The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin
The Times 

Carlos Norris represents Dayton to go 2-2 at state wrestling tourney

Norris has overcome multiple challenges and hopes to place at State in 2020


February 21, 2019

Courtesy Photo

Norris takes on an opponent at the 2018 Pomeroy Christmas Tournament.

TACOMA, Wash. – Dayton Bulldog wrestler Carlos Norris found himself bypassing regionals and heading directly to state competition when snowstorms across the state made roads unsafe and resulted in the WIAA canceling the regional elimination round of wrestling competitions. Instead, the WIAA added an additional round to the finals at the Mat Classic XXXI wrestling tournament at the Tacoma Dome on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

Norris, a junior, competed at state last year where he took fourth place in the 132 lb. bracket. This year, he went 2-2 in the 138 lb. bracket, but failed to place.

In his first match, Norris was pinned by Joseph Monchack of Darrington. Norris was the victor in his next two matches, pinning Scott Kuntz of Tonasket in 2:45 and taking down Ira Reynolds of Rainier in 2:38.

Norris was taken out of state competition by Chase Clark of Kettle Falls who won in a 17-2 technical fall.

Norris said that regionals being canceled, the bracket size doubling from 12 to 24 and bumping up a weight class all factored in to a bad case of nerves.

"I don't feel I performed the best I could have. Nerves had a lot to do with it. I didn't keep calm, cool and collected. The competition was a lot bigger and I'm not good at dealing with that kind of pressure. I had a hard time wrapping my head around it," Norris said.

Norris started wrestling with the Waitsburg MatBirds at age five and continued until age 14 when, as an eighth grader, he competed on the Waitsburg Cardinal high school wrestling team.

Coach Lanny Adams was in his fifth year as Waitsburg's wrestling coach and there were eleven wrestlers in the program in 2016. Norris claimed the spot of number one district seed in the 113 lb. class that year and had high hopes for state, but a knee injury knocked him out of regional competition.

The summer before his freshman year, Norris suffered a severe head injury in a swimming accident. He tried wrestling in two matches with Waitsburg in 2017 but didn't feel well and his family reluctantly decided to call it a season.

Unfortunately, Carlos was the only wrestler to sign up in 2018 and Waitsburg was forced to drop its wrestling program.

Norris attends school in Dayton and the Dayton School District agreed to pick up the program to allow him to compete as a sophomore in 2018. Norris, the only Dayton wrestler, worked under Coach Tracy Pearson and managed to take fourth place at the state level despite practicing alone.

"We did a lot of cardio that year," Norris said.

This year, Dayton offered the program again and Norris was able to co-op with Pomeroy which has seven wrestlers. His dad, Buck, signed up as a volunteer coach and drove Norris to practice in Pomeroy every day.

"They have a good program and their coaches are great. I really want to thank Brian, Ben, and Matt Slaybaugh and Austin Reisdorph for all their help and support. They were really big role models to me and opened my eyes on how to handle myself off the mat as well as on," Norris said.

Norris is hopeful that Dayton will continue to offer the program through his senior year and that he can participate with the Pomeroy team again.

"Each year it's been a little bit of a battle to get the school to keep a program for just one kid. Having teammates to practice with and offer support is so important. We really won't know until next year if Carlos will be able to compete again or not. he Dayton superintendent and principal have been very supportive," said Norris' mother, Lisa.

As for Norris, he said he plans to keep on working and "hopefully improve a lot more."


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