NORWICH (WBNG) – The Norwich Purple Tornado, Class B Section IV Champions.
“I mean it honestly doesn’t even feel real,” said Norwich head coach Josh Bennett.
12 Sports first came across this Norwich team right before Christmas when the Purple Tornado went into Seton and crushed the 2017 state champions and Halea Eaton was our athlete of the week.
“We have been coming here and trying to put our best into this and that is what we did tonight, everybody played well and everybody dominated,” said Norwich junior Halea Eaton.
We now fast forward to February when Norwich secured a date with the undefeated Owego Indians for the STAC title game. People knew this Norwich team was good but it seemed unlikely they would hand Owego its first loss of the season.
They would end up beating the Indians by 16 points.
“It feels really good because our school hasn’t won that in twenty something years and this group is really special because we all do this together and everybody wanted it,” said Eaton.
It couldn’t have been that easy. In the STAC championship, Owego was missing some of its best players so when the two teams were set to meet again in the Section IV title game it was expected to go differently.
“Ya pick up a newspaper you pick up a remote and turn on your guys broadcast, I feel like my kids heard over and over again that is was because they didn’t have all their kids so I think they walked in here thinking okay we will show ya,” said Bennett.
Instead of winning by 16 this time they won by 24 and walked out of the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena with a Section IV title.
“We worked really hard to get here and so it is really rewarding that all the hard work is finally paying off,” said Norwich senior Saige Benedict.
“I am very happy, very proud of my kids obviously they put a lot of time and effort into this so I’m very proud of that,” said Bennett.
Section IV champions has a nice ring to it but you know what would sound even better? State champions.
“We celebrate right now then we are going to get back into the gym and keep on working,” said Benedict.
“Yea our whole entire mentality is that we are going to go out and run all day and you are going to get tired before we do so I think that is more of the mentality of our team more than it is underdog and I think that we think we are good enough to be here,” said Bennett.
Norwich proving time and time again it deserves everything they have gotten.