Sports

Wed
18
Jul
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Changing of the guard inside Middleton football

It was mid-December, when Middleton head football coach Tim Simon called a meeting with offensive coordinator Jason Pertzborn.

Pertzborn was a finalist for the Madison Memorial head coaching job. And after days of contemplation, examination and introspection, Simon had an idea that would keep Pertzborn inside the program he’s been part of for more than three decades.

Simon, set to begin his 15th season as the Cardinals’ boss next month, wanted to elevate Pertzborn to the position of co-head coach for the 2018 season. Then if everything goes smoothly this fall, Pertzborn is expected to become Middleton’s head coach in 2019 — and beyond.

“It was a huge surprise and I really appreciate it,” Pertzborn said. “It’s certainly not something Tim had to do. When I went to talk to him that day, that was the farthest thing from my mind. I wasn’t ready for that.”

Wed
18
Jul
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Pertzborn's Middleton roots run deep

Jason Pertzborn remembers the games, the moments, the years like they happened yesterday.

The 1988 campaign in which Middleton went undefeated in the regular season and won the Badger Conference championship, before losing in the postseason to Kettle Moraine. The 1989 season in which Middleton began the year ranked No. 1, but suffered a heartbreaking, 35-33 loss to eventual state champion Marinette in the WIAA Division 2 state semifinals.

“Those were great times,” said Pertzborn, who was Middleton’s starting quarterback those two years. “And those games stay with you forever.”

Pertzborn has long been part of the fabric and tradition of Middleton football. And now, his imprint will be embedded even deeper.

Wed
18
Jul
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MHS' top female performances of 2017-'18

It was another sensational year for the sports teams at Middleton High School, where the Cardinals remained a model of consistency both in the Big Eight Conference and across the state.

Of course, some achievements rank as the best of the best. Here’s one person’s opinion of that list.

Last week we handed out the boys’ awards, and this week it’s the girls’ turn.

 

Girls Team of the Year: Swimming

After completing a thoroughly dominant season, Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team found itself in the unfamiliar role of underdog heading into Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving championship.

According to a pre-race “mock meet” based on seedings from sectionals, Middleton was tabbed to finish second at the state meet, something that didn’t sit well with the Cardinals.

Fri
06
Jul
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MHS' top male performances of 2017-'18

It was another sensational year for the sports teams at Middleton High School, where the Cardinals remained a model of consistency both in the Big Eight Conference and across the state.

Of course, some achievements rank as the best of the best. Here’s one person’s opinion of that list.

We will hand out boys’ awards this week, and girls’ awards next week.

 

Boys team of the year: Cross country

Caleb Easton crunched the numbers in his head.

As Middleton’s boys cross country standout totaled the results from the WIAA Division 1 state meet, Easton figured the Cardinals would be exiting Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids with a championship trophy.

It wasn’t until those results were officially posted, though, that Easton and his teammates could breath a giant sigh of relief.

“I think really the highlight was when we saw the scores and saw that we won,” Easton said. “It was just a great time.”

Thu
28
Jun
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Seven soccer players named all-Big Eight

Before the 2018 girls’ soccer season began, Middleton head coach Mary Duffy gathered her seniors together.

Duffy, who’s been in the program 13 years and has been the Cardinals’ head coach for eight, had a simple message.

“I said, ‘This is your season. You set the tone,’ ” Duffy recalled. “I’ll be here next year for another one, but this is your last. How do you want it to be?”

Turns out, it was a memorable one.

Middleton won a second straight Big Eight Conference title and climbed to the No. 1 spot in the state rankings. The Cardinals eventually were knocked off in the sectional semifinals, but their bevy of achievements left quite an impression on the voters for all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Thu
21
Jun
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Four MHS golfers named all-Big 8

Middleton’s boys’ golf team had a memorable season.

The Cardinals won the Big Eight Conference dual meet title and tied for sixth at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament.

As a result, all five Cardinals earned all-conference honors.

Sophomore Kip Sullivan and senior Andy Zucker were named first-team all-Big Eight. Freshman Jacob Beckman, sophomore Carson Frisch and sophomore Tommy Kriewaldt were all named second-team all-league.

To figure a golfers’ score, the Big Eight Conference calculated:

• Three conference match scores vs. course rating.

• Three at large, non-conference invites vs. course rating.

• The Big Eight Conference Tournament (mandatory) vs. course rating.

For example, if a golfer shot a 75 and the course rating was 71.1, the number for that match would be 3.9.

Thu
14
Jun
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Schmitt steps down as Middleton's manager

It was mid-March when Tom Schmitt saw the light.

Middleton’s long time baseball manager was in Winterhaven, Fla., watching his oldest son Brennan and his University of Wisconsin-La Crosse baseball team.

Brennan’s Eagles still had a handful of games to play. But Tom Schmitt headed back to Middleton to coach the 2018 Cardinals, a group that included his youngest son, Brady.

It was at that moment, Schmitt realized his heart was in two places at once. And that was a tricky path to navigate.

So earlier this week, after a sensational 16-year run as the Cardinals’ skipper, Schmitt resigned.

Brennan Schmitt has two years left at UW-La Crosse and Brady will try out for the Eagles this fall. Now, with a far more flexible schedule, Tom Schmitt will be able to see his two sons instead of trying to follow their progress on his phone.

Thu
14
Jun
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Soccer Cardinals fall in sectional semis

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

That sentiment by the great Dr. Seuss makes plenty of sense in theory. And down the road, Middleton’s brilliant 2018 girls’ soccer team may be able to look back and smile.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, though, last Wednesday was more about tears.

Middleton suffered a painful 1-0 loss to visiting Janesville Craig in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal. The top-seeded Cardinals lost for the first time in 2018 to a team from Wisconsin and finished their year 13-2-3, while the fourth-seeded Cougars improved to 12-3-4.

Afterwards, Middleton’s players were both stunned and saddened that the end had arrived for this remarkably special group.

“It’s hard to lose and you just don’t expect it,” said Middleton senior forward Lexi Schultz, a tireless performer who gave a memorable effort in defeat. “That’s kind of what sucks about it, is that you’re just not mentally prepared for it.

Thu
14
Jun
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Four softball Cardinals earn all-Big 8 honors

Middleton’s girls’ softball team had a rough season on the field, going 9-14 overall.

But the Cardinals were well-represented when it came to all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Senior first baseman Jessica Parente was named first-team all-conference. Parente was the only player on the first team that wasn’t from Sun Prairie or Verona.

Freshman Olivia Hebert was named second-team utility and honorable-mention all-conference as a catcher. Junior third baseman Ashley Bindl was named second-team all-conference, while senior second baseman Sophie Schafer was named honorable-mention all-league.

Parente was named all-conference for the fourth consecutive season. Parente was a second-team utility player in 2015, a second-team catcher in 2016 and a first-team first baseman in 2017.

Thu
07
Jun
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Future is bright for MHS golfers

VERONA — In many ways, this year’s WIAA Division 1 boys state golf tournament was about the present — and the future — for Middleton’s boys’ golf team.

The Cardinals were the youngest of the 16 teams at state, featuring three sophomores, one freshman and a senior. Middleton’s four underclassmen were all making their first-ever trips to state.

So despite a sixth place finish at the 36-hole event held Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge, Middleton left this brilliant course full of hope.

Sure, the Cardinals were hoping for a better overall finish. But with 80% of its lineup expected back — and several young and promising players in the program — this might have been just the beginning for Middleton.

“I think we got a lot of experience from this tournament,” said sophomore Carson Frisch, who plays No. 2 in the Middleton lineup. “That will definitely help going into next year and helping us handle big pressure situations.”

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