heavy lifting.

Middleton’s schedule was front loaded and it came through with flying colors.

The Cardinals — who have won two straight WIAA Division 1 state championships and are heavy favorites to win a third — showed southeastern Wisconsin who’s boss on Sept. 15.

Middleton won the Waukesha South Invite with 367 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison West (222.5). Waukesha South/Mukwonago (220), Cedarburg (204) and Arrowhead (197) rounded out the top five.

Thu
13
Sep
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Girls swimmers win Brookfield East Invite

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team has set a goal of winning all of its meets this season.

That immense challenge grew even tougher last weekend when the Cardinals had three of their top swimmers on college recruiting trips.

But Middleton — the two-time WIAA Division 1 state champion — did what it’s done for years. It just kept on winning.

First, the Cardinals downed Madison Memorial, 106-64, in a Big Eight Conference dual meet on Sept. 7. Middleton then won the star-studded Brookfield East Invitational on Sept. 8.

“I was proud of the way we came together for the good of each other and were able to show that we are a team of deep talent who can beat some pretty incredible teams regardless of what our lineup looks like,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. 

Thu
13
Sep
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Madison Memorial stuns Middleton

On one side, there was shock, disbelief, and disappointment.

On the other side, there was sheer jubilation.

The emotions were on full display moments after Middleton’s football team suffered a heartbreaking 30-27 loss to Madison Memorial on the final play of their Big Eight Conference game at Breitenbach Stadium last Friday night.

The Cardinals were clinging to a 27-24 lead with only 9 seconds remaining when Spartans junior quarterback Jason Ceniti took a snap on a third-and-10 play from the Middleton 27-yard-line. Ceniti dropped back and, just before getting hit, heaved a high, arcing pass into the end zone where the ball disappeared into a pack of players.

As the entire stadium went silent, Memorial tight end Dryden Schaefer somehow emerged with the ball setting off a huge celebration by the Spartans.

Thu
13
Sep
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Girls XC team shines at Arrowhead Invite

Surprise, surprise.

Well, maybe not to Middleton girls’ cross country coach Alexa Richardson. But perhaps it was a bit stunning to her Cardinals.

Middleton won the 18-team Hartland Arrowhead Invitational on Sept. 6. The Cardinals finished with 78 points and easily outdistanced runner-up DSHA (142).

And while Richardson wasn’t surprised, her team certainly was.

“Although it was not a shock for myself, it was a shock for the girls,” Richardson said. “I knew how talented the girls were going into the race, but the girls had no clue just how good they are.”

News flash: they’re very good.

Middleton freshman Lauren Pansegrau finished second overall, finishing the 5,000-meter race in 19 minutes, 3 seconds.

“Even though Lauren is a freshman, she races like a senior,” Richardson said. “She knows what she is doing, knows how to compete, and is not afraid to go for it.”

Thu
13
Sep
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Boys XC team wins Arrowhead Invite

The gang is slowly being reassembled.

And when that group is fully restored, look out.

Middleton’s boys’ cross country team had most of its top runners in action at the Hartland Arrowhead Invite on Sept. 6. And in an event that featured five of the top eight teams in the state, Middleton ran away with the title.

The Cardinals finished with 68 points to easily outdistance runner-up Germantown (102). Arrowhead (120), Mukwonago (141) and Oconomowoc (167) rounded out the top five.

“The boys ran well and I know most were hoping for a better result,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “We weren't going in very fresh and that’s okay. I thought it was a solid start.”

The Cardinals sat most of their top runners at the Verona Invite on Sept. 1. This time, Middleton rested standout Caleb Easton and Roman Ystenes battled through a hip injury.

But the Cardinals brought the rest of their heavy hitters to Hartland and ruled the day.

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