Sports

Thu
19
Nov
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Middleton's Beckman now a Badger

Jacob Beckman is now officially a Badger.

Beckman, a senior at Middleton High School, signed his National Letter of Intent last week to play men’s golf at the University of Wisconsin.

Beckman had made a verbal commitment to play for the Badgers in Dec., 2019, then made it official last week.

“We continue to prioritize the top players from Wisconsin and we are thrilled to have Jacob join the program,” Wisconsin coach Michael Burcin said. “He comes from a very competitive high school golf environment. Moving to the Madison area from the northeast a few years ago, he will be familiar and comfortable in Madison and playing golf all over the nation.”

Beckman’s achievements include:

• No. 1 ranked player in Wisconsin by Wisconsin.golf.

• Fifth place at the 2020 WPGA Junior Championship.

• Fifteenth place at the 2020 Wisconsin Junior Boys Championship.

• Fourth place at the 2020 Lake Arrowhead Invitational.

Thu
19
Nov
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MHS pushes pause button on winter sports

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus received the eternal punishment of rolling an immense boulder up a hill in the depth of Hades. Every time Sisyphus neared the top, the boulder would roll back down the hill.

Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims can relate.

Winter sports began across the state Monday, and Sims had recently instituted a plan that allowed the Cardinals’ teams to begin practicing. After a recent spike in cases of COVID-19, though, Sims was forced to pump the brakes a bit.

Public Health Madison & Dane County issued Emergency Order #10 Tuesday, which prohibits indoor gatherings of any size. Outdoor gatherings are permitted with 10 people or less, with physical distancing. 

The order began Wednesday and will remain in effect until Dec. 16.

So for now, all sports — and practices — at MHS are once again on hold.

“I have COVID whiplash,” Sims said. “But we’re not going to quit trying.”

Fri
06
Nov
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Winter coaches putting together a plan

There are no guarantees of competitions this winter.

No promises of scrimmages, games or postseasons.

When winter sports begin later this month, though, Middleton High School will give its teams the chance to practice.

Oh, things will look dramatically different than they have in the past. But the Cardinals’ various teams will do everything possible to prepare for a season they hope will come in time.

“Right now, we just have no idea what might happen with some of the restrictions inside Dane County,” boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery said. “So, we’ll do what we can and hope that things work out where we can have some type of season.

“All I know is that something is better than nothing. And right now, getting the kids back in the gym is progress.”

Here’s a look at each winter sports, when they’re scheduled to begin and what their “new normal” might look like.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Fri
30
Oct
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COVID taking a toll on youth sports

Organized sports are starting to return for youth of all ages, though as of September, they are still half as active as they were prior to the pandemic. Parents are more willing to let their children play, and to spend money to support those activities, despite increasing concerns about the risks of COVID-19 transmission as well as transportation and scheduling concerns with school starting up again. Meanwhile, a growing number of youth have no interest in returning to the primary sport they played pre-pandemic – nearly 3 in 10 now.

Those are high-level takeaways from a national survey of parents conducted by The Aspen Institute’s Project Play. Below is a deeper dive on trends that are happening since the pandemic hit.

 

40%

Families whose child played their primary sport at least 4 days per week before COVID-19

Fri
30
Oct
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UW  study shows school sports don’t increase cases of COVID-19

A ground-breaking study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found that "...participation in sports is not associated with increased risk of COVID-19 among Wisconsin high school student-athletes."

Published by Drew Watson, MD, MS, a Team Physician for University of Wisconsin Athletics and member of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin, the study provides a more clear picture of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on high school athletics. It follows up on a study released in June that examined the significant mental health impacts on student-athletes during the sports shutdown and school closures of the spring.

Thu
22
Oct
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Wait and see on winter sports at MHS

The Big Eight Conference announced on Monday it would not have an official conference winter sports season.

That doesn’t mean winter sports are dead at Middleton High School, though.

Far from.

Although the Big Eight member schools have determined conference competition for winter sports will not occur, in-person practices, games, and workouts may be allowed to occur as adopted by member schools and following public health recommendations.  

On Monday night, Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims said he still hopes to begin winter sports practices as scheduled, in accordance with Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) guidance. Sims was meeting with his winter coaches Tuesday night to discuss plans for getting student-athletes back in the building.

There’s no guarantee Middleton’s teams would be able to play games later this winter. But getting practices going would be a good start to eventually making that happen.

Thu
22
Oct
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Lynam named Coach of the Year

Middleton’s Dan Lynam has been selected by the Wisconsin Swimming/Diving Coaches Association as the 2019-20 National Federation High School Coaches Association Boys Swimming Coach of the Year Award for Wisconsin.

Lynam led the Cardinals to the WIAA Division 1 state championship in February, the first state title in school history. Middleton finished with 228 points and edged runner-up Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (222) for the state title.

“I am humbled to receive this honor in a state that is packed with so many talented and dedicated coaches,” Lynam said. “I have learned so much over the years from working with a number of them, it really is amazing how small the swim world is.

Fri
16
Oct
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Rongstad chasing his coaching dreams

Derek Rongstad would sit in his living room as an elementary student. He’d flip to whatever basketball game was on, and within minutes he’d pretend to be coaching the teams that were competing.

“My parents would probably say I’ve been planning on coaching basketball since I was in elementary school,” said Rongstad, a 2014 MHS graduate and one of the finest players in school history.

Pretty soon, Rongstad just might find himself running his own program.

Rongstad is currently a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama.

Rongstad — who’s affectionately known as “Doc” — majored in Economics and recently earned his MBA (Masters of Business Administration). Even as Rongstad pursued those degrees, though, he knew he might eventually choose a different path.

“I did some internships and looked at different career options in college, but nothing could ever bring the same excitement that basketball brings me,” Rongstad said.

Wed
07
Oct
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A Q&A with Middleton A.D. Jamie Sims

Jamie Sims took over as Middleton’s athletic director on July 1. 

Three weeks later, the Big Eight Conference canceled fall sports. And in a year where very little has been normal, things have been completely unconventional for Sims.

Friday Night Lights have been replaced with meetings. Instead of overseeing volleyball and tennis matches, Sims is planning for an “alternative fall season” next spring.

During a recent wide-ranging interview, Sims talked with the Times-Tribune about the unorthodox start to his tenure, his thoughts on winter sports and the challenges that lie ahead. What follows is an edited version of that interview.

 

Times-Tribune: You started on July 1 as the athletic director for one of the state’s elite athletic departments. Since then, Middleton hasn’t had a single sporting event. How strange has that been for you?

Fri
02
Oct
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Kleinschmidt wants to give boys volleyball team a memorable year

Rob Kleinschmidt has only been Middleton’s boys volleyball coach about a month.

But Kleinschmidt is already certain of one thing: he wants the senior class he inherited to go out on a high.

Middleton High School voted earlier this summer to push all fall sports to the spring due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. That means Middleton’s boys volleyball season will now take place from Feb. 22-April 12.

And Kleinschmidt still hopes to make it a season to remember.

“This year’s seniors put in a lot of time,” Kleinschmidt said. “We want to make sure these seniors get everything they want.

“There’s going to be challenges. This year is already different and unique and crazy. But when it’s time to have a season, we want to make sure we give the kids everything they want.”

That won't be easy.

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