Sports

Thu
06
Dec
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Gymnasts poised for special season

The numbers are impressive once again.

There is youth up and down the roster.

And while Middleton’s girls gymnastics team was hit some unexpected challenges this offseason, the Cardinals are still thinking big.

Middleton begins its season Thursday against Madison West at 6:30 p.m. The Cardinals have an extremely young team, but also have the biggest squad in school history with 27 gymnasts.

“It's a young team, with only one senior,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “So it will definitely be a building year for Middleton. The depth and potential is incredible though. There is a lot of talent to work with.”

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Karina Sabol elected to return to club gymnastics. A year ago, Sabol joined the Cardinals and had a sensational season highlighted by a state championship on the vault.

Thu
06
Dec
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MHS swimmers have high hopes

Last season was a memorable ride for Middleton’s boys swimming team.

This year could be more of the same.

The Cardinals notched the best finish in school history when they placed second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet. Now, with a terrific group of returnees and several promising newcomers, Middleton could be poised for another sensational year.

“It was a surreal moment for everyone when we realized we had a shot at second,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said of the Cardinals’ state run in 2017-‘18. “Everyone was so laser focused and tried to get every touch out we could. In the end, everyone was incredibly happy. We couldn't have asked for better from anyone.”

Middleton, which kicked off its season last weekend, brings back a terrific core that hopes to make a run at a state title.

Fri
30
Nov
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Verona knocks off MHS girls

Jeff Kind had just one word for Middleton’s second game of the girls basketball season.

“Frustrating,” Kind said.

Kind, the Cardinals’ veteran coach, saw his team build an eight-point, second half lead at Verona on Nov. 20. But the Wildcats battled back and eventually posted a 70-63 win.

Middleton guard Evie Coleman led five players in double figures with a career-high 18 points. Sitori Tanin had 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Hannah Flottmeyer had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Karina Bursac and Charlotte Dunn both had 10 points, as well.

Middleton fell to 1-1 overall and in the Big Eight Conference. Verona improved to 2-1, 2-0.

“Offensively, we rebounded well, got some second chance points, and managed to pull into a couple five point leads and even an eight point lead in the second half,” Kind said. “But each time, Verona came back with a run.”

Fri
30
Nov
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Middleton boys roll past Waterford

You only get one shot at a first impression.

Middleton’s boys’ basketball team made the most of their chance last Wednesday.

The Cardinals dominated from start to finish and toppled visiting Waterford, 61-45, in the season opener for both teams.

Middleton senior guard Sam Close led all scorers with 17 points, while senior guard Jack Boyle added 14 points and three assists.

"It was clear early on that we were the better team due to our roster of juniors and seniors and our overall size compared to Waterford,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “They were much younger and although inexperienced, we did have that advantage.”

The Cardinals got solid performances from up and down the lineup.

Senior guard Chandon Thomas came off the bench, scored nine points and disrupted much of what Waterford tried to do offensively.

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.

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