Addington delivers for Norton on Day 1
By CONOR NICHOLL
Norton 113-pound senior Branson Addington has reached state all four years of his high school career. In his first two seasons, Addington qualified, but didn't medal. Last season, he broke through and collected a fourth-place finish. On Friday, Addington earned his first state championship berth with a narrow 5-4 victory against Marysville sophomore Chris Deters in the championship semifinals that had two controversial moments at the close of the first and third periods.
"Honestly, there were times when I never thought I would be able to," Addington said. "It feels pretty good."
Senior 138-pounder Alec Hager reached his second straight final, the other Bluejay wrestler to reach a championship. Norton, which qualified 10 wrestlers, had 74 points after Day 1 of Class 3-2-1A state competition at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
"For the most part, everyone won matches that they were supposed to win," Addington said. "Even though some of them were real close. But it's been a pretty good day."
Norton, the defending state champion, was four points ahead of Rossville. Beloit ranked third with 58 points.
Bluejay coach Bill Johnson also had another great moment: His first grandchild was born Friday at Hays Medical Center to his daughter, Kelli Wyatt, and her husband.
Addington took a 3-2 lead with a takedown just before the first period buzzer. Marysville's coaches questioned the points, but it stayed.
"I didn't really know what the time was on it, I was just hoping that they would keep it," Addington said. "I heard the time was out from one guy."
At the end of the match, Deters nearly earned two points. The first official called the points, but the second official came in a few seconds later and ruled time had expired, and Addington won 5-4. Save the Norton section, boos echoed throughout most of GMC when the ruling occurred.
"I felt like that was the right call," Addington said. "Right at the end, we were both moving around, and no one had control, in my opinion."
Addington was set to face Ellsworth senior Ty Nienke (36-0) in the championship. Nienke is a previous state finalist, but hasn't won a title.
Atwood's Migchelbrink into final
Like Addington, Atwood senior 126-pounder Macrae Migchelbrink had delivered a fine career, but hadn't broken through to a state final. He did Friday with a forfeit, a fall in 98 seconds and a fall against Blake Graham of Pleasant Ridge in 4 minutes, 24 seconds.
"It's pretty important to me," Migchelbrink said. "But I came in with the attitude knowing that I was going to get to the finals. Now, I've just got to show up tomorrow."
Top wrestlers still alive
Rossville's Tagen Lambotte (152) and Fredonia's Brogan Humphrey (138) will had a chance to make history Saturday. Both were going for their fourth state title on the same day, the first time it's happened in Class 3-2-1A history. Lambotte has committed to University of Iowa, while Humphrey is looking at several schools, including Fort Hays State University. Humphrey said FHSU has already offered him a sizable scholarship.
"I was five or six, first year wrestling," Humphrey said.
"We have a wall where we have all of our state placers, and I looked up and I used to say that I am going to be up there four times. Never really said what placing. But as the years went by, and the better I got, the more I wanted to be four times (a titlist)."