May 2022

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Tennis Cards win Big Eight

Middleton’s boys tennis team won the Big Eight Conference tournament on May 18-19 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.

The Cardinals finished with 53 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison Memorial (34). Madison West was third with 33 points, while Verona (29) and Sun Prairie (22) rounded out the top five.

Middleton won individual championships at all four singles flights and two of the three doubles flights.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ top performances:

• No. 1 singles — Ian Connell defeated Everett Reid of Madison West, 6-3, 6-1 in the title match.

Connell also defeated Janesville Craig’s Nolan Sullivan, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals and Madison Memorial’s Gokal Kamuth, 6-0, 6-1, in the semifinals.

• No. 2 singles — Jonathan Kim cruised past Madison Memorial’s Juan Gallego, 6-1, 6-0, in the championship match.

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Middleton's HTL team tops Sauk

PRAIRIE DU SAC – It was a picturesque Sunday for baseball with temperatures in the low 70s on a sun-splashed afternoon.

Let’s play ball.

The visiting Middleton 29ers used a three-run third inning to take control en route to a 5-3 victory over the Sauk Prairie Twins in a season-opening Northern Section amateur baseball game at Chuck Hall Memorial Field.

“I was excited to come here,” Middleton manager Brandon Hellenbrand said. “Both teams played really good baseball and put on a heck of a show. We were fortunate enough to come out on top.”

Sauk Prairie finished a perfect 16-0 in the Northern Section a year ago, including playoff games, to advance to the final four for the second consecutive Home Talent season (2019 and 2021).

But Middleton’s one-two punch of center fielder Brandon Scheidler and shortstop/pitcher Drew Farrell made sure the Twins wouldn’t put together an unbeaten Northern Section season in 2022.

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Softball Cards stun Chippewa Falls

Middleton girls softball coach Brittany Carl has told people all year long that her Cardinals are capable of beating anyone they play.

Last Saturday, the Cardinals proved just that.

Middleton edged previously undefeated Chippewa Falls — the No. 3 team in the state in Division 1 — 4-3 during the Chi-Hi Invitational held at Chippewa Falls.

“We played some of our best softball,” Carl said. “We were disciplined, yet aggressive at the plate. We were loose.”

Middleton’s win over Chippewa Falls was the highlight of its week. Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ busy schedule:



• Middleton 4, Chippewa Falls 3 — Falls entered the day 18-0, but Megan Button held it to two earned runs and notched the win. Button pitched all seven innings, struck out three and allowed nine hits.

Mackenzie Zimmerman led Middleton’s offense with two hits, including a solo home run.

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Girls track team 3rd at Big 8 meet

The circumstances were not ideal.

But Middleton pivoted, adjusted and did its best to adapt.

The Cardinals finished third at the Big Eight Conference meet that unexpectedly wound up going two days last weekend.

The event — held at Monterey Stadium in Janesville — was postponed after lightning hit the area last Friday and resumed last Saturday. Middleton, like several other schools, had many athletes with conflicts that couldn’t return for the second day of the meet.

“They were very difficult circumstances with having the meet halfway done then postponed into Saturday and having a few athletes not able to make it to the second day due to other obligations,” Middleton coach Jay Schweitzer said. “Everyone was in the same position, so it’s just something we may need to look at as a conference if we want the weekend to be the backup date.”

Despite frustrations from the weather, the Cardinals had a solid outing.

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Boys track team 5th at conference

So much for a return to normalcy.

After two seasons where COVID either killed the track and field season (2020) or altered it (2021), Middleton was excited for a return to the ordinary at the Big Eight Conference meet.

Mother Nature had other ideas, though.

With storms and lightning approaching Monterey Stadium in Janesville last Friday, the meet was suspended until Saturday. Several of Middleton’s athletes had conflicts and couldn't return, and the Cardinals eventually settled for fifth place.

Sun Prairie won the boys title with 145 points, while Verona was second at 127. Madison Memorial (108), Janesville Parker (95) and Middleton (87.5) rounded out the top five.

“At the end of the day, our coaching staff is so proud of each and every one of these kids,” Middleton coach Chad Kleifoth said. “They stepped up, gave all they had for our team, and we walked away with a fifth-place finish. 

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Golfers focused on postseason

The regular season is in the rearview mirror.

And now, Middleton’s boys golfers are hoping for a memorable postseason.

The Cardinals will head to the Big Eight Conference Tournament on Thursday. Middleton then heads to the WIAA Division 1 Madison West Regional at Odana Hills on Tuesday.

If the Cardinals advance through that, they’ll head to the Onalaska Sectional on June 1.

Before looking ahead, though, here’s a look back at how the Cardinals wrapped up a busy final week of the regular season:

• Big Eight dual vs. Madison La Follette — The Cardinals rolled past the Lancers in a dual meet on May 12 at Yahara Hills.

Middleton finished the Big Eight dual meet season with an 8-1 mark, one game behind champion Madison La Folette.

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Girls soccer team ready for the push

The girls soccer postseason seeding meeting will take place Sunday.

And with Middleton in arguably the state’s toughest sectional, Cardinals head coach Mary Duffy knows getting a high seed won’t be easy.

Until then, the Cardinals will continue trying to build the best résumé possible.

Last week, Middleton dropped a 2-0 decision to Verona on May 10. But the Cardinals rebounded with an 7-1 thumping of Janesville Craig on May 12.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 7, Janesville Craig 1 — Devan Utter had a pair of goals to lead the Cardinals past the Cougars.

“This is a game we needed to win and to win big,” Duffy said. “We have a tough sectional with tough opponents and we have to take care of the teams we know we are better than.” 

Erin Gonter, Dalina Jonuzi, Lydia Paulsen, Autumn Suttle and Marley Mladucky all had goals for the Cardinals, as well.

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Tennis Cards finish unbeaten in Big 8 duals

Middleton’s boys tennis team clinched the Big Eight Conference championship on May 10 with a 7-0 win over Madison La Follette.

The Cardinals finished a perfect 9-0 in the Big Eight and are 16-0 overall.

Ethan Bo, Middleton’s No. 1 singles player, rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win. Ian Gupta, Jonathan Kim and Aarush Gupta — the Cardinals No. 2-4 singles players — also cruised to 6-0, 6-0 wins.

Middleton’s top doubles team of Kieran Gopal and Ilya Rice posted a 6-4, 6-4 win. The Cardinals’ No. 2 doubles team of Saketh Peddireddy and Franklin Hu rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win. And at No. 3 doubles, Middleton’s Neel Mukherjee and Bodi Russo cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win.

Middleton was at the Brookfield East Invite Monday, then headed to the Big Eight Conference meet Wednesday and Thursday. The Cardinals are then at the UW-Whitewater Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

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SUN PRAIRIE — Easton Zempel wants to make one thing clear.

“Losing sucks,” Middleton’s ace right hander said.

When Zempel and his teammates examined the big picture, though, perhaps Middleton’s 3-0 loss to host Sun Prairie Tuesday afternoon stung a bit less.

But only a bit.

Middleton and Sun Prairie took part in the eighth annual Strike Out Cancer game held at Summit Field.

The teams raised more than $117,000 for American Family Children’s Hospital pediatric cancer research during their first seven years. And after a banner fundraising year in 2022, that number jumped to more than $150,000.

Afterwards, Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen was bummed by the loss. But he also realized the greater good Middleton and Sun Prairie had just been part of.

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Ruth Lucille (Fleuter) Yunker

MIDDLETON–Ruth Lucille (Fleuter) Yunker, 96, of Middleton, passed away on May 1, 2022, at St. Mary's Hospital. She was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Racine, the daughter of Carl Fleuter and Marie (Nichols) Fleuter.

Ruth married Lyle Yunker on Feb. 12, 1949, and they enjoyed 67 years together before his passing. Prior to retirement, Ruth worked as a housekeeper at the University of Wisconsin Regency Dorms.

Ruth was a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Middleton. In her free time, she enjoyed camping and travelling and was lucky enough to have seen most of the US. She also enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

Ruth is survived by her sons, Raymond (Nancy) and Larry; grandchildren, Tracy Woodward, Jason Yunker, David Yunker, Travis Yunker and Jaina Drenski; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Lyle.