Sports Editor’s playbook, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

Patrick Newell

– The athletic exploits of all of the 2010 Norwich Sports Hall of Fame inductees are well known, with the possible exception of Glen Earl “Tommy” Manning. About the only Mannings relevant to most of today’s Evening Sun readers are brothers Peyton and Eli, of NFL fame.
In the spring, we’ll provide a detailed description of this year’s Hall of Fame class leading up to the actual induction ceremony in June. Just to give people a sense of Tommy Manning’s worthiness as a selection, I can offer a few facts: He was a three-year starter at quarterback for Norwich from 1922-1924 starting every game, playing every minute and every down. Norwich went 19-3 over his three-year career, and he guided Norwich to its first win over Binghamton Central in 1924 to culminate an unbeaten season. As a perfect season hung in the balance and Binghamton driving for a winning touchdown, Manning picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown to clinch the win. It was a story-book end for Manning to a brilliant three-year football career at Norwich High School. In his final season, Manning had seven rushing touchdowns, nine passing scores, and drop-kicked 13 extra-points. Those statistics – 86 years ago – would still rank among the best in our area today.

– Is it ever too early to start hyping a team? Hey, that’s my job, right? I asked Norwich wrestling coach, Joe Downey, about his team’s prospects of making the Section IV Dual Meet Tournament in February. He told me he wasn’t sure his kids were even aware of that tournament. The tournament began a few years ago to determine the best dual meet team in the section. Teams are usually selected by won-loss record and performance in league competition. Since the tournament’s inception, Norwich has never competed in tournament, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the athletes on the Norwich team are not aware of the event.
Tuesday, Norwich picked up its second straight significant win defeating Chenango Valley on the road. Last week, Norwich edged Johnson City in its season opener, and that victory is looking better by the moment. Johnson City defeated Chenango Forks last night – yes the same Chenango Forks team that was last year’s dual meet team champion.
Norwich has a couple of holes in the lineup right now due to injury and other reasons. Once those are filled in, the Tornado matmen should be considered as one of the top eight or 10 dual meet teams in Section IV.

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