Sports

Wed
10
Apr
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Girls lacrosse team hopes for big year

Following a successful debut season a year ago, second-year coach Alex Byers has high expectations for Middleton’s girls lacrosse team that finished 17-4 in 2023 and was second in the Badger Big Conference.

After losing to Hudson in the state quarterfinals, the Cardinals are eager to make a long postseason run in their debut season as a WIAA-sponsored sport.

“One of the positives is that we’re being recognized as a valid sport. Hopefully, it will continue to grow the sport now that we’re in the WIAA,” said Byers, a Portland, Oregon native who played lacrosse in college and is a Spanish teacher at Madison West High School.

“We have more oversight and more organization, which is nice. We have more refs. We have more money behind assigning refs. Without the refs, you can’t have a game. I’m quite happy it’s upping the reputation of women’s lacrosse as a sport in the state.”

Byers said one of the main issues is continuing to grow the sport.

Wed
10
Apr
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Baseball Cards race to 3-1 start

Rebuild?

Reboot?

Maybe it will be simply be a case of reloading.

Middleton’s baseball team, which lost eight starters from its 2023 state qualifying team, has jumped to a 3-1 start.

The Cardinals defeated visiting Waunakee, 10-4, on March 28. Then after a rough week in which weather wreaked havoc on games, Middleton split a pair of games with host Bay Port last Saturday, winning 5-1 and losing 5-0.

The Cardinals followed that up with a 6-0 win over Madison La Follette Monday.

“I know we have players that can contribute and do well,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “Even with some players stepping up and playing well, I know that we have a few others who have had a slow start to the season and will improve quite a bit over the next week or two. The big thing is going to be consistency for us.

Wed
10
Apr
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MHS golfers 2nd in season-opener

Middleton’s boys golf team finished second at the season-opening Badger-Big Eight Conference Challenge held at Bishop’s Bay on Monday.

Waunakee won the event with a 311, while the Cardinals were second at 313. Milton (328) and Madison Edgewood (345) rounded out the four-team field.

Sophomore Sam Forslund led Middleton and was third individually with a 75. Forslund birdied a pair of par-5s — No. 5 and 11 — and made five bogeys on his way to shooting 3-over par.

Middleton senior Dain Johnson, a UW-Stevens Point recruit, and sophomore Luke Weiss both carded 79s. And MHS senior Charlie Jambor shot an 80.

Waunakee senior K.C. Nickel earned medalist honors with a 74.

• On deck: Middleton has a triangular with Sun Prairie East and Sun Prairie West Friday at Kestrel Ridge Golf Course in Columbus.

Wed
10
Apr
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Softball Cards off to 2-2 start

Middleton’s girls softball team is off to a 2-2 start.

The Cardinals split a pair of games during a trip to Florida in late March. Middleton then split two games at the Milton Triangular last Saturday.

Here's a recap of the Cardinals’ start:

• Middleton 6, Oconomowoc 2 — The Cardinals scored five runs in the second inning and Savannah Roessler threw a gem as Middleton downed the Raccoons at the Milton Triangular.

Roessler allowed just four hits, one earned run, struck out seven and walked four. Roessler also threw strikes on 62 of her 101 pitches (61.4%).

“Savannah Roessler turned in an incredible game in the circle,” Middleton coach Brittany Carl said. “She does a great job keeping hitters off balance and our defense backed her up the whole way.”

Annika Jafferis led Middleton’s offense with three hits and a double. Lily Kulow and Kylie Klock both had two RBI, while Mackenzie Zimmerman had a hit, an RBI and scored a run.

Wed
10
Apr
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Soccer Cardinals topple DePere

They couldn't get on their turf field due to the recent snow.

Practices had been canceled. Any form of a dress rehearsal was a pipe dream.

But Middleton’s girls soccer team overcame those challenges last Saturday and edged DePere, 2-1, in a game played at Breitenbach Stadium.

“The snow set back lots of teams in Wisconsin,” Middleton coach Mary Duffy said. “So we have things to work out, but so does everyone at this stage of the season. The way the first week went that is also to be expected. But I really liked the way some of the players worked together on the field.”

With good reason.

Despite the fact Middleton was playing together for the first time since tryouts, it found a way to prevail.

Sophie Kasel assisted on a pair of goals to lead the Cardinals’ attack. First, Kasel fed freshman Brooke Lister for a goal in the 31st minute. Kasel later found sophomore Madalyn Kelm for a goal in the 46th minute.

Wed
03
Apr
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Baseball Cards hope to surprise again

Twelve months ago, Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen began the season with a long list of questions — and very few answers.

Jorgensen and the Cardinals had eight starters to replace. The pitching staff was devoid of experience. And the everyday lineup was one giant uncertainty.

Jorgensen proceeded to push all the right buttons, several players emerged and Middleton produced a memorable season — highlighted by its first trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament since 2016.

Now, one year later, Jorgensen finds himself in a nearly identical position.

Middleton once again lost eight starters to graduation from its 2023 team. There is little returning experience on the Cardinals’ pitching staff. And the lineup will be a work in progress.

Now, the question becomes can Jorgensen once again work his magic and lead a young and inexperienced Middleton team to great heights?

Wed
03
Apr
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Girls soccer team is thinking big

Setting preseason goals is part of the preparation for most high school programs around the state.

But it was a no-brainer what topped the list for Middleton’s girls soccer team when the Cardinals got together to discuss what they wanted to accomplish during their 2024 season.

“The girls said: ‘The boys won it, so it’s our turn now,’ ” Middleton head coach Mary Duffy said, referring to the WIAA Division 1 state championship won by Middleton’s boys soccer team last fall. “I said, ‘All right, let’s bring it then.’ ”

With 15 returning letterwinners, led by the strong senior class of Mia Balistreri, Abigail Florin, Sophie Kasel, Thea Rohlwing, Samantha Von Ruden, and Lucy Jiao Wyse, the Cardinals are surely thinking. ‘Why not us?’

Which is just fine with Duffy.

“We expect to win. We always like to win,” Duffy said. “There’s never a chance we’re on the field that we’re not looking to win.”

Wed
03
Apr
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MHS golfers have great expectations

Middleton boys golf coach Tom Cabalka has the same routine every winter.

Cabalka and his wife, Carol, head south for a few months. Then they return to Middleton just in time for the start of the boys golf season.

This year, no one would have blamed Tom Cabalka for driving a bit faster than usual.

That’s because waiting back in Wisconsin is a Middleton team that appears poised for a banner season.

Middleton returns four of its top five players from a year ago. The Cardinals have a deep pool of talent to choose from to fill out their lineup.

And Middleton will be extremely motivated after losing a playoff at sectionals last year and narrowly missing out on a trip to the state tournament.

So when the Cardinals open their new season Monday by hosting three schools at Bishop’s Bay, expectations will be sky high.

Thu
28
Mar
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Future bright for Cardinals

Kevin Bavery believes all the pieces are in place.

A remarkably gifted big man. A talented point guard who comes from a basketball family. Skilled, athletic pieces surrounding both players.

Of course, if the pieces don’t fit, the talent level is largely irrelevant.

Bavery, Middleton’s veteran boys basketball coach, saw that unfold first hand this winter when a talented MHS team could never get fully in sync. The result was a 13-12 season in which the Cardinals went 7-11 after a 6-1 start.

Middleton will return a group with even more promise next year, which has Bavery awfully excited.

At the same time, he knows potential doesn't always equal production.

"On paper, of course the potential for next season is as high as ever,” Bavery said. “But paper and words don't get it done, action does. I think this is an action group who loves being in the gym and being together.”

Thu
28
Mar
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Garlock named all-state

Middleton junior center Will Garlock was named honorable-mention all-state in Division 1 by the WBCA.

The 6-foot-11 Garlock led the Cardinals in scoring (16.9), rebounding (8.5) and blocked shots (19) this season. Garlock also shot 66.5% from the floor (165-of-248) and knocked down 31.2% of his 3-point shots (10-of-32).

Garlock has NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Marquette, Penn State and Virginia Tech and should be poised for a terrific senior season.

“Will has the highest ceiling of any player we've ever had here at Middleton, or I've ever had as a coach,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “He's a true 6-11, he has a high skill set in all phases of the game. He's gotten bigger and stronger and more skilled every year.

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