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MHS wrestlers 12th at Bi-State


Middleton’s wrestlers finished in 12th place at the 18-team Bi-State Classic in La Crosse on Dec. 27-28.

Holmen won the event with 215 points, while Eastview (195.5), Hudson (164), Burlington (159.5) and La Crosse Central (158.5) rounded out the top five.

Middleton finished with 130.0 points.

Taggart Haase had a big tournament for the Cardinals, finishing in fourth place overall at 170 pounds.

After receiving a first round bye, Haase pinned Tristan Lind of Burlington in 1:04. Haase then pinned Brandon Bahr of West Salem/Bangor in 1:32.

In the quarterfinals, Haase defeated Duncan McKinney of Holmen, 7-0. After losing in the semifinals, Haase defeated Brady Wetter of Dodgeville, 4-0. But in the third place match, Haase was pinned by Ellsworth’s Logan Kemmerer.

Sean Benedict also placed fifth at heavyweight.

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Middleton's top sports moments of 2013

Sports fans around Middleton have come to expect greatness. And why not?

For decades now, that’s exactly what the sports teams around town have delivered.

This year was no different. Here’s one person’s opinion of the top-10 stories of 2013.


1. Grabbing the gold

It was the goal from the first day they stepped onto the courts. A state title.

This, of course, is what every team strives for. But with Middleton’s girls tennis team, fantasy became reality.

The Cardinals defeated Eau Claire Memorial, 5-2, in the WIAA Division 1 state finals. It was the first girls state tennis title in school history.

“It feels awesome to win state,” said sophomore Kaisey Skibba, Middleton’s No. 2 singles player. “Our team has worked so hard all year there’s nothing that feels better than to win state.”

Baylie Gold, who plays No. 2 doubles, agreed with Skibba.

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Boys basketball team routs Edgewood

Max Oelerich will be the first to admit it: the 2013 portion of Middleton’s boys basketball season hasn’t gone according to plan.

But with 2014 here, Oelerich and the rest of the Cardinals are feeling pretty good again.

Middleton closed out 2013 with a 74-56 rout of host Madison Edgewood last Saturday. The Cardinals improved to 4-4, and in this season of great expectations, headed to the new year with renewed hope and optimism.

“I think this first half was more of a reality check,” said Oelerich, a senior forward. “We thought the Big Eight would be awfully good, and then we found out just how good it really is.

“But I think we’ll go into 2014 now with a chip on our shoulder. And I think we’re all excited about the direction we’re headed.”

Middleton brought back the overwhelming majority of a team that reached the sectional semifinals a year ago. But the Cardinals have struggled to a .500 start and a 2-4 record in the Big Eight.

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Girls basketball team shines at Franklin

FRANKLIN — Jeff Kind continues to tinker.

Middleton’s girls basketball coach keeps mixing and matching, adjusting and fine-tuning.

And for the most part, it’s paying big-time dividends.

Middleton went to the power-packed Christine Rathke Memorial Tournament at Franklin last weekend and won two of three games.

The Cardinals dropped their tournament opener, falling 62-58 to Oshkosh Lourdes in overtime last Thursday. That sent Middleton to the consolation bracket.

There, Middleton cruised past Racine Case, 62-33, last Friday. The Cardinals then toppled host Franklin, 67-65, in the fifth place game last Saturday.

“I like where we’re headed,” said Kind, whose team is 8-2 overall and leads the Big Eight Conference at 6-0. “This is always a really good tournament and these are games we can certainly grow from.”

Cardinals junior forward Cole Jordee agreed.

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Bavery notches 300th win

There was no champagne popped. That’s not Kevin Bavery’s style.

No hugs, kisses, or time for reflection.

No, after Bavery posted his 300th career win last Tuesday, Middleton’s boys basketball coach returned home. Bavery told his wife, Mary, that the Cardinals’ 58-44 victory over DeForest was No. 300.

And that was that.

“Then I just went downstairs and did stats,” Bavery said.

Bavery may not have taken time to celebrate this milestone. But that doesn't deter from it one bit.

In a sport that takes its toll on coaches — old and young — Bavery is a lifer. And achieving No. 300 is a monumental achievement.

“For me it was just another number,” Bavery said, trying to downplay the accomplishment. “But I guess it represents a few things.

“It validates you a little bit and shows if you hang in there long enough and do enough of the right things, you might win a few games.”

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Butler, Reischel have local book signing

Former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler (left) and Middleton Times-Tribune sports editor Rob Reischel (right) have co-authored a new book titled “Packers Pride.” The two will have a book signing at The University Book Store at Hilldale Mall Saturday from 1-3 p.m.

Butler played for the Packers from 1990-2001, was named to four Pro Bowls, and was also named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. Butler helped the Packers win the 1996 Super Bowl and is the inventor of the Lambeau Leap.

Reischel has won 12 awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association during his time with the Middleton Times-Tribune. This is the sixth book he’s authored.

If anyone would like a signed copy of the book and can’t attend the signing, send an email to

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Girls basketball team sits atop Big 8


Perhaps these early games were simply the appetizers.

If that’s so, the main course comes Thursday night.

Middleton’s girls basketball team rolled past Madison East, 71-40, last Tuesday, and toppled Madison West, 55-41, last Friday.

The Cardinals improved to 4-0 in the Big Eight Conference and 4-1 overall. Middleton now hosts Verona — which is tied for first in the league at 4-0 — Thursday night at 7:30.

“Verona will be a good measuring stick for us,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “They always play tough defense and take care of the ball and try to control tempo.

“We need to play a sound fundamental game against them and yet try to force the pace. They are long and athletic so we’ll see.”

Kind has certainly liked what he’s seen from his team since a season-opening loss to top-ranked Oak Creek.

Middleton enjoyed an easy win over the Purgolders last Tuesday.

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Boys hoopsters strive for consistency

Defense wins championships.

It’s one of the oldest clichés around.

It’s also stood the test of time for a reason.

Middleton’s boys basketball team needed a refresher course in that lesson last week.

The Cardinals allowed a season-high point total and fell to host Janesville Parker, 79-70, in overtime, last Thursday. But Middleton picked up its defensive intensity Saturday night and toppled visiting Madison East, 66-54.

The Cardinals are now 2-3 overall and in the Big Eight Conference.

“Hopefully we'll continue to create our identity at a high level of buying in, in terms of recognizing each other's strengths on the court, playing to those while we continue to develop our critical role players who love to contribute in any way that they can,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said.

Middleton’s loss at Parker was certainly one of its most surprising defeats in recent memory.

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Hockey Cardinals fit to be tied


There was adversity everywhere.

Players were out sick. Others going down with injuries.

But Middleton’s hockey team responded well last Tuesday night.

The short-handed Cardinals skated to a 3-3 tie with host Janesville. Middleton is now 3-0-1 in the Big Eight Conference and 4-2-1 overall.

“On the positive side we did a nice job of meeting the challenges thrown in our path,” Middleton co-coach Steve Libert said. “The team has responded in a positive manner in the face of difficult circumstances.

“On the negative side we still show a lack of understanding situations on the ice. Whether it is the time of game, time of shift or other circumstances we do not adjust well.”

Middleton did plenty of adjusting against the Bluebirds.

Eddy Matush scored his first high goal on the second shift of the game, and then on the fifth shift he broke his collarbone. Taylor Dickert was out sick.

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Swimmers enjoy big week

Middleton’s boys swimming team had a terrific week.

The Cardinals cruised past both Madison La Follette and Janesville Parker in a triple dual Friday night. Middleton then took first place at the nine-team Janesville Parker Relays last Saturday.

“Another solid week,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “The boys swam very well and took advantage of every opportunity they had.”

The highlight of the week was the Parker Relays.

Middleton finished with 149 points and edged rival Madison West (136) for the title. Janesville Craig (90), Beloit Memorial (83) and Kenosha Tremper (79) rounded out the top five.

Middleton had several first place finishes at the Parker Relays.

Middleton’s 400 yard medley relay team of Hans Kunsch, Lex Patterson, Rory Slattery and Lars Haskins was first, while the Cardinals’ 800 yard freestyle relay team of Cooper Green, Josh Reddemann, Luke Delany and Peterson was also first.


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