Sports

Tue
29
Oct
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Middleton survives and advances

Brad Rogeberg has watched Josh Stormer excel for nearly a decade now.

Rogeberg, Middleton’s defensive coordinator, began coaching Stormer when he was a fourth grader in the Cardinals’ youth program. And game after game, week after week, Stormer always shined.

“The kid has always been a playmaker,” Rogeberg said.

Never has Stormer made a bigger play, though, than last Friday during the Cardinals’ WIAA Division 1 playoff opener.

Visiting Madison La Follette had just driven 95 yards and pulled within 21-20 of the Cardinals after a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Probst to tight end Andrew Rajkovich with only one second remaining. The Lancers eschewed the extra point and lined up for two.

For a moment, wideout David Gray came free and Probst threw his way. But Stormer — a junior cornerback — made a sensational break on the ball, knocked the pass away and helped the Cardinals escape with a thrilling win.

Tue
29
Oct
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Middleton excited for rematch with Memorial

To a man, they insist they’re a different team now.

They’ve figured out personnel issues, grown as a team and have rolled off six straight wins.

Now, Middleton’s football team is ready for the rematch.

Middleton vs. Madison Memorial — Part II.

This battle between neighbors and rivals takes place in a WIAA Division 1 Level 2 playoff game Friday at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Stadium.

“I can’t wait,” Middleton head coach Jason Pertzborn said after his team edged Madison La Follette, 21-20, in a first round playoff game on Oct. 25. “Our guys have wanted a rematch with Memorial for a while now and they’ve earned the chance to play them again.”

Memorial, the No. 1 seed in the bracket, is a perfect 10-0. The Spartans won the Big Eight Conference with a 9-0 mark, then routed Madison West, 42-6, in a first round playoff game.

Tue
29
Oct
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Boys XC team headed back to state

MADISON — The mission was clear for Middleton’s boys country team moments before the Cardinals lined up to compete at the WIAA Division 1 Madison West Sectional at Lake Farm County Park last Saturday.

Middleton girls had already gotten the day off to a stellar start, securing its first berth at the state meet since 2013.

Now it was the boys’ turn to join the party.

“After they won, we were hyped to win it, too,” sophomore Griffin Ward said.

Despite the absence of their top two runners — Ryan Schollmeyer (calf injury), who could be available for state, and Roman Ystenes (knee), who is likely sidelined for the rest of the season — the Cardinals did what they had to do.

Tue
29
Oct
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Girls XC team headed to state

MADISON — Middleton sophomore Lauren Pansegrau continues to get better and better.

Just don’t ask her whether she expects to win every cross country race that she enters.

“I don’t know, but that is the goal after all,” she said with a smile, shortly after winning her first sectional championship at the WIAA Division 1 Madison West Sectional at Lake Farm County Park last Saturday.

Pansegrau covered the 5,000-meter course in a personal-best time of 17 minutes, 55 seconds to lead Big Eight Conference champion and fourth-ranked Middleton to the sectional team title with 32 points.

The Cardinals earned their first trip to state since 2013, which ironically was the last time that both the Middleton’s boys and girls teams qualified for state in the same season.

Middleton’s boys’ team followed nearly an hour later with a team title of its own to make it a clean sweep for the Cardinals.

Tue
29
Oct
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Soccer Cards two steps from state

They are halfway home on their quest for a return trip to the state tournament.

Middleton’s boys soccer team is fully aware, though, that the second half of this journey will be far more difficult than the first.

The fifth-seeded Cardinals downed 12th-seeded Madison La Follette, 3-1, in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Oct. 22. Middleton then defeated fourth-seeded and host Oconomowoc, 2-0, in a regional final last Saturday.

Middleton now heads to top-seeded Verona for a sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. The sectional final is Saturday at 4 p.m. in Sun Prairie, where either second-seeded Madison West or third-seeded Madison East would await.

“Verona may be the toughest challenge leading to the state tourney,” Middleton coach Ben Kollasch said. “They are the No. 1 seed and they have a team loaded with seniors who have tons of experience.

Tue
29
Oct
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Boys spikers advance to sectionals

The math is simple.

After each round, the field is trimmed in half.

And by Saturday evening, Middleton’s boys volleyball team hopes to be one of the final eight teams still standing.

The Cardinals, seeded first in their sectional, rolled over Madison East 25-10, 25-15, 25-7 in a regional final last Friday.

The Cardinals advanced to face Madison West in a sectional semifinal that was held Tuesday night. The sectional championship is Saturday at Sun Prairie at 4:30 p.m., where either second-seeded Madison Memorial or third-seeded Kettle Moraine would await.

“We know after Tuesday that the field is down to 16 teams and after Saturday it's down to eight,” Middleton interim coach Justin Haack said. “Our goals haven't changed and that's to be one of those remaining teams after each match.”

Middleton was never in danger against East, a talented but inexperienced team.

Tue
29
Oct
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MHS girls spikers fall in regional finals

Middleton’s girls volleyball team wasn’t ready for its season to end in the regional finals.

There’s a good chance the Cardinals won’t experience such an early exit in upcoming seasons.

Middleton, which fielded a young and inexperienced team this season, reached the WIAA Division 1 regional finals last Saturday. But host and fourth-seeded DeForest edged the fifth-seeded Cardinals, 33-31, 26-24, 20-25, 25-23.

Middleton had defeated 12th-seeded La Crosse Central, 25-23, 25-16, 25-19 in the regional semifinals last Thursday.

With the overwhelming majority of the roster returning, Middleton head coach Franco Marcos believes bigger and better things await his team.

“Next season looks really good in Cardinal country,” Marcos said. “We will have returning players that experienced long matches.”

Middleton’s win over La Crosse Central in the regional semis certainly didn’t take long.

Thu
24
Oct
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Middleton's boys run to a title

The challenge was immense.

Middleton’s boys cross country team was gunning for its third straight Big Eight Conference title last Saturday without two of its top runners.

Amazingly, the Cardinals passed this most difficult of tests.

Middleton won the league title with 46 points, just ahead of runner-up Madison La Follette (50) and third place Madison West (58) in a race held at Rockport Park in Janesville.

“It was quite a whirlwind and a very big challenge for the three-peat,” Middleton coach Brian Fennel said. “It was a big team effort and I'm very proud of the boys for this win. They definitely rose to the occasion for today.

“While the times don't reflect it, I thought this was our best team race of the season. We finally beat West and La Follette, who we hadn't beat all year. In many ways I think this is a huge confidence boost for the team and I hope we can carry this momentum moving forward.

Thu
24
Oct
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Pansegrau, MHS shine at Big 8 meet

Middleton super sophomore Lauren Pansegrau was the fastest girl at the Big Eight Conference cross country meet.

The Cardinals were also the fastest team in the league.

So it all added up for a memorable day for Middleton last Saturday.

The Cardinals finished with 41 points and edged Madison West (44) for the title. Pansegrau also won the individual title, completing the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 5 seconds and nipping Madison West sophomore Genevieve Nashold by 10 seconds.

“It was an incredibly exciting race to watch,” Middleton coach Alexa Richardson said. “The girls were confident going into the race, knowing the work they have put in this season has all been worth it. They focused on bettering themselves rather than dwelling on other athletes performances.”

It paid off.

While Pansegrau was the show stealer, Middleton had several other stellar performances on its way to a title.

Thu
24
Oct
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Football Cardinals rout La Follette

Middleton football coach Jason Pertzborn was in a celebratory mood last Friday night.

And for good reason.

Pertzborn had just watched his Cardinals dismantle visiting Madison La Follette, 49-21, in their Big Eight Conference regular season finale. It was Middleton’s fifth straight win and helped the Cardinals land a home game in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 playoffs Friday.

“We’re healthy right now and we’re playing good football,” said Pertzborn, who performed a perfect cartwheel for his troops after the game. “And, when we take care of the ball, we’re a solid team.”

The Cardinals finished the regular season at 7-2 overall and in the Big Eight and settled for a share of second-place in the league with Verona. La Follette (6-3, 6-3) dropped into a fourth-place tie with Sun Prairie.

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