Sports

Wed
30
May
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Middleton golfers headed back to state

It’s the most stressful day of the golf season.

Sure, the two-day state tournament can be a nerve-wracking affair.

But sectionals — where every drive, chip and putt can determine if you live to play another round — is a far more taxing endeavor.

Middleton’s young guns — a group that included four players competing at sectionals for the first time — handled the pressure like seasoned veterans Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals shot a terrific 306, finished second at the Verona Sectional played at Edelweiss Country Club and earned a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Verona won the sectional with a sizzling 296, while Waunakee was a distant third at 313.

The state tournament is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course. And after a one-year absence, Middleton returns to state for the fourth time in five years.

Wed
30
May
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Tennis Cardinals swing for greatness

Ryan Gold was optimistic.

But Middleton’s junior tennis standout admittedly had almost no idea where he’d be seeded for this week’s WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament.

“I’m thinking like (No.) 8 or 9 maybe,” Gold said the day before seeds were released. “I should get a seed. I’m just not sure where.”

Try No. 3.

Gold received the No. 3 seed in the 56-player tournament. Gold received a first round bye and meets the winner of Kenosha Indian Trail freshman Martin Blagoev (17-4) and Nicolet junior Ben Chester (22-8) Thursday at approximately 4 p.m.

Gold could have two matches Friday, and if he plays to his seed, he’ll advance to the state semifinals Saturday at 9 a.m. The championship match would be Saturday afternoon.

“I wasn't expecting a (No. 3) and I don't think Ryan was either,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “I am excited for Ryan. It is a great opportunity for him.”

Wed
30
May
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MHS track athletes headed to state

In 2016, Middleton’s boys’ track and field team was a sectional champion. The Cardinals then went and finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet.

Middleton coach Joe Line is hoping for similar results in 2018.

Middleton won its own sectional last Thursday, finishing with 107 points to outdistance runner-up La Crosse Central (82). The Cardinals

qualified 10 individuals in seven events and one relay team for the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

“Those guys who made it (to state) could all score,” Middleton coach Joe Line said. “That’s really big. Not only score, but be top three in some events.

“The sky’s the limit. If we have our perfect meet, we could do some damage.”

Mon
28
May
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Baseball Cards win share of Big 8 title

MADISON — The unsuspecting manager had just finished waxing poetically about his now championship team.

He took two steps to his left, realized he was a sitting duck, then was attacked by a group of teenagers with a water bucket.

Getting soaked never felt better for Tom Schmitt.

Middleton’s baseball team cruised to a 10-3 win over Madison East at Warner Park last Thursday. The Cardinals improved to 18-6 overall, 15-3 in the Big Eight Conference and clinched a share of their first league title since 2010.

Afterwards, Middleton’s players and assistant coaches lingered as Schmitt handled his media responsibilities. But when Schmitt finished those duties, his team pounced like they would on a 3-0 fastball.

And that was just fine with Schmitt.

Mon
28
May
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Selfless approach key for soccer Cards

The discussion wasn’t easy.

The hard truth never is.

Middleton’s girls soccer program is one of the deepest and most talented in the state year-in and year-out. This year’s Cardinals might have their best roster in many moons, as well.

So before the season began, Middleton head coach Mary Duffy had an honest conversation with her players and their parents. The Cardinals’ remarkably positive reaction to that talk is a major reason they’re in the middle of a memorable season.

“We had a very open discussion at the beginning of the year with players and parents about the struggles of being on a varsity team, and the difficulties of being at the top level, but not playing or not playing a lot,” Duffy said. “Every single girl has embraced their role with great character, strength, determination to improve themselves and the team. They’ve done it with a fantastically positive attitude to produce this amazing team that we have.”

Wed
23
May
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Soccer Cards win Big 8 crown

SUN PRAIRIE — There are still far bigger fish to fry.

There are much larger goals waiting to be attained.

But for a few minutes Tuesday night, Middleton’s girls’ soccer team stopped, smiled, and reflected on what it had just achieved.

Middleton dominated host Sun Prairie from start to finish and rolled to a 2-0 Big Eight Conference win. The victory gave Middleton the undisputed Big Eight Conference title for a second straight year.

Middleton finished the regular season 8-0-1 in the league and tallied 25 points. Sun Prairie could have earned a share of the conference title with a win, but fell to 6-2-1 and settled for second place with 19 points.

Wed
23
May
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Golfers win Middleton Regional

In a season packed with pleasant surprises, adversity hasn’t reared its ugly head very often for Middleton’s boys golf team.

Midway through Tuesday’s WIAA Division 1 Middleton Regional at Pleasant View, though, danger and difficulty were staring the Cardinals squarely in the face.

Middleton shot a disappointing 160 on the front nine and trailed Waunakee by five strokes. This came on the heels of the Cardinals’ third-place finish at the Big Eight Conference meet five days earlier.

Instead of fading to black, though, Middleton turned things around on a memorable back nine. The Cardinals shot a blistering 151, picked up 11 strokes on the Warriors and won their own regional championship.

Middleton finished with a 311, while Waunakee was second at 317. Verona (322) and Oregon (334) also advanced to next Tuesday’s Verona Sectional at Edelweiss Country Club.

Wed
23
May
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Baseball Cards close in on Big 8 title

These days, it’s pretty good to be Middleton’s baseball team.

The Cardinals swept a pair of games from Beloit Memorial last week, topping the Purple Knights, 5-2, on Tuesday and cruising to a 13-2 win on Wednesday. Now, Middleton’s baseball team is on the brink of winning the Big Eight Conference.

The Cardinals sit at 13-3 in the league and 16-6 overall. Middleton, looking for its first conference title since 2010, holds a ½-game lead over second place Janesville Craig (19-3, 12-3) and Sun Prairie (18-3, 12-3).

In addition, Middleton received the No. 1 seed in its 12-team sectional Sunday. The Cardinals received every No. 1 vote from the other 11 coaches.

Middleton now gets a first round bye and hosts either eighth-seeded Onalaska or ninth-seeded Portage in a WIAA Division 1 regional final on May 31. The Middleton Sectional then takes place June 5.

Wed
23
May
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Tennis Cards set for postseason push

Middleton’s boys tennis team is extremely talented, battle-tested and in the midst of a terrific season.

Now, the Cardinals are hoping to put it all together this week.

Middleton was scheduled to compete at the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Sectional Wednesday. The top individuals advance to the state tournament May 31-June 2, while the first place team earns a spot at the state team tournament June 8-9.

“In order to win sectionals and advance to team state, we are all going to need to pull together,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “Our subsectional is one of the strongest in the state, so players will have to get off to a quick start and play well right off the bat.”

Verona, which won the Big Eight Conference dual meet title and also captured the conference meet last week, is the slight favorite. But Middleton, Madison Memorial and Madison West are all expected to be in the hunt for the team title.

Wed
23
May
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Softball Cardinals receive No. 8 seed

The road won’t be easy.

Far from.

But Middleton’s girls’ softball team is hoping to string together a number of surprises this postseason.

The Cardinals received the No. 8 seed in their sectional and host ninth-seeded Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal Wednesday at 5 p.m. If Middleton advances, it would travel to Sun Prairie for a regional final Friday at 5 p.m.

The sectional semifinals are May 29 and the sectional finals are May 31.

Memorial went 10-11 overall and finished sixth in the Big Eight Conference at 9-9. Middleton (8-13, 8-10) settled for seventh in the league.

The teams also split a doubleheader on April 24, with the Spartans winning the first game, 12-2, and Middleton capturing the second game, 7-5.

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