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Middleton wins WSN Cup

The 2019-’20 high school sports season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in the games that were played, no one accomplished more than Middleton High School.

The Cardinals won the annual WSN Cup Large School Division trophy, which is presented by The award honors schools that provide and achieve success in many of the WIAA sponsored sports.

Middleton won the Large School award for a second straight year after Arrowhead won the first 11 titles. The Large School Division is for schools with enrollment over 1,000.

Middleton finished with 585.43 points, while the Warhawks were second with 554.0. Brookfield East (524), Muskego (418) and Brookfield Central (363.5) rounded out the top five.

Points are awarded for finishes in the state tournament of every sport. Generally, the top 32 teams in each sport are awarded points.

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Jamie Sims named Middleton's athletic director

Jamie Sims knows the job is daunting.

He understands that the demands, stresses and time-commitment can all be a bit overwhelming.

But Sims believes he’s ready for his next great challenge. And the powers-that-be at Middleton High School think he’s the man to lead their athletic department into the future.

Sims, currently the principal at Black Hawk Middle School in Madison, was named Middleton’s new athletic director Thursday night. Sims replaces Bob Joers, who died of pancreatic cancer last month.

Ben White was named Middleton’s assistant athletic director and student activities coordinator. He’ll spend approximately 50% of his time in each role.

“I am really excited,” Sims said Friday afternoon. “The program is in great shape thanks to all of the hard work laid by Bob. I’m just excited to build on that and amplify that. Athletics is really my true passion and I can’t wait to get started.”

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'Best of the best' for Middleton boys

This was a year like no other.

The high school sports world came to a screeching halt on March 12 as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. And sports never started up again.

Still, the Times-Tribune would like to recognize the elite performances of the shortened 2019-’20 school year. Last week, we honored the top girls teams and this week we’ll pay homage to the boys.


Teams of the Year: Cross country and swimming

In a matter of 3 ½ months, Middleton brought home a pair of state championships.

First, the cross country team won its second state title in three years, upsetting favored Stevens Point to bring home gold in early November. Then in late-February, Middleton’s swimmers surprised many and won the first state championship in school history.

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'Best of the best' for Middleton girls

This was a year like no other.

The high school sports world came to a screeching halt on March 12 as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. And sports never started up again.

Still, the Times-Tribune would like to recognize the elite performances of the shortened 2019-’20 school year. This week, we’ll honor the top girls and next week we’ll pay homage to the boys.


Teams of the Year: Golf and basketball

Middleton’s girls golf team had a season it will never forget — and ended it with a state championship.

The Cardinals’ girls basketball team produced a similar season, only their state title chase was stopped by COVID-19.

The two groups that both captured the fancy of the community are the Times-Tribune’s Co-Teams of the Year.

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Pauls named MHS' boys soccer coach

Kevin Pauls isn’t ashamed to admit it.

He’s a little nervous. And it’s easy to see why.

Pauls was recently named the new boys soccer coach at Middleton High School. And Pauls understands that taking over a program as powerful as the Cardinals is an awfully tall task.

“While I'm super excited, I'm also very honored and even a bit nervous,” Pauls said. “Within a couple hours … I heard from friends, family, current and past players, parents, and colleagues, literally around the world congratulating me, which made me feel great, but also shows the amount of pressure that comes with this program. This program has been at the top for a long time.”

But Pauls certainly seems ready to take the reins.

Pauls is a lifelong soccer player who attended McFarland High School and began coaching with the Spartans in 1998. At McFarland, Pauls coached at all levels and was also a varsity assistant.

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Vogel takes over girls volleyball program

Maddie Vogel grew up trying to beat Middleton in volleyball.

Now, she’ll try helping the Cardinals’ program recapture their past glory.

Vogel was recently hired as Middleton’s girls volleyball coach. Vogel, who coached the Cardinals’ JV team last year, replaces Franco Marcos — who stepped down at the end of the 2019 season.

“I could not be more excited,” Vogel said. “As the JV coach last year I was able to get to know the team, and I feel so fortunate for the continued opportunity to work with them again. It’s a fantastic group of girls both on and off the court.”

Vogel played at Capital Volleyball Academy in both middle and high school. Vogel attended Verona High School, where she was a two-time all-Big Eight Conference performer and helped the Wildcats reach the WIAA Division 1 state tournament during her sophomore season in 2011.

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MHS coaches share stories about Bob Joers

Bob Joers touched the lives of countless people in and around Middleton.

Joers, the athletic director at Middleton High School from 1995-2004 and again from 2011-2020, had a particularly strong relationship with many of the coaches in his department.

After Joers died on May 15 following a battle with pancreatic cancer, the Times-Tribune reached out to many of those coaches for thoughts about their former boss. Here’s a sample of what those coaches said about Joers.

The coaches are listed in alphabetical order.


Kevin Bavery, boys basketball

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Joers, White formed a special bond

They were both dealt hands that were absolutely nightmarish.

Perhaps the only positive in the ordeal is they could lean on each other, and in the process, formed a special friendship.

Ben White, Middleton’s boys volleyball coach and student activities coordinator, was diagnosed with lymphoma in Sept., 2019. Bob Joers, Middleton’s athletic director, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one month later.

Over the next six months, the two men developed an unforgettable bond under the most trying of circumstances.

“Besides my family, Bob was my immediate support person, and I was his,” White said.

Unfortunately for White — and the entire community — that changed on May 15 when Joers lost his battle with cancer.

Stories flooded in how Joers touched so many lives in and around the area. But the relationship Joers and White built while battling cancer together was both inspirational and motivating.

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Middleton A.D. Bob Joers passes away

Bob Joers led Middleton’s athletic department into the 21st century.

Joers helped the Cardinals become arguably the top athletic program in the state.

And through it all, he remained one of the most flexible, accessible and personable people in his industry.

Joers, Middleton’s athletic director from 1995-2004 and again from 2011-2020, died Friday evening after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

“We are heartbroken,” Cindy Joers, Bob’s wife, wrote on his CaringBridge page. “But we are at peace because he is at peace.”

Joers was the face of Middleton athletics the majority of the past quarter century. Whether it was a Friday night football game or a Tuesday afternoon tennis match, Joers was typically running the event.

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Girls soccer team had high hopes

Editor’s Note: The WIAA recently canceled spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Times-Tribune, we’d like to give recognition to the athletes and coaches who had their seasons stopped prematurely.

So, we’re running a series of stories on the teams that didn’t get a chance to perform in 2020.


Mary Duffy is always packed with optimism.

And it’s easy to see why.

Duffy, Middleton’s girls soccer coach, has taken a great program and kept it among the state’s elite. And Duffy expected more of the same in 2020.

Middleton, which went 12-4-4 last year and reached the WIAA Division 1 sectional finals, returned a gifted side. And Duffy fully believed the Cardinals could go one step further this spring and reach the state tournament.

That dream was shattered, though, when the WIAA canceled spring sports in late-April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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