New conference, same expectations for Knights football team

NORWAY — One team that will be moving this upcoming season is the Norway football team, but not much else will be changing.

The Knights will be moving from the Mid–Peninsula Conference to the Mid–Eastern Conference. They will still face MPC teams like Ishpeming, Gwinn and Iron Mountain, but now they will take on teams like Munising, Newberry and Bark River–Harris, as well as Lake Linden–Hubbell, the 2016 conference champs whom Norway beat in last year’s district final game.

“I think we’re going to be ready for this conference. There’s still a lot of good teams on that conference. Lake Linden was a good team. We played really well that game. I think it’s going to be a tough year,” running back Micah Wilson said.

“We don’t really know what we’re going into. I’ve never played many of the teams that we’re going to play, so it’s going to be a whole new thing to me and for everyone else on the team. I’m not going to really judge the conference off that one game, but they were tough. They are all games that we got to take,” said quarterback Josh Plante.

“It’s going to be the first time we play Newberry in a long time, the first time we play Bark River in a long time. We haven’t played Munising in a long time, and we played Lake Linden last year and we had a really good game on a beautiful day. You can’t look too far forward, but I do know when we get there, we’re going to play a well-coached and disciplined Lake Linden football team,” head coach Bob Madigan said.

Norway did lose a very successful senior class, but this year’s seniors might be the most talented group in the U.P. as they look to make a deeper run in the playoffs in 2017.

“It feels good. We’ve been working hard in the weight room all summer. I think this year is going to be a great year. We’ve been really grinding and really looking forward to the first game. We’re getting better playing as a team, working together and picking each other up,” said defensive tackle/tight end Josh Boulden.

“It’s always been a goal of mine since I was a little kid to bring Norway back a state championship trophy. We’ll hopefully bring it back this year,” wide receiver Connor Ortman said.

“Anything can happen on a Friday or Saturday, and they know that. You’re always an injury away or an offside away or a penalty. And play with confidence, but also be modest. Because anyone can be beat on any day, and you can be beat anybody on any day,” said Madigan.

The Knights will open the season at home on August 25th against Niagra.