Sports

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.

Fri
25
Sep
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Waiting is the hardest part for Pertzborn

Jason Pertzborn recently added a stone patio and fire pit in his backyard.

And last Friday, that’s where Middleton’s football coach spent the evening.

“It just felt kind of surreal,” Pertzborn said.

This Friday could be even stranger.

The majority of high school football teams in Wisconsin will begin their 2020 seasons. Pertzborn and Middleton will be watching from afar.

Middleton elected to push fall sports to the spring of 2021 due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. That means the Cardinals’ alternate season will now run from March 8-May 3.

Pertzborn, who has played and coached football every fall for the past four decades, still finds it wild that he has his Friday nights free.

“Never in a million years if you told me this would happen would I have believed you,” he said. “I think we’ll all think differently going forward because we never thought this would be a reality.”

Tue
08
Sep
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Running in Remission: White to run half marathon as fundraiser for Gilda's Club

Ben White never let himself look too far ahead.

White stayed in the moment. He seized the day.

And as each new morning arrived, he began the same process over.

Today, White still doesn’t look too far ahead. On Sunday, though, he will look back.

White, Middleton’s assistant athletic director, was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma on Sept. 13, 2019. Today, White is in remission.

To celebrate what White has overcome in the past year, he’ll run a half marathon Sunday — the one-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis — through Middleton. The run will also serve as a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club Madison, which White said provided invaluable emotional support during his fight.

Tue
08
Sep
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Fab Four: Weiss, Wieland brothers golf 626 holes in a single day for charity

Alex Weiss, a 15-year-old from Middleton, started the fun several years ago.

Two years ago, his pal Brett Wieland of Milton who’s also 15, joined the party.

And this year, little brothers Luke Weiss (12) and Kade Wieland (11), came to the festivities.

In the end, the Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation did the most celebrating.

This Fabulous Foursome teamed up on Aug. 24 and played more than 600 holes of golf on one day at Oak Ridge Golf Course in Milton. The quartet raised money for the Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation, and that total currently at $4,642.

“The Wisconsin Junior PGA Foundation (holds) junior golf tournaments for kids of all ages and provide scholarships for kids that wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in these events,” Alex Weiss recently told Wisconsin.Golf. “We have played in the Wisconsin Junior PGA tournaments for many years and it’s been an incredible experience for us, especially during COVID-19.”

Thu
03
Sep
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Kleinschmidt takes over boys volleyball program

Rob Kleinschmidt was always a natural athlete.

Kleinschmidt competed in football, wrestling and track while at Orfordville-Parkview High School during the late-1980s.

When Kleinschmidt was a student at UW-Madison, though, he encountered the first sport that gave him fits.

Volleyball.

“My wife (Sue) introduced me to volleyball when I was 21 and I was just awful,” Kleinschmidt said. “I couldn’t believe I could be that bad at something. But I started playing, got a lot better and loved it.”

So much that Kleinschmidt has been playing — and coaching — for more than a quarter century. Now, the latest chapter in his volleyball journey takes him to Middleton High School, where he was recently named the Cardinals’ new head coach.

Kleinschmidt replaces longtime coach Ben White, who was named Middleton’s assistant athletic director in June, a position that precludes him from coaching.

Thu
03
Sep
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Boys soccer team excited for spring season

Boys soccer teams from all across the state will begin their new seasons on Sept. 7. By the end of the week, those schools could be having their first game.

At Middleton High School, first-year varsity coach Kevin Pauls and the Cardinals will watch and wait.

Middleton recently voted to push fall sports to the spring due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. That means Middleton’s boys soccer season will now take place from March 22-May 10.

While waiting another six months for the season to begin isn't ideal, Pauls & Co. are trying to stay upbeat.

“I'm excited that we have a plan for the season,” Pauls said. “It's better late than never. I just hope things are better by then. I keep reminding myself and people around me, we are making a huge assumption that we as school, community, state, country will be in a better place by March, and I hope we are, but we just don't know.

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