Sports

Thu
14
Sep
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Meier, Hodson power MHS golfers

Call them the dynamic duo. Or perhaps the terrific twosome.

Middleton golfers Kate Meier and Payton Hodson have been red-hot of late. And the pair of aces are leading the Cardinals to big things.

At last Wednesday’s Balance and Believe Shoot-Out held at Blackhawk Country Club, Meier was first with an even-par 72 and Hodson was fourth with an 80. Those efforts helped Middleton win the 17-team tournament with a 346, eight shots better than runner-up Verona (354).

Middleton also finished second at its own 21-team invite held at Pleasant View Golf Course last Saturday. Hodson finished fourth with a 77 and Meier was fifth with a 79 to power the Cardinals.

“I was happy for Payton and Kate shooting in the 70s,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said.

The Meier-Hodson combo has helped Middleton exceed many expectations this season. With three new varsity members, Hodson and Meier were counted on for big things, and both have delivered.

Thu
14
Sep
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Boys spikers win Racine Park Invite

Middleton’s boys volleyball has extremely high hopes this fall.

And the Cardinals showed exactly why last Saturday.

Middleton went to the 24-team Racine Park Invitational, bested a gifted field and won the star-studded tournament. The Cardinals defeated Milwaukee Pius, 21-10, 21-10, in the championship match.

“Great day,” Middleton coach Ben White said.

That’s putting it mildly.

Middleton opened pool play with a 21-11, 21-10 win over Burlington. Eagan Peters-Michaud led the Cardinals with 10 kills, Thomas Robson had 12 digs and two aces, and setter Andrew Lepage was terrific, as well.

“We had a 3-to-1 kill-to-error ratio, which is a big number,” White said.

Middleton followed that with a 21-11, 21-12, win over Kenosha Bradford.

Peters-Michaud had six kills, Sam Dettman had four kills, Brian Verganz had two blocks and the Cardinals had just three hitting errors.

Tue
05
Sep
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Football Cards rout Regents

At the bottom of his daily practice plans, Middleton football coach Tim Simon will often include an inspirational quote.

Last week, two of Simon’s quotes dealt with handling adversity. A third focused on competing.

Simon’s Cardinals were clearly listening.

Middleton held visiting Madison West to just 146 total yards, made significant strides on offense and routed the Regents, 36-0.

Middleton, which had lost at Sun Prairie, 34-6, just six days earlier, improved to 2-1. West, which won its first two games by a combined scored of 41-7, fell to 2-1.

“We felt like the key to showing leadership and being a great team is how we deal with adversity,” Middleton senior cornerback Nolan Dahlk said. “Obviously that Sun Prairie game, we dealt with a lot of that. It was just all about bouncing back, coming out strong and I feel like we did that really well.”

Middleton senior quarterback Davis Roquet agreed.

Tue
05
Sep
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MHS swimmers hammer West

They are a juggernaut.

A crushing force. A picture of both power and strength.

Middleton’s girls swimming team — the WIAA Division 1 defending state champions — appears to have another title team on their hands in 2017.

The Cardinals rolled over a solid Madison West team, 125-45, last Thursday. Middleton improved to 2-0 with the meat of its schedule coming in the weeks ahead.

“This meet was another great opportunity for us to swim against a good team and some fast swimmers,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “We set the bar pretty high after our first dual meet and we stressed the importance of striving to stay there this week. 

“As a team, we talked about the little things we could focus on throughout the week and the girls did a great job of maintaining that focus.”

Middleton’s three relay teams all took first place.

Tue
05
Sep
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Cross country teams shine at Verona

Middleton’s cross country teams got off to a terrific start last Saturday at the Verona Invite.

Middleton’s boys finished second at the 20-team invite, while the girls were third among 19 teams.

In addition, Cardinals’ junior Caleb Easton won the boys race in 15 minutes, 59.05 seconds.

“Caleb ran a very smart race,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “I was very pleased with his patience.

“He positioned himself in third and with a half mile to go he made a great move to the front. His closing speed is up there with some of the best guys in the state and I think he's poised to have a big cross country season.”

Middleton competed without senior Jack Rader — arguably its best runner — who is still recovering from an Achilles’ tendon tear. But the Cardinals showed how deep and talented they are.

Tue
05
Sep
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Soccer Cards start strong

If it’s possible for an all-state player to lurk in the shadows, then Derek Waleffe has certainly done that in recent seasons.

Waleffe, a senior soccer standout at Middleton High School, often was the sidekick to high-flying and current University of Wisconsin standout Bradan Allen. But it’s clear, Waleffe won't be taking a backseat to anybody in 2017.

Waleffe scored six goals in three games last weekend and powered Middleton to a 2-0-1 record at the Brookfield East Tournament.

After Middleton and Elkhorn played to a scoreless draw to open the tournament on Friday, Waleffe had a hat trick in an 8-0 win over Wauwatosa West on Saturday. Waleffe followed that with another hat trick in an 8-0 win over Brookfield East on Saturday.

Wed
30
Aug
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Boys spikers seeking greatness

Middleton’s boys volleyball team produced a bevy of sensational teams over the last 15 years.

The Cardinals have qualified for the WIAA state tournament four consecutive years and nine times since 2002. Middleton reached the state semifinals in both 2007 and ’08.

And the Cardinals have won 10 of the last 11 Big Eight Conference championships.

That’s a remarkable run that almost any program in the state would love to call its own.

Don't look now, but when Middleton begins its new season Tuesday at Beloit Memorial, it could field the best team in school history.

“I think based on experience and depth, this team has the chance to be one of the top teams we’ve had at Middleton,” Cardinals coach Ben White said. “We’ve had an unreal run over the last 11 years and this team could compete with some of the best.

Wed
30
Aug
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Boys soccer team has high hopes

Middleton’s boys soccer program had a 2016 season to remember.

The Cardinals reached the WIAA Division 1 state tournament for the first time since 2011. Middleton knocked off Big Eight Conference co-champs Madison East and Sun Prairie on its way to state.

And the Cardinals finished the year with an impressive 16-3-2 record.

Now comes the hard part.

Sustaining what was achieved.

“This year we need to prove our staying power as a soccer program,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “Our effort will need to be team driven and not based on any one player's individual talent.

“Our tactics have to change to a more aggressive style to produce the same results. We have a tactical plan to get back to the (state) tourney given this year's set of players. We need all 11 players executing that plan to make it work.”

Wed
30
Aug
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Boys XC team thinking big

Middleton’s boys cross country team has been on a remarkably impressive upward trend in recent seasons.

And the Cardinals’ ascent could very well continue in 2017.

Middleton finished 15th at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in 2013, then has been sixth, fourth and third in the three years since.

Now, with a gifted group of returnees and a number of talented newcomers, this could be the year Middleton breaks through and pushes for a state championship.

“I think we can replicate third place or better this year,” said Middleton coach Brian Finnel, whose team opens its season Saturday at the Verona Invite. “Placing third last year made the returners very hungry and they really want to get on that podium.

Wed
30
Aug
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HTL team two wins from a title

The Chicago Cubs had Jake Arietta.

The San Francisco Giants had Madison Bumgarner.

And on a smaller scale, Middleton’s Home Talent League team has Drew Farrell.

Look out below.

In the first round of the HTL playoffs Sunday, Farrell threw 8 1/3 innings of no-hit ball against host Montello. Pinch hitter Craig Madson broke up the no-hitter, but Farrell went the distance and led Middleton to a 7-0 win.

Farrell finished with seven strikeouts, allowed two hits and walked two.

“Farrell was a force on the mound today,” Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said. “He dominated right from the start and never gave in.”

Middleton (18-2) now travels to Stoughton Sunday at 1 p.m., and the winner of that game will be in the driver’s seat for the HTL championship. Stoughton cruised to a 9-3 win over Dodgeville in the other first round game.

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