Sports

Thu
14
Oct
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Sun Prairie knocks off Middleton

One more chance.

That’s all Cole Toennies wanted.

One more chance.

That’s what Sam Pilof was praying for.

Unfortunately for Middleton’s football team, that chance never came.

Middleton — playing for MHS seniors Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill and Madison West senior Simon Bilessi who died Oct. 2 when their car was hit by another vehicle and burst into flames — gave a spirited effort against No. 3 Sun Prairie last Friday.

And when Middleton’s Cole Toennies had a 21-yard touchdown reception with 4:15 left, MHS pulled within 26-21 and needed its defense to make just one stop.

That stop ever came, though. And the chance for a storybook ending faded to black.

Sun Prairie converted a pair of third-and-longs, ran out the clock and exited Otto Breitenbach Field with an emotional 26-21 win.

Thu
14
Oct
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MHS sports teams recognize teens that died in car crash

Last week was Homecoming for the Middleton High School community, a week that was supposed to be a celebration of the past and present and filled with many activities culminating with a school dance.

Instead, the communities of Middleton and Madison were mourning the loss of three young student-athletes, who were killed in the Town of Middleton on the evening of Oct. 2 when their car was hit by another vehicle and burst into flames.

Hundreds of mourning friends and family members filled the Middleton High School auditorium on Sunday to celebrate the lives of the three teens, Middleton seniors John ‘Jack’ Miller and Evan Kratochwill and Madison West senior Simon Bilessi, a former Middleton student.

The trio were honored by their respective sports teams — Miller and Bilessi played soccer and Kratochwill ran cross county — last week in a variety of ways meant not only to honor the young men, but to help in the healing process for those they left behind.

Thu
14
Oct
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Girls spikers win Big Eight

This was the vision Maddie Vogel had all along.

It’s one her Middleton girls volleyball team also shared.

Conference champions.

As Vogel was building the outstanding program she inherited from Franco Marcos, winning the Big Eight Conference was near the top of all goal sheets.

That dream became a reality last week when Middleton downed Janesville Parker and Sun Prairie and clinched its first conference title since 2017.

Middleton improved to 29-3 overall and is 8-0 in the Big Eight Conference.

“The girls have worked so hard these last few years to build up the program, and it means so much to us to be seen as a force to be reckoned with again,” Vogel said. “I’m very lucky to be working with such a driven group of players.”

The Cardinals went to Parker and downed the Vikings, 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 on Oct. 5. Middleton then defeated visiting Sun Prairie — a giant inside the league in recent years — 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 on Oct. 7.

Thu
14
Oct
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Boys spikers win Big 8 again

The streak is alive and well.

After a 2020 season in which there wasn’t a Big Eight Conference season, Middleton’s boys volleyball team got back to doing what it does best this fall: winning conference titles.

Middleton rolled past Madison La Follette in straight sets on Oct. 6 and improved to 6-0 in the Big Eight Conference. With the win, Middleton clinched at least a share of its ninth straight conference title.

The Cardinals, who have won 80 straight Big Eight matches, can clinch the outright title with a win over visiting Madison East Thursday at 7 p.m.

“That's an amazing run of success,” said Middleton second-year coach Rob Kleinschmidt.

Thu
14
Oct
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Tennis Cards headed to state

Middleton’s girls tennis team won the 2020 WIAA Division 1 alternate fall state championship.

Now, the Cardinals will look to become the first team ever to win a second state title in the same calendar year.

Middleton won the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Sectional last Wednesday and advanced to the state team tournament, which will be held Oct. 22-23 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

Middleton finished with 43 points at sectionals and easily outdistanced runner-up Madison West (30). La Crosse Central (23), Holmen (20) and Verona (18) rounded out the top five.

Middleton earned the No. 4 seed and meets fifth-seeded Ashwaubenon Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in a quarterfinal match. The semifinals are Oct. 23, and if seeds hold, Middleton would meet top-seeded Neenah at 9 a.m.

The championship match is Oct. 23 at approximately 2 p.m.

Middleton also sent two singles and two doubles teams to the individual state tournament, which begins Thursday.

Thu
14
Oct
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Swimmers win Beloit Invite

Middleton’s girls swimming team ran away and hid from a star-studded field at the Beloit Memorial Invite Saturday.

The Cardinals finished with 752 points to easily outdistance runner-up Verona/Mount Horeb (581). Lake Geneva Badger was third with 539.5 points, while Waukesha South/Mukwonago (409) and Hononegah, Ill. (213) rounded out the top-five at the 15-team invite.

“This was our team's first time at the Beloit Invite, and our girls were able to set a few meet records, which was fun to see,” Middleton coach R.J. Leiferman said. “There is still plenty to improve on as we head into the last dual meet of the season, so we will keep working hard in practice and hopefully we can finish off the season unbeaten in all our dual meets.”

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Lily Mair, Natalie Charles, Eva Anagnostopoulos and Ryanne Woodall won the 200-yard medley relay.

Thu
14
Oct
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Swimmers win Beloit Invite

Middleton’s girls swimming team ran away and hid from a star-studded field at the Beloit Memorial Invite Saturday.

The Cardinals finished with 752 points to easily outdistance runner-up Verona/Mount Horeb (581). Lake Geneva Badger was third with 539.5 points, while Waukesha South/Mukwonago (409) and Hononegah, Ill. (213) rounded out the top-five at the 15-team invite.

“This was our team's first time at the Beloit Invite, and our girls were able to set a few meet records, which was fun to see,” Middleton coach R.J. Leiferman said. “There is still plenty to improve on as we head into the last dual meet of the season, so we will keep working hard in practice and hopefully we can finish off the season unbeaten in all our dual meets.”

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Lily Mair, Natalie Charles, Eva Anagnostopoulos and Ryanne Woodall won the 200-yard medley relay.

Thu
14
Oct
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Soccer Cards seeded sixth

Middleton’s boys soccer team has enjoyed a fine season. But the Cardinals’ path to the state tournament will be a daunting one.

Middleton received the No. 6 seed in its WIAA Division 1 Sectional. The Cardinals will host 11th-seeded Oconomowoc in a regional semifinal on Oct. 19.

If Middleton wins there, it would face either third-seeded Sun Prairie or 14th seeded Madison La Follette in a regional final on Oct. 23.

The sectional semifinals are Oct. 28 and the sectional finals are Oct. 30.

Verona received the No. 1 seed, followed by Hartland Arrowhead, Sun Prairie, Kettle Moraine, Waunakee, Middleton, Madison West, Mukwonago, Madison Memorial, Badger, Oconomowoc, Madison East, Beloit Memorial, Madison La Follette, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker.

Thu
07
Oct
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Golfers headed back to state

Every tee shot mattered.

Each approach was vital.

Every putt was integral.

Middleton’s girls golf team was pushed to the brink at the WIAA Division 1 Oregon Sectional on Monday. But the Cardinals — ranked No. 1 by the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin all year — held off a charge from Waunakee.

Middleton shot a 319 and edged Waunakee (321) to claim the sectional championship. The Cardinals remained undefeated on the season.

The top two finishers at the eight-team sectional qualified for the state tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge.

Middleton will now be gunning for its third straight state championship and fourth since 2015.

“It means a lot to win sectionals,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “We are proud of the girls for their ability to focus on the task at hand.”

Thu
07
Oct
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Golfers in midst of undefeated campaign

Middleton’s girls golf team has already taken a dip in Lake Michigan together.

So who knows what the Cardinals will do if their goal of a perfect season is attained.

Middleton, which tops the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin Division 1 state rankings and is in the hunt for a third straight state championship, hasn’t lost a match this season.

Yet that isn’t a primary concern of the team.

“We definitely expect to win, but we can’t be overconfident about it,” said senior captain Ellie Frisch, a UW-Green Bay recruit. “Before every match we say we can’t take it for granted. We can’t be overconfident. Winning all of our matches would be something great, but we have to take it one at a time.”

The streak seemed likely to end when Middleton trailed by 13 strokes at the turn at the Portage Regional at the Portage Country Club last week.

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