There was no limit to the number of positions Hughston Norton could play on any given Friday night. Whittell football coach David Housel once said he put Norton wherever he felt the other team was strongest.
The positions may have changed, but Norton’s standout performance never wavered.
When it comes to sports, Norton has the whole field covered. He was a game changer for the Warriors on the football field and the ski slopes this past year making him the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s Male Athlete of the Year from Whittell High School.
Norton is the kind of athlete who stands out in any sport he plays. In the fall, it happened to be football.
As a running back, Norton led the league in rushing for most of the regular season. He rushed for 781 yards off 81 carries with six touchdowns.
Norton collected another 297 yards receiving and three more touchdowns. By the end of the season, Norton averaged 80 yards a game and had found the end zone 14 times.
He was just as impressive on the defensive line, which earned him a first team All-League spot.
Defensively, Norton led the Warriors with 96 tackles, three interceptions, three caused fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Numbers aside, Norton played every game to win no matter what kind of underdog odds the Warriors were stacked against.
“Whether we were up or down 60, he always wanted to be part of it,” Housel said. “He could play anything and be the best position out there.
“He was one of those seniors who went through the toughest times at Whittell and stuck through them.”
As impressive as his football season was, the Whittell graduate was an even better skier.
Norton turned in top times at every high school race he competed in this season. He also picked up enough points in the Far West Ski Association to qualify for the elite U18 Nationals. His third-place finish, which was a half second shy of first, cemented him a spot in the U.S. Alpine Championships where he raced against the best slalom skiers in the nation.
The impressive ski season earned Norton a spot at the University of Alaska this fall, a top 10 Division I ski team.
“We’re really excited to have Hughston,” Alaska coach Sparky Anderson said. “He’s got a lot of talent, a ton of potential and we’re excited to see where we can go with him.”
Honorable Mention: Incoming senior Mark Waite was a key part of the Whittell soccer, basketball and track teams. Waite led the soccer team in goals scored, was a pivotal part of the basketball team’s defense and medaled in four individual track events at state. There is no doubt that Waite will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming year.