Norway makes regionals

IRON MOUNTAIN – The Mid-Peninsula Conference champions added a team district title Thursday.

Norway downed host Iron Mountain, 66-3, in the semifinals and Bark River-Harris, 63-12, in the finals to capture the Division 4 District 197 championship.

“It was a good night,” Norway coach Nick Burklund said. “As coaches we couldn’t be prouder. It’s not exactly how we would like to win, as we would like to see 14 on 14. But we were there once, as I remember going to Iron Mountain four years ago with four kids for districts.

“A win is a win, and it’s always nice when you can beat a team man-for-man. Tonight we did, going 3-1 against Iron Mountain and 3-2 against Bark River.”

Coach Burklund’s Knights, who dominated Saturday’s MPC title, won three of four matches against the Mountaineers.

Cody Spade (140) pinned Tanner Chouinard; Garret Bonetti needed a takedown in overtime to edge Jake Weslin 8-6, and Cayleb Winkler (125) shaded U.P. and MPC champion Alex Edwards 5-4 for the three Knights’ victories.

Iron Mountain’s Corbin Henkel (135) rallied past Jake Julian 10-8. Nine weights were forfeited, with the lone double at 119.

In the district final, Norway claimed three of five matches with Bark River.

For the Knights, Taylor Bonetti (160) needed a third-period comeback to subdue Kyle Mathias; Jordan Neumann (189) pinned Eli Oswald in :49, and Cody Spade (140) won on injury default over Morgan VanLanen.

Bark River’s Curtis Labadie (215) pinned Shane Brasil in 1:43 and Kent Dubord (285) recorded a fall over Kasey Siegle in 1:47.

Nine weight classes were forfeited, with a double at 119.

“For the matches we had, the kids really stepped it up,” Burklund said. “Its a good way to start the state tournament.”

“As a team in the beginning of the year, we set a few goals individually and as a team. Two of them were winning conference and districts. To do that was huge it really shows the hard work and commitment the kids put into the season. However, our season is not over. We have to have a good couple of practices and keep the momentum going forward.”

Norway advances to the team regional Wednesday at Manistique.