Sports

Thu
18
Mar
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Krenke headed to Indiana

Brett Krenke of Middleton, who is a senior at Edgewood High School in Madison, recently committed to play men's rugby for Indiana University in the fall. He is pictured here with Matt Bremser (left) and Paul Stroede (right), who are coaches with the Middleton Area Rugby Club.

Krenke has played rugby for four years with the Middleton Area Rugby Club (MARC). The team captured first place in the Division 2 state championships in 2018 and third place in the Division 1 state championships in 2019.

Krenke also was named to the Badger Selects in 2018 and 2019 and the Midwest Thunderbirds in 2019. Krenke, a defensive lineman for Edgewood, was named to the 2020 Associated Press All-State football team and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Region team in the fall.

 

Thu
11
Mar
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Boys spikers off and rolling

It’s often been said that first impressions are the most telling.

If that’s the case, it could be a banner spring for Middleton’s boys volleyball team.

The Cardinals kicked off their season last week with a pair of wins.

Middleton defeated host Beloit Memorial, 25-11, 27-25, 25-14 on March 4. The Cardinals then downed visiting Racine Case, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22, on March 6.

In Middleton’s win over the Purple Knights, Ruben Emmerich had seven kills, while Nick Stott had 19 assists. Jacob Andler had three aces, John Kruchten had two blocks and Jackson Pertzborn added five digs.

“We had a solid first match against Beloit and got the win,” Cardinals first-year coach Rob Kleinschmidt said. “We were able to use a number of lineup combinations and start to get comfortable with each other in competitive situations. Nick ran a good offense and we saw some positive things we can build on for the season.”

Thu
11
Mar
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Girls tennis team hopes for a big spring

Matt Given was planning for the worst.

Instead, Middleton’s girls tennis coach got the absolute best weather possible when his Cardinals began their alternate-fall season Monday.

Middleton was greeted with sunny skies and temperatures in the low-60s when it took the courts. And with temperatures expected to stay surprisingly warm all week, the Cardinals were given the gift of beautiful weather — something that rarely happens in early-March.

“This is a tough group of ladies, and I think they will wear an extra layer if it means we get to be outside,” said Given, who’s in his first year as Middleton’s coach. “We are just very happy to have this chance to play alternate-fall and we will make the most of every chance.”

The Cardinals’ season typically runs in the fall. Due to COVID-19, though, the WIAA gave teams the option of postponing fall sports to the spring, and Middleton elected to do just that.

Tue
09
Mar
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Middleton's lengthy wait comes to an end

Nov. 1, 2019.

That was the last time Middleton’s football team took the field together — until Monday night.

Finally, after a topsy-turvy 16 months — one in which COVID-19 hit, the Cardinals postponed their fall season, and their spring season hung in the balance — Middleton was back at Otto Breitenbach Stadium. And there was nowhere else coach Jason Pertzborn and his team would have rather been.

“It was just great,” Pertzborn said after Middleton’s first practice of the alternate-fall season ended. “The energy of the kids was unbelievable. They were just jacked to be out there, running around.

“From freshmen to seniors, it just felt different. I felt like our camaraderie was better than it’s ever been. Everyone was happy and really enjoying the moment.”

For the better part of a year now, Pertzborn wondered if this moment would ever come.

Thu
04
Mar
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Boys volleyball team excited to get started

The wait is over.

And Middleton first-year boys volleyball coach Rob Kleinschmidt is giddy thinking about what the next six weeks could entail.

The Cardinals’ season typically runs in the fall. Due to COVID-19, though, the WIAA gave teams the option of postponing fall sports to the spring, and Middleton elected to do just that.

Middleton began practicing last week and its season will run until mid-April. And after going roughly 16 months since their last match, the Cardinals were thrilled to get things started.

“Getting back into the gym has been busy, but great,” said Kleinschmidt, whose team has its first match of the year Thursday at Beloit Memorial. “This year is a special feeling because it's been so long for the guys between seasons. We have a great group of guys in the program and I have loved the time getting to know them and their abilities.”

Kleinschmidt and the Cardinals know this will be a year like no other.

Thu
04
Mar
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Girls spikers have high hopes

Maddie Vogel was hired as Middleton’s girls volleyball coach last May.

Since then, Vogel and the Cardinals have experienced a ridiculous blend of uncertainty, doubt and questions centered around if they’d have a season.

Last week, Vogel and her team got into the gym for the first time, and it’s not a stretch to say it was glorious.

“Getting back into the gym has been surreal,” Vogel said. “We have waited so long for this moment, so to finally be back in action feels incredible. Things have been going well so far. I think everyone is just so excited to be back in the gym so we have been able to maintain a high level of energy throughout this first week of practice.”

The Cardinals’ season typically runs in the fall. Due to COVID-19, though, the WIAA gave teams the option of postponing fall sports to the spring, and Middleton elected to do just that.

Vogel and the Cardinals now understand that this season will be a year like no other.

Thu
04
Mar
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Future bright for basketball Cards

It’s one thing to have potential.

Turning that into production is a whole other challenge.

That’s the task Middleton’s boys basketball team faces in 2021-22.

The Cardinals will be loaded with possibilities next winter. Whether or not Middleton can make a run at its first state tournament since 1998 — and its first under 16th-year coach Kevin Bavery — remains to be seen.

“They have to stay hungry and cannot be comfortable,” Bavery said of his team. “In fact they have to get uncomfortable and focus on their individual improvement. It won't be an easy team to make.

“There are nine months between now and the start of next season. Some will grow, some will put a ton of time and work into their game, some will take their strength and level of conditioning to new levels, and we always expect players to show up in November improved in all phases. No guarantees, but lots of opportunity.”

Thu
04
Mar
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MHS swimmers dunk Oshkosh West

Practice is one thing.

But for a team to truly understand where it stands, it needs competitions.

Middleton’s girls swimming team got just that last Saturday and posted an impressive 108-62 win over host Oshkosh West.

“We can only see so much in practice and getting the girls into an actual meet environment definitely helped us to see where we are at and what improvements we need to make going forward,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “All in all, we have a really solid, well-rounded team and I'm excited to see them improve over the next few weeks.”

Middleton’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kaitlyn Peters, Abby Utter, Ryanne Woodall and Molly Haag was first, while the quartet of Abby Ensenberger, Eva Anagnostopoulos, Andi Young and Tait Haag was second. The Cardinals’ No. 3 team of Brianna Acker, Piper Garcia Hall, Amanda Beckman and Amanda George added a third place finish.

Thu
25
Feb
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Middleton ousted by Verona

The strangest season in Middleton’s boys basketball history ended on Feb. 16.

The Cardinals fell to Verona, 62-56, in a WIAA Division 1 regional quarterfinal held at Baraboo High School.

Despite the loss, though, Middleton coach Kevin Bavery was extremely grateful his team had a chance to compete during this year of COVID-19 — something that looked like a longshot two months ago.

I think what we did was incredible and I honestly couldn't be prouder of the effort and the attitude that this group brought,” said Bavery, whose team finished the shortened season 4-7 overall. “We thought we might struggle with chemistry a bit as that is always a process that takes time, but our sense from day one was that these guys were simply happy to be in a gym and see some faces that they hadn't seen in a while. Our absolute No. 1 goal we decided upon after given the return to play permission was 'safe and meaningful', and I believe we accomplished that.”

Thu
25
Feb
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Engelkes is headed to state

Taylor Engelkes had no clue if this opportunity would ever arrive.

Engelkes, a senior gymnast at Middleton High School, wondered for most of the year if she’d have a final season. But when Middleton’s administration approved the return of winter sports last month, Engelkes was determined to make the most of it.

Mission accomplished.

Engelkes had a terrific performance at the WIAA Division 1 Mukwonago Sectional on Feb. 18. Engelkes qualified for state on the vault and the uneven bars and will compete in the state tournament Saturday at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Fieldhouse.

“We're so excited to have Taylor represent Middleton Cardinal gymnastics at state,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “She's been a remarkable gymnast and young lady over the past four years, is a team captain, and is someone that all of the girls on the team really look up to.”

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