Sports

Thu
27
Aug
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Boys XC team happy to have a season

Middleton boys cross country coach Brian Finnel is a “glass half full guy.”

Then again, Finnel’s cup has runneth over in recent years, as his Cardinals have won two of the last three WIAA Division 1 state championships.

When it comes to the wild and wacky year that’s been 2020, though, Finnel is trying to look on the bright side.

Middleton High School recently 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 15-May 3.

Cross country was labeled a “low risk” sport by the WIAA, and many schools across the state are finding a way to practice social distancing and still have a season this fall. While that would have obviously been ideal, Finnel is just happy his team will have a chance to compete.

Thu
27
Aug
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Girls XC team has mixed emotions

Cross country teams all across the state began their new seasons last week.

Middleton girls coach Alexa Richardson, who guided the Cardinals to a fourth place at the WIAA Division 1 state meet last year, was anxiously awaiting the 2020 season. Middleton, which had just one senior in its lineup a year ago, was considered one of the frontrunners to win a state title this season.

For now, though, Richardson and her runners have hit a red light.

Middleton High School recently 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 15-May 3.

While Richardson is happy to have a season, she’s not thrilled about waiting until March to gather with her team. Cross country was labeled a “low risk” sport by the WIAA, and many schools across the state are finding a way to practice social distancing and still have a season.

Thu
27
Aug
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Tennis Cards hope wait is worthwhile

It would have been easy for first-year Middleton girls tennis coach Matt Given to be bummed last week.

Across the state, several schools started tennis practice. By the weekend, there were dual meets, triangulars and quadrangulars everywhere you looked.

At Middleton High School?
Crickets.

But Given wasn’t complaining.

Middleton recently elected not to play sports this fall due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, and instead will try having a season in the spring. The Cardinals’ alternate season is scheduled to run from March 8 until April 26.

While waiting is the hardest part, Given believes the wait will be worthwhile.

“Honestly, we would love to be starting practice, but unfortunately due to circumstances out of our control we will just have to wait,” Given said. “Like I have told my girls and their parents, the overall safety of my athletes is the No. 1 priority.

Thu
20
Aug
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MHS must regain control of Lynx

Editor's Note: This is a column by Sports Editor Rob Reischel

Jamie Sims has been Middleton’s athletic director for just six weeks.

Sims inherited a pair of size 19 shoes left behind by the late, great Bob Joers. He was quickly forced to deal with the fallout of a global pandemic and help make tough decisions regarding fall sports.

Sims still has a lengthy to-do list — most notably how to schedule three sports seasons into the winter and spring. When he comes up for air, though, it’s imperative for Sims — and assistant A.D. Ben White — to reclaim control of Middleton’s co-op girls hockey program.

Middleton’s co-op, also known as the Madison Metro Lynx, consists of players from Middleton, Madison West, Madison Memorial, Madison Edgewood and Verona. The Lynx was also one program Joers took immense pride in.

Mon
17
Aug
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MHS girls golfers excited to have a season

When we last saw Becky Halverson, she was hoisting a state championship trophy.

Halverson, Middleton’s girls golf coach, enjoyed a victory ride with her team on the back of a fire truck. And when she exhaled, Halverson took great pride in the fact she’s built one of the best programs in the state.

Last week, Halverson and the Cardinals got perhaps their best news since claiming the WIAA Division 1 state title last October.

The WIAA Board of Control approved several details for fall sports to also be played in the spring for the 2020-21 calendar year only. Middleton — which elected not to play sports this fall due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 — will now be able to play fall sports in the spring.

Girls golf will run from March 29 until the week of May 17. And if everything goes according to plan, Halverson’s team should get a chance to defend their title.

Sat
15
Aug
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WIAA approves second fall sports season

More anything?

More everything!

The great Jerry Seinfeld once uttered that famous line while flying first class and sitting next to a super model. Nearly three decades later, that mantra was still applicable to high school sports in Wisconsin.

On Friday, the WIAA Board of Control approved several details for fall sports to also be played in the spring for the 2020-21 calendar year only.

Middleton High School — which elected not to play sports this fall due to fears surrounding COVID-19 — will now be able to play fall sports in the spring. Middleton offers football, girls golf, girls swimming and diving, girls tennis, boys soccer, boys and girls volleyball and boys and girls cross country as fall sports.

Tue
11
Aug
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Metro Lynx dump highly successful McKersie

Mike McKersie led Middleton’s co-op girls hockey team to its most successful season ever last winter.

Middleton’s co-op, also known as the Madison Metro Lynx, reached the WIAA state championship game for the first time in school history. The Lynx tied for the Badger Conference championship, went 21-3 overall and won the prestigious Culver Cup.

What was McKersie’s reward for such a memorable year? A pink slip.

Kathryn Anderson, an assistant coach since 2014, was recently named the Lynx’s new head coach. McKersie, on the other hand, was left somewhat befuddled.

“I was surprised, but then again, not all that surprised,” said McKersie, who coached the Lynx the last two years. “After all the success we had, you’d think there would be a lot to celebrate and a lot to be happy about. 

“But this can be a nasty business. I’m not the first coach — and I won’t be the last — to have a great year and get fired.”

Wed
29
Jul
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Cramer named Middleton's top male athlete of 21st century

The task was daunting.

The Times-Tribune recently asked a 16-person panel to rank the best male and female athletes to pass through Middleton High School in the 21st century. Any athlete who competed in the 21st century was eligible to be nominated and their exploits across their entire career were considered, even if a portion of their playing days came in the 1990s.

The panel consisted of past and present coaches, local sportswriters and community members who have seen countless Cardinals’ events.

There were no set criteria outlined. Beauty was in the eye of each beholder.

If one voter thought a multi-sport athlete with solid production across the board rated ahead of a one-sport athlete who excelled at their craft, that was their prerogative. If another voter prioritized team success, that was fine, too.

Nearly 60 boys and 60 girls were nominated for consideration, and after the votes were tabulated, each field was trimmed to a top-20.

Wed
29
Jul
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MHS moving fall sports to spring

Middleton girls golf coach Becky Halverson led the Cardinals to a WIAA Division 1 state championship in 2019.

Halverson and the Cardinals won’t get the chance to defend that title, though, in 2020.

Middleton boys cross country coach Brian Finnel led his group to a state title in 2019. That was the Cardinals’ second title in three years.

But Finnel’s group won’t have the opportunity for three state championships in four years.

The WIAA Board of Control voted 8-3 on July 23 to attempt to have a fall sports season, although the start dates were delayed due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three days earlier, the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District voted to begin the school year with all-virtual learning. The district also determined that sports will not be permitted without in-person schooling.

Wed
22
Jul
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Ranking Middleton's top male athletes of the century

The task was daunting.

The Times-Tribune recently asked a 16-person panel to rank the best male and female athletes to pass through Middleton High School in the 21st century. Any athlete who competed in the 21st century was eligible to be nominated and their exploits across their entire career were considered, even if a portion of their playing days came in the 1990s.

The panel consisted of past and present coaches, local sportswriters and community members that have seen countless Cardinals’ events.

There were no set criteria outlined. Beauty was in the eye of each beholder.

If one voter thought a multi-sport athlete with solid production across the board rated ahead of a one-sport athlete who excelled at their craft, that was their prerogative. If another voter prioritized team success, that was fine, too.

Nearly 60 boys and 60 girls were nominated for consideration, and after the votes were tabulated, each field was trimmed to a top-20. 

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