Sports

Wed
23
Aug
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Middleton's HTL team storms to Final Four

The Middleton 29ers had one more hurdle to clear on Sunday if they wanted their fantastic season to continue: the hot-hitting Reedsburg Pirates.

Reedsburg, which features six players in their every-week lineup batting above .300, hit .322 as a team this season. That was sixth-best out of 44 Home Talent League teams.   

Unfortunately for Reedsburg, it had to face Middleton's offense, which ranked No. 1 in the league. Oh, and they had to face Drew Farrell.  

Middleton used a brilliant pitching performance from Farrell, had some timely hitting and tamed visiting Reedsburg, 7-1, to capture the Northern League Championship for the first time since 2013.

Middleton reserved a spot in the HTL Final Four, which begins Sunday. The 29ers open HTL play by traveling to Montello for a 1 p.m. game.

Stoughton and Dodgeville also qualified for the Final Four. The four teams all play each other in a round robin tournament over the next three weeks.

Wed
23
Aug
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Girls golfers keep rolling

There was uncertainty, unknowns and unpredictability.

Those days are over.

Today, Middleton’s girls golf team has answered any and all questions that surrounded it when the year began.

Middleton went to the Brookfield Central-Homestead Classic last week and finished third at the star-studded, 19-team event.

The Cardinals then won a pair of Big Eight Conference triangulars and began the year 4-0 in the league.

“I'd say the girls have met and exceeded our expectations for the start of the season,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said.

Defending state champion Hartland Arrowhead won the BC-H Classic with a 625. Brookfield Central was second at 646, while Middleton (656), Homestead (660) and Kettle Moraine (661) rounded out the top five.

Middleton shot a 320 on the first day of the tournament played at Mee-Kwon in Mequon. That was good for second place, just four shots back of Arrowhead.

Tue
22
Aug
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Football Cardinals rout Memorial

Tim Simon was nervous.

But for anyone that knows Simon — Middleton’s 14th year football coach — that’s simply par for the course.

“I’m always nervous on gameday,” Simon said. “People give me (nonsense) in the hallways. But really everything worries me.”

It’s a good thing Simon has a football team plenty capable of calming his nerves.

In Middleton’s season-opener against Madison Memorial last Friday, the Cardinals dominated from start to finish. Middleton built a commanding 29-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 36-7 win.

Senior running backs Dion Huff and James Pabst both had a pair of touchdown runs, senior quarterback Davis Roquet was a model of consistency, and the Cardinals’ defense was largely impenetrable when the game was being decided.

“We played together as one tonight,” Middleton senior defensive back Cole Ragsdale said. “And it was awesome.”

Mon
14
Aug
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Injuries mount for Middleton's football team

If it wasn’t for bad luck, it doesn’t appear Middleton’s football team would have any luck whatsoever.

The 2017 season hasn’t even arrived, and Middleton has already lost four players expected to play vital roles.

During last Friday’s scrimmage with Watertown and Mount Horeb/Barneveld, the Cardinals lost two players with potential season-ending injuries.

Senior wideout Brogan Brunker suffered broken bones in his hand and stands a slim chance to return late in the year. Junior right guard Dylan Kalscheur suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire season.

Earlier this summer, junior Max Schlicht — a likely starter at tight end — suffered a torn ACL while playing basketball that ended his year before it even began. And during the first week of practice, senior left tackle Jarrett Horst suffered a Jones fracture in his foot and will likely miss most of the regular season.

Tue
08
Aug
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MHS golfers have high hopes again

The names and the faces have changed.

Big time.

But that’s just business as usual inside Middleton’s girls golf program.

What never changes are expectations. And those certainly won’t be altered this fall.

The Cardinals have finished in the top-three at the WIAA Division 1 state meet for four consecutive years. Now, after losing three of its top golfers — including state Co-Player of the year Alexis Thomas — Middleton could be hard-pressed to match that success level again.

But if history has taught us anything, it’s that doubting the Cardinals is a foolish endeavor. So when Middleton begins its new season Thursday at the New Glarus Invite, expect it to once again field a gifted and dangerous team.

“Our end goals will always be the same,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “But it's our daily goals that will probably be a little different than in the past.”

Tue
08
Aug
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Football Cards lose Horst

The high school football season is still more than a week away, and Middleton has already suffered a big loss.

No, make that immense.

Senior offensive tackle Jarrett Horst, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 295 pounds, suffered a Jones fracture in his foot during practice last week. Horst underwent surgery Monday and is expected to miss eight weeks.

If Horst’s recovery goes well, he could return late in the regular season. If not, he could miss the entire year.

Middleton opens its 2017 campaign Aug. 18 against Madison Memorial.

“It’s a huge loss,” Middleton offensive coordinator Jason Pertzborn said. “I’m a little worried until we can get some answers up front.”

Tue
08
Aug
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Middleton's HTL team wins playoff opener

The Middleton 29ers have enjoyed a memorable Home Talent League season, to date.

Middleton went 14-2 during the regular season. The 29ers won the Northern Section’s Eastern Division. And Middleton was a No. 1 seed in the postseason.

But midway through the 29ers’ first round playoff game with Waunakee Sunday, they held a tenuous 2-1 lead. And Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand had a simple message for his team.

“It doesn’t matter what happened the last 16 games,” Hellenbrand said. “Now, its win or go home.”

Middleton wasn’t ready to have its season stopped.

The 29ers erupted for five runs in the sixth inning and seven more in the seventh and drilled visiting Waunakee, 14-2. Middleton improved to 15-2 overall and will host Black Earth (9-8) in the second round of the postseason Sunday at 1 p.m.

“Our bats came alive and we rolled the rest of the game,” Hellenbrand said.

Boy did they ever.

Wed
28
Jun
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Roden, Belleveau named first-team all-league

Tom Schmitt took over as Middleton’s baseball manager in 2003.

In that time, Schmitt and the Cardinals have won a state championship, have reached the state tournament seven times, and have been a consistent force in the Big Eight Conference.

So when Schmitt utters the following statement, you take notice.

“When I think of Alan Roden and the top kids we’ve ever had, he’s in the top-five,” Schmitt said of his junior catcher. “He’s been very fun to have.”

Roden, a University of Creighton recruit, just finished a tremendous season and was named first-team all-Big Eight Conference. Senior outfielder Liam Belleveau joined Roden on the first team, while junior pitcher Brady Schmitt was named second-team all-league and junior utility player Zach Shipley was named honorable mention all-conference.

Wed
28
Jun
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Middleton's HTL team moves to 10-0

In baseball, “ace” is used to describe a team’s number one starting pitcher, someone who can lead his team to victory with his arm.  

Middleton starting pitcher Drew Farrell looked every bit the part of an ace on Sunday, going the distance and leading the 29ers to a 7-0 win over Ashton.

Middleton improved to 10-0 in the Northern Section’s East Division and leads second place Black Earth by four games. Ashton fell to 5-5 and will need to fight for its postseason lives over the final month of the regular season.

Farrell dazzled while hurling a complete game. Farrell threw just 99 pitches and limited Ashton to four hits while striking out four.

Farrell rarely faced adversity in the game, dancing around two Ashton rallies in the fourth and sixth innings.

Tue
20
Jun
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Ten Soccer Cards named all-conference

To the victors go the spoils.

Middleton’s girls soccer team had a tremendous season and captured the Big Eight Conference championship. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals dominated when it came to all-conference voting.

Senior forward Maya Shea, senior midfielder Kalli Acker and junior defender Emily Duecker were all named first-team all-conference. Freshman midfielder Tyler Wilson received second-team all-league honors, while senior forwards Payton Houden and Tessa Grywalsky, sophomore midfielder Charlotte Dunn, senior defender Lexey Grapentine, sophomore defender Emily Raisleger and junior Lexi Schultz were all named honorable-mention all-conference.

Shea led the Cardinals with 16 goals and ranked third with six assists. Shea received the most votes among forwards in the Big Eight, which put her in the running for Conference Player of the Year honors, as well.

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