The 2011-12 high school sports campaign officially concluded its spring season two weeks ago in Worcester. And even though Norton didn’t have a team competing in the Div. III baseball or softball finals, it didn’t faze first year athletic director Nathaniel Gorbert, who acknowledged through an email, how proud he was of his student athlete’s efforts from the past school year.
The Lancers excelled quite well in boy’s basketball, wrestling and track and field, while the girl’s tennis improved drastically from their past few seasons. Yet, despite those various sports, Norton’s other teams improved and remained competitive against their various Tri-Valley League foes, too.
Norton Patch caught up with Gorbert to discuss the past year of Lancers athletics, and look ahead to the 2012-13 school year.
What are certain moments, games or memories that you’ll remember most from this past school year?
“It’s hard to pick one, but it would probably come from the . [Also], , and .”
Entering last fall, what was the outlook for the various varsity teams? Did any squad over achieve?
“The TVL is made up of schools of a wide variety of sizes. We are one of the few small schools that can compete with the larger schools in just about every sport year in and year out. The expectation for last year was no different. As mentioned in the previous question, we were expecting good seasons from wrestling, boys basketball, and boys track, but we did not know they were going to be as good as they turned out to be.”
Did your athletic department have to overcome any challenges or obstacles from this past school year? If so, what were they?
“The biggest obstacle we had to battle through last year, and [this] year is the construction. Between the logistics of it, tearing apart the locker rooms, invading practice space, etc. It has not been fun to say the least, but it will definitely be worth it when we get to enjoy the finish project.”
What team or teams improved the most this past year? What’s the outlook on that team or teams going forward?
“The team that had the biggest improvements last year was girls tennis. The team has really gone through some struggles [over] the previous years. This year they just barely missed the tournament, but more impressively, they had more wins than the previous three years combined. With a large percentage of returning players this up coming year, they are looking to have an even better year.”
Did the athletic department have certain goals or objectives this past year? If so, what were they and were they met?
“The two main goals we always have are to make sure we properly utilize athletics to help build the students in the class room, as young adults, while making sure they preform at the highest level possible in their respective sports. The other goals are to win the league’s sportsmanship award. We did end up winning the league sportsmanship award. I believe we were successful at the first goal, but we are always looking to improve and do a better job at the following year.”
What’s one of the most enjoyable aspects about being an AD for a high school? How long have you been involved with high school athletics, and have you learned from various coaches or mentors from the past who’ve helped you become the person you are with Norton High School?
“The most enjoyable part of being an AD is just being able to continually be involved with the students and athletics. I love sports. What ever I am doing for the rest my life, I want to make sure sports is a part of it. I have been involved with high school athletics for about the last five years, but before that it is was college athletics, which I was working with. The learning process as an AD never stops. I am always learning from my coaches. Each one is different and unique, and they all bring various positive attributes to the table.”
Do you have a favorite town in the TVL to play against, and is it the same for every sport?
“Across the board, probably the favorite town to play against is Medfield. It is different for every sport though. For soccer, Dover Sherborn is always a great game for both schools. Football Holliston and Medway are great match ups. It really depends on the match ups for each sport.”
What are three goals you and the athletic department have going into the 2012-13 school year?
“As far as specific goals, the athletic department has not defined those. We will nail those down at our athletic meeting before the year starts with all the coaches. We are always looking to win the sportsmanship award, as we pride our self on this. Over the last two years since I have been the AD, we have had record setting seasons for almost every single team at Norton. We are definitely looking to continue and build on this excellence.”