In a short time at Sandwich High School, senior Mike Norton made a strong impression in both his studies and athletic feats.
Transferring from Braintree High School to Sandwich as a sophomore, Norton was looking to get involved early on to help make new friends. Although he never played the sport, Norton tried out for the Blue Knights football team.
But making the team was far from Norton’s only goal at his new school.
“I had to make new friends and work to establish myself as a leader,” he said. “I had to be good enough to carve out a role on the team.”
Following his sophomore year he made a goal to be a starter as a junior. After achieving that, he set out to be named a captain for his senior season. With another goal checked off his list, Norton now sets his sights on playing at the collegiate level.
“Once I started playing, I immediately loved the sport,” Norton said. “The physicality, the speed and the fact that if I get the ball, I can run over the first guy I see.”
And Norton has had plenty of opportunities to run over opponents, seeing time at both tight end and running back for the Blue Knights. He started the year off right when Norton hauled in a pass from quarterback Cam Lopes with zero time left on the clock to beat Nauset in the Cape & Islands passing camp tournament in Monomoy back in August.
But the senior isn’t only a football player. He grew up playing hockey for the Canal Sharks before playing for the Wamps for two seasons at Braintree. He shared that he once scored five goals in a single game when he was 13 years old. And although he doesn’t play for the Blue Knights’ basketball team, Norton said he’s played his whole life recreationally.
Aside from being named a captain of the football team, Norton received a second team all-ACL nomination after earning his varsity letter during his junior year. He’s been an honor roll student since his junior year and is involved with the Best Buddies program at SHS.
What do you love about football? What drew you to the sport and what made you stick with it?
Before I started playing football I was always a big fan of the sport. I thought it was by far the most exciting sport to play. I thought I could be a great player if I were to play. Also the team aspect in football is unlike any other. If one person is off, the entire team is off. There’s no other sport like that.
What is your favorite pregame warmup music?
Some of my go-to pregame warmup songs are “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill, “Outro” by Meek Mille and “Ali Bomaye” by The Game.
If you could be one fictional character who would you be?
If I could be one fictional character, I would probably be Spider-Man because he would catch every ball thrown at him.
Who is on your Mount Rushmore of role models?
My Mount Rushmore of role models would include my father, Brian Norton; my coach, Matt MacLean; Julian Edelman and Tom Brady. My father and coach MacLean have both been great role models for me and helped me so much, especially in the past few years. Edelman and Brady are simply the GOATs.
Do you have any plans after graduation?
I plan to go to college after high school. Wherever I go, I will continue playing football and I want to study either engineering, communications or sports management. Some places I’m applying are Muhlenberg College, Endicott College, Washington and Jefferson College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
What is your favorite school subject?
My favorite subject in school is probably history. I like seeing how the world was before I got here and I have a particular interest in US history. Also, it makes watching old movies more interesting.
What is your greatest high school moment, either athletically or academically?
My greatest high school moment was probably being named captain my senior year in football and, basically, my entire last season of high school football.
What three people would you invite to a dinner party? What would you serve?
I would invite Tom Brady, Cam Neely and my friend Wally Alden, because Wally would kill me if I had dinner with them and didn’t invite him. I would serve lamb chops.
What professional athlete do you most relate to?
I think I relate most to Troy Brown, the former wide receiver from the New England Patriots. He could play multiple positions and played each at full speed. He was a real jack-of-all-trades.
You’re stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack of your most prized possessions. What’s in your backpack?
If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would bring my Xbox with some games and the complete set of “The Lord of the Rings” because if all I do is play Xbox, I’ll get stupid. I’d also bring a sweatshirt, toilet paper and a Swiss Army knife because those are essentials.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I’d like to thank my parents, Brian and Gillian Norton, for supporting me and always getting me to practice and camps and colleges. Also, I’d like to thank Coach MacLean for helping me be a better player and a better man over the last couple of years.