Sports

Fri
19
Apr
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MHS hockey suffers blow as Truehl resigns

Classy.

Respectful.

Well-mannered.

Those words weren’t always used when it came to Middleton’s boys hockey program before Dan Truehl became the Cardinals’ head coach in 2020.

In four short years, though, Truehl changed the culture internally and the perception of the program across the state.

That’s why it was a blow to the entire Middleton athletic department when Truehl stepped down on April 8.

“One thing we talk about all the time is we want first class adults in front of our kids,” Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims said. “Dan and his staff did a great job at that. I hate to see him leave.”

Truehl, the Director of Training at LIFT Consulting in Madison, said his job with that company has changed in recent years.

Truehl has climbed the ladder and now has a team of people working for him. He’s traveling more than ever. And juggling both hockey and a rising career became a struggle.

Wed
17
Apr
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Baseball Cardinals stay red hot

The Big Eight Conference baseball race is shaping up to be a doozy.

Three weeks into the season, Sun Prairie East, Madison Memorial and Verona were all undefeated.

Middleton was hanging close to the leaders, though.

The Cardinals continued their terrific start to the season last week by winning two of three games. Middleton is now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Eight Conference.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 15, Madison La Follette 0 (5) — Kyle Pape, Logan Kalscheur and Jackson Guerrero combined to throw a no-hitter on April 11 in a game that was stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Pape threw the first two innings, striking out four and walking just one. Kalscheur threw the next two frames, struck out two and walked two. And Guerrero finished up by recording one strikeout and one walk in his inning of work.

Wed
17
Apr
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Girls soccer team struts its stuff

Mary Duffy wasn’t messing around.

When Duffy — Middleton’s girls soccer coach — set up a weekend tournament for her team, she was determined to make sure the Cardinals faced elite competition.

So Middleton battled perennial-power Neenah, which has been to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament 15 times, on Friday. The Cardinals followed that up with a Saturday contest against Hudson, the Division 1 state runner-up in 2021.

What Duffy and the Cardinals learned is they can play with many of the state’s top teams. Middleton rolled to 3-0 win over Neenah last Friday, before settling for a 1-1 tie with Hudson last Saturday.

“All games, whether a win, tie or loss, give us additional information to help us progress to the next level,” Duffy said.

Middleton certainly played at a high level against Neenah.

Wed
17
Apr
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Softball Cardinals hit a rough patch

SUN PRAIRIE – It’s been a rollercoaster of a season so far for Middleton’s girls softball team.

But the Cardinals, who led off last week with a 15-3 victory over East Madison United – a Madison La Follette/Madison East co-op team – don’t plan on letting three consecutive losses to end the week keep them down for long.

Middleton fell to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big Eight Conference with the losses.

“It’s early in the season. It’s things we have to identify now and fix before it really counts in postseason,” Middleton manager Brittany Karl said. “It’s a great learning experience.”

Karl expected the Cardinals would be challenged early with three games against teams ranked in the top-10 in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Division 1 poll.

After suffering a tough 2-0 loss to eighth-ranked Milton on April 6, second-ranked Sun Prairie East pulled away for a 7-3 Big Eight Conference victory on April 11.

Wed
17
Apr
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Golfers roll at Sun Prairie Triangular

Middleton’s boys golf team rolled to a win at the Sun Prairie Triangular on April 12.

The Cardinals  shot a 308 to easily outdistance Sun Prairie West (351) and Sun Prairie East (358) at Kestrel Ridge Golf Course in Columbus.

“It was terribly windy and chilly,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “I thought we played quite well with the conditions and not knowing the course. It played quite short, which is really not to our advantage, though. 

“Kestrel was a very good challenge with the wind and a really good day to work on different shots with the windy conditions. I thought a 308 was a decent team score.”

Sophomore Luke Weiss led Middleton and captured medalist honors with a 76 that included 13 pars at the par-70 course. Senior Charlie Jambor shot a 77, highlighted by a birdie at No. 10 and a 36 on the back nine.

Wed
17
Apr
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Track teams shine at Franklin Invite

Middleton’s track and field teams both had impressive performances at the Franklin Invite on April 12.

The Cardinals’ boys finished third out of 20 teams, while Middleton’s girls placed sixth out of 19 teams.

Oshkosh West won the boys invite with 62 points. Kettle Moraine (61), Middleton (57), Bay Port (56) and Whitefish Bay (47) rounded out the top five.

Here are the Cardinals’ top finishers:

• Senior Dante Pasello was second in the 400-meter dash.

• Middleton’s 3,200-meter relay team was second.

• Senior Will Whiteis was third in the 3,200-meter run.

• Junior Jack Johnson was third in the 1,600-meter run, while sophomore Eric Thuesen was seventh.

• Junior Maxwell Hunter was fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, while junior Matthew Arnold was fifth.

• Senior KJ Peterson was fourth in the shot put and fifth in the discus.

• Freshman Zachary Tang was fifth in the 800-meter run.

Wed
17
Apr
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Tennis Cards fourth at Lancer Invite

Middleton’s boys tennis team finished in fourth place at the two-day, 32-team Brookfield Central Invite last Friday and Saturday.

The Cardinals, who were seeded second at the tournament, opened with a 7-0 win over Wauwatosa East. Middleton then defeated DePere, 5-1, and edged Nicolet, 4-3.

Brookfield Central then edged the Cardinals, 4-3, in the semifinals. Milwaukee Marquette then downed Middleton, 5-2, in the third place match.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ weekend:

• Middleton 7, Wauwatosa East 0 — The Cardinals notched straight set wins at all seven flights.

Alexander Bo, Jun Lee, Henry Arp and Lucas Kurtz all won their singles matches in straight sets.

Middleton’s doubles teams of Ilya Rice-Bodi Russo, Blake Gibson-Eric Sun and Aydin Ross-Zander Endres all won in straight sets, as well.

• Middleton 5, DePere 1 — The Cardinals swept all four singles matches and rolled past the Redbirds.

Wed
10
Apr
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Boys lacrosse team poised for big season

As the adage goes, ‘To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best’.

As one of the more established lacrosse programs in the state, the Middleton Cardinals are off and running this season with high expectations.

Following a season-opening 20-3 victory over DeForest, Middleton lost to third-ranked Kettle Moraine last Friday night and had top-ranked Waunakee on deck on April 8.

But first-year head coach Nate Lutterman — who previously coached for five seasons at his alma mater, Big Eight Conference rival Verona — is eager for the Cardinals to take their place among the state’s elite programs.

“Our offense is what we expect to be a powerhouse this year,” Lutterman said. “We expect to be able to put goals on the board. We need our defense to really step up.

“We’re really, lucky. We have 20 seniors, and a really committed group. We think we’re in a good position to set ourselves up for success.”

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.

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