Senior Tate Norby came home for the first time Dec. 6 and he brought a few friends from Dickinson with him.
By Brad Mosher
For years, the Amidon native has spent his winters on the road every afternoon, leaving New England for the drive to Dickinson.
Then he would have to drive home — to Amidon.
That has been how Norby has spent every winter for years.
All the miles.
All the workouts.
All the competitions.
All of that has paid off for the senior.
He placed fourth a year ago at the state championship tournament, wrestling at 152 pounds.
“I made it to the semifinals last year, then lost to the kid who won the tournament. He was from Mandan actually,” Norby explained.
In the third place contest, the match went into overtime against a rival Norby has been facing for several years. “It was a take-down in the last 10 seconds,” he added.
The senior got the benefit of all those hours on the mat and on the road.
As a senior and a part of a co-op arrangement with Dickinson’s wrestling program, the Midgets gave Norby his reward Dec. 6 when they held one of the program’s home dual matches in the New England gym before a capacity crowd.
According to New England Superintendent Kelly Koppinger, it was a big event for the school and the town with a smaller population than Dickinson High School.
“As far as I know, this is the first time a wretling match has been held here,” he said, inside the gym during a break in the action.
“There are kids out here in the hall making like wrestlers,” he said, noting the impact the visit of Norby and his teammates.
Norby, wearing his orange-and-black singlet, was the last official match of the evening.
When he stepped onto the mat to a thunderous reaction from his teammates, schoolmates and the crowd, he was undefeated with a 6-0 record against in-state foes.
He has lost twice, but both were to out-of-state wrestlers in out-of-state tournaments.
Across the center circle from Norby was Mandan’s Connor Jenkins.
It took only a few seconds for Norby to take control of the match, nearly picking a win by fall in the first seconds.
The Mandan wrestler was able to avoid the quick loss, but not the eventual 14-6 major decision which gave the visiting home team from Dickinson a 49-15 victory.
The win added the final four points to the victory total for the Midgets.
The senior was pleased, especially getting to wrestle in front of his classmates, relatives and friends in New England.
The co-op seniors who don’t go to Dikinson get a home match at their place (school),” Norby said.
It was something he has been looking forward to all season.
It was a long history of club wrestling which prompted Norby to create a New England co-op with Dickinson.
“I really have grown up with these kids,” he said, waving his hand towards his teammates s they started to pack up the mat.
I decided the atmosphere and the coaches were really good (at Dickinson). They drive me to push myself every day at practice.
“I had the option to go to Hettinger hen I was going into seventh grade, as a co-op thing.
“But I wanted to go to Dickinson. I really enjoy those guys,” he added.
Being at a bigger school in an individual sport has its advantages, Norby explained.
“You can push yourself to be the best. You don’t have to depend on other teammates.”
So far this season, Norby is on track to return to the state tournament.
In addition to competing at a higher weight class, Norby said he has also bulked up trying to prepare for a return to the state tournament.
Norby has been going to New England since the eighth grade, he added.
The senior is focused on wrestling right now, but when spring arrives, he said he’ll turn his attention to another favorite sport – baseball.