Sports

Tue
06
Dec
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Madison Memorial topples MHS

Storm Murphy stood in a nearly empty locker room last Thursday and put his Wofford College shirt on backwards. On this night, Middleton’s senior point guard didn’t feel like the best representative for Terriers’ basketball

“That wasn’t me,” Murphy said.

A few feet away, senior forward Tyree Eady sat for 15 minutes with his head down. Finally, Middleton assistant coach Jerry Raffel gave the Cardinals’ standout forward a pep talk and the two headed to the bus.

The calendar read December, but this was March basketball. And Middleton took its 56-53 setback against host Madison Memorial as hard as it would a sectional final.

“I was more hyped for this than any game in a long time,” said Murphy, who will play at Wofford next season. “This is a tough one.”

The Cardinals and Spartans know each other as well as any two teams in the state.

Thu
01
Dec
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Football Cardinals named all-Big 8

The best offensive lineman in the history of Middleton football is arguably Ryan Groy.

Groy was an all-state player in 2008, had a stellar career at the University of Wisconsin and currently plays for the Buffalo Bills.

This season, Kayden Lyles had a year similar to any that Groy had at Middleton.

Lyles, who’s also a UW recruit, was named the Big Eight Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year and was a first-team all-state player. Lyles headlined a number of Cardinals that earned postseason honors.

Senior linebacker Joe Ludwig and junior offensive lineman Jarrett Horst were named first-team all-league.

Junior running back Dion Huff, senior defensive linemen Harrison Bielski and Max Elliott, junior linebacker Shane Bick and senior safety Jack Smith were named second-team all-conference.

Thu
01
Dec
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Middleton spikers honored

Middleton’s girls volleyball team landed four players on the all-Big Eight Conference team.

Sophomore outside hitter Lily Welti was named first-team all-Big Eight. Junior middle hitter Jennifer McGinnis, senior setter Mimi McMurray and senior libero Jessi Nonn were all named second-team all-conference.

Welti was a co-captain who led Middleton in kills. She was one of the Cardinals’ main serve receivers, defenders and jump servers and was named Middleton’s Most Valuable Player. 

“She was our go-to player and did a great job as a sophomore carrying the team on her shoulders,” Middleton coach Franco Marcos said. “She was second in the overall voting for the Big Eight Conference player of the year.  

“She has a great future ahead of her! She will be challenging for the player of the year in 2017.”

Tue
22
Nov
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Boys spikers haul in postseason awards

Middleton’s boys volleyball team had another unforgettable season.

And the Cardinals were handsomely rewarded when it came time for postseason honors.

Middleton, which reached the state tournament for the fourth straight year, had six players earn all-Big Eight Conference honors. Cardinals head coach Ben White was also named the state’s Coach of the Year.

Middleton junior Thomas Robson was named first-team all-Big Eight, was the conference’s Player of the Year and received second-team all-state honors. Senior outside hitter Cole Spitler and junior setter Andrew Lepage received first-team all-league honors.

Junior middle blocker Brian Verganz was named second-team all-conference, while senior defensive specialist/outside hitter Ben Miller and sophomore outside hitter Eagan Peters-Michaud were both named honorable mention all-conference.

Tue
22
Nov
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Eight soccer players named all-Big 8

It was a memorable year for Middleton’s boys soccer team.

And when it came time for postseason awards, the Cardinals received their just due.

Senior forward Bradan Allen, junior midfielder Derek Waleffe and senior defender Ryan Peyton were all named first-team all-conference.

Junior midfielder Drake Vandermause, senior defender Max Raisleger were named second-team all-league, while senior defender Taylor Schlueter, senior keeper Brendon Martin and sophomore midfielder/forward Greg Pauly were all named honorable-mention all-conference.

Allen led the Cardinals in goals (31) and points (72) and tied for second in assists (10). Allen also finished second in school history in career goals and second in career points.

Tue
22
Nov
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Middleton's Thomas honored for big season

Middleton’s girls golfers enjoyed a dream season.

The Cardinals rolled through the Big Eight Conference winning the league’s dual meet championship and the conference tournament. Middleton finished in first place at 15 of 17 invites prior to the state tournament.

And the Cardinals finished second at state behind Hartland Arrowhead.

The postseason awards season was almost as enjoyable.

Middleton seniors Alex Thomas and Morgan Miles and junior Payton Hodson were all named first-team all-Big Eight Conference. Cardinals freshman Kate Meier was also named second-team all-conference.

Thomas was also named the Big Eight’s Player of the Year and was the state’s Co-Player of the Year, an honor she shared with Hartland Arrowhead’s Emily Lauterbach. Thomas was also named academic all-state for a third consecutive year.

Tue
22
Nov
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Hockey Cardinals have high hopes

On paper, the losses look substantial.

Key scoring threats. Defensive stalwarts. And a goaltender that played at a high level.

Inside Middleton’s hockey program, though, you typically don’t rebuild. You reload.

And Cardinals head coach Steffon Walby believes his 2016-’17 group can be just as dynamic as last year’s team that went 21-4 overall and won the Big Eight Conference — even though Middleton took some serious hits in graduation.

“We did lose a good talented group of seniors,” said Walby, whose team began their new season Tuesday with a home game against Sun Prairie. “However the current seniors this year are pretty good to speak of. They will be fast as well as hungry. I think one of the differences will be them fitting into their new leadership roles.”

Sat
19
Nov
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Great expectations for boys basketball team

Few members of the Middleton boys basketball community have seen more than Jerry Raffel.

Raffel, the Cardinals’ top assistant coach, joined the great John Boyle’s staff in 1991. He stayed on board when Kevin Bavery replaced a retiring Boyle in 2006.

Now, set to begin his 26th season inside the Middleton program, Raffel is a walking expert in modern history.

So when Raffel offers up the following opinion, you listen. Closely.

“The buzz we have right now, we didn’t have that in ’98 until we were three-quarters of the way through the season,” Raffel said, referring to the last Middleton team that reached the state tournament. “Right now, I’ve never seen a more energized team than this. And this group is every bit as good as that ’98 team was. It’s really exciting.”

And how.

The night before Middleton’s first practice, Bavery was getting texts from current and former players that were giddy about the start of this journey.

Wed
16
Nov
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Girls basketball team thinking big

Twelve months ago, Middleton’s girls basketball coach Jeff Kind stood in the school’s gymnasium and said, “If Verona’s ever going to win (state), it will be this year.”

The Wildcats then made Kind looked Nostradamus and captured the WIAA Division 1 state championship in March.

During that same conversation, Kind also said, “If we’re ever going to win it, it will be the next year.”

Well, that year is here and it begins when the Cardinals head to Madison Memorial Friday for a 7:30 p.m. contest. Now, Kind hopes his prognosticating skills are as strong as they were a year ago.

Kind brings back arguably the finest team he’s had in 24 years of coaching at Middleton. And considering Kind has guided nine teams to state and has been second at state three times, that’s saying something.

“This is the year,” Middleton junior forward Halle White said. “This is definitely the year. We all think that.”

With good reason.

Wed
16
Nov
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Middleton swimmers make history

They came in as the favorites and left as champions.

Middleton capped a dream season by claiming its first WIAA Division 1 state girls swimming and diving championship at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium last Saturday night.

“We said in the beginning of the season, this was our main goal — state,” said freshman Gabriela Pierobon Mays. “We knew we could do it.

“Last year, they blew it out of the park and got second. We definitely thought we had a shot at this and then it actually coming true is just surreal. There’s no words to describe how awesome it is. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Middleton totaled 265 points behind a first-place finish by Pierobon Mays in the 100-yard butterfly and winning performances by the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

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