Sports

Tue
03
Oct
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Golfers hope for big postseason

Becky Halverson is an extremely positive person by nature.

Halverson is an optimist, she’s upbeat and typically carries a cheery disposition.

But even Halverson, Middleton’s girls golf coach, was hesitant when it came to forecasting the Cardinals’ current season.

“Going into the year, I thought it was a stretch goal to get to state,” Halverson said. “I thought we’d be decent, but I wasn’t sure how good we could be.”

Try sensational.

Middleton won the Big Eight Conference dual meet championship, posting a perfect 9-0 record. The Cardinals are now 44-0-1 in league dual meets since Halverson took over in 2013.

Middleton won the Big Eight Conference postseason title last month. And the Cardinals rolled to the team title at last week’s WIAA Division 1 Middleton regional.

Tue
26
Sep
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Football Cards keep streak alive

‘The Streak’ is one of the most impressive in Wisconsin.

Middleton’s football team entered the year having reached the postseason 21 consecutive seasons — the longest Division 1 streak in the state. And the Cardinals added to that remarkable run last Friday.

Middleton rolled past host Janesville Parker, 42-0, and wrapped up a 22nd straight playoff berth. Hartland Arrowhead entered the year tied with Middleton with 21 straight playoff seasons, but the Warhawks still need one more win this year to qualify.

“We’re really proud of that as a staff,” Middleton coach Tim Simon said. “You don’t want to take it for granted. It doesn't happen without a lot of hard work, because it says something when you can go back year after year. It’s definitely a badge of honor we all feel proud of.”

Tue
26
Sep
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Boys XC team jumps to No. 1

Brian Finnel was watching Middleton’s long distance runners during track season last spring. And Finnel had a thought.

“We had so many guys run well in the 3200,” said Finnel, the Cardinals’ boys cross country coach. “I thought this cross country season could be a very special year.”

So Finnel decided to enter the Cardinals in the Roy Griak Invitational, one of the most competitive events anywhere. The 46-team invitational was held last Saturday on the University of Minnesota campus.

“Part of the appeal of going to Griak was seeing more challenging competition,” Finnel said. “But it's always nice to see different competition and learn how to race on a big stage.”

It appears the big stage suits the Cardinals just fine, as they finished sixth overall at the star-studded event.

Wed
20
Sep
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Middleton races past Verona

VERONA – Sometimes it pays to go against the grain.

After gathering a punt off the turf, Kevin Meicher saw his first option up the sideline blocked, so he took it the other way. The result was an impressive 72-yard touchdown return that lifted Middleton’s football team to a 31-10 victory over Verona in a Big Eight Conference game last Friday night.

Meicher, who initially dropped the punt at the Middleton 28, eluded a tackler, then darted to his left and ran upfield breaking an attempted arm tackle by Verona’s Tim Soko at the Verona 20-yard line. Meicher then used blocks from teammates Collin Serra and Colin Liegel to get to the end zone.

Wed
20
Sep
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Boys spikers win 'Tosa East crown

The good times keep rolling for Middleton’s boys volleyball team.

The Cardinals went to the Wauwatosa East Red Raider Invite last Saturday and won the championship at the star-studded tournament. One week earlier, Middleton won the Racine Park Invitational.

“I really enjoy the Red Raider Invite because of the format,” Middleton coach Ben White said. “You know you are going to get four or five matches and all matches are regulation matches with a deciding game. It's been our history to struggle in matches with deciding games, so the more of those the better.”

Middleton certainly didn’t struggle on this day. Far from it.

The Cardinals opened with a 25-9, 25-13 win over Westosha Central. Thomas Robson has 13 digs, while Casey McKean and Brian Vergenz combined for 11 kills in 15 attempts and had no errors for the match.

Wed
20
Sep
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Swimmers enjoy sensational week

Middleton’s brilliant girls swimming and diving team had another memorable weekend.

The Cardinals won the star-studded Waukesha South Invite last Saturday. Middleton also defeated Verona/Mount Horeb, 91-79, last Friday to grab control of the Big Eight Conference race.

Middleton finished the Waukesha South Invite with 427 points to easily outdistance runner-up Cedarburg (305). Verona/Mount Horeb (242), Hartland Arrowhead (230) and Waukesha South (186) rounded out the top five at the 14-team invite.

“We had some confidence coming off of the big win at Verona, but were still feeling pretty run down,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “We had the goal of finishing the week on a high note and pushing through for one more day. This invite hosted some of the state's best teams and individual swimmers, so we had to find a way to be at our best if we wanted to compete against the best.”  

Wed
20
Sep
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Girls golfers go 9-0 in Big 8

Their first goal is in the books.

Now, Middleton’s girls golf team will chase their other objectives.

The Cardinals won the Big Eight Conference for a fifth straight year after rolling past Madison West last Wednesday, 328-356, in a match played at Pleasant View Golf Course. Middleton went 9-0 in conference dual meets and is 44-0-1 in league matches over the past five years.

The Cardinals also finished third at the 19-team Janesville Parker Invite last Saturday.

In all, it was another banner week for the Cardinals — capped by a conference championship.

“Going 9-0 in regular season conference matches was our first goal accomplished,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said.  

Senior Payton Hodson led Middleton with a 75 against West. Hodson finished her three-year varsity career going 27-0 in conference matches.

Grace Peterson fired an 81, while Kate Meier and Allison Richards both shot 86s.

Thu
14
Sep
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Football Cards crush Craig

Cope. Prepare. Dominate.

Those three words best describe Middleton's most recent football game against Janesville Craig, and maybe even its season, as the Cardinals have had their share of adversity and lopsided victories.

Injuries have plagued Middleton early in the season, as it’s dealt with the loss of two starting offensive lineman and their most experienced wideout and tight end.

And just this past week, team captain Shane Bick’s father passed away suddenly, leaving the team with heavy hearts and a mental hurdle as they prepared to play Janesville Craig.

But just as they've done for much of the season, Bick and the Cardinals responded, pounding the Cougars, 42-7, in a Big Eight Conference match-up played at Brietenbach Stadium in Middleton last Friday.

Thu
14
Sep
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Boys XC wins at Arrowhead

It’s been 25 years since Middleton’s boys cross country team hoisted a state championship.

The Cardinals showed last week, though, that drought might come to an end later this fall.

Middleton won the star-studded, 18-team Hartland Arrowhead Invitational last Thursday. The Cardinals, ranked third in the latest state poll, finished with 58 points to easily outdistance No. 2 Arrowhead (98).

Germantown (150), Marquette (155) and Pewaukee (185) rounded out the top five at a meet that included four other state-ranked teams.

“Going into the meet I knew what we could potentially accomplish, but we were coming off a hard week so I wasn't sure how things were going to shake out,” Middleton coach Brian Finnel said. “I think all of us are pretty stoked about the times run, but at the end of the day it's all about the placing for the team.”

Thu
14
Sep
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Swimmers win Brookfield East Invite

Middleton’s girls swimming team has always loved the Brookfield East Invitational.

The Cardinals have never been shy expressing their fondness for the high-level meet.

And there was plenty to love last Saturday.

Defending state champion Middleton steamrolled a gifted field and cruised to the championship at the 12-team meet. The Cardinals finished with 552 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Verona/Mount Horeb (352). Sun Prairie (331.5), Madison Edgewood (248) and Homestead (209) rounded out the top five.

“The first invite is always exciting,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “This year, even more so because of the newness of our team. We really wanted to showcase who our team is and emphasize the depth of talent we have.”

The Cardinals did exactly that, with terrific performances up and down the lineup.

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