By BURT ANGELI
NORWAY – Norway High School won Mid-Peninsula Conference and MHSAA Division 4 regional wrestling titles for the first time in 2013.
And Coach Nick Burklund says there’s more to come in the very near future.
“Our ultimate goal is a state championship and we are very close,” Burklund said at Thursday’s Norway Knights Booster Club winter athletic ceremony. “We have a great bunch of kids coming and I have high hopes.”
Norway graduates just two wrestlers including Cayleb Winkler, who was announced as the team’s most valuable player during Thursday’s program. The hard-working Winkler, who qualified for state individual at 125, finished just short of 100 career wins for three seasons.
Burklund, named regional coach of the year, selected Jake Wetsel for the leadership award. During a team “breakdown” this season where a practice was cut short, Wetsel rounded up the team where they pledged to continue their commitment.
Also during the winter sports program, Bailey Grayvold was presented with the girls basketball’s team MVP award. The senior topped Mid-Peninsula Conference voting for player of the year honors.
“That was a huge compliment to Bailey and the rest of the team,” Norway Coach Carli Kelly said.
Heather Evosevich earned the coach’s choice award for dedication.
Boys basketball coach Ben Leiker saluted team MVP John Grayvold and his senior teammates Isaac Bray, Mike Zygiel, Randy Mueller, Riley Johnson, Daniel Bal, Grant Merrill and Peter Fontana for triggering the team’s turnaround.
Norway floundered during the regular season but bounced back to win a Class C district championship.
“They made the whole season worth the work,” Leiker said. “There’s lots of character in these kids.”
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Norway High School winter sport athletes received awards Thursday during a program at the Fine Arts Center. Most valuable player recipients, from left: Bailey Grayvold, girls basketball; John Grayvold Jr., boys basketball, and Cayleb Winkler, wrestling. Not pictured are Madyson Miller and Amanda Ray, co-MVP for cheerleading.