If nothing else, Norwich has been a consistent if not exemplary football program the last half decade.
In each of the past five seasons, Norwich has won four or five games in the regular season, all of which yielded a playoff appearance. The one catch in that five-year string of postseason appearances is that Norwich has advanced out of the first round just once.
The other consistency at Norwich is that it has typically beaten the teams it was supposed to beat. On the flip side, it has struggled against winning programs, and all five of its losses last year came to playoff teams. Two of those losses were to sectional champions, and the other three losses were to sectional finalists.
"Last year's schedule was a doozy to say the least," said Norwich varsity head coach Mike Chrystie, who enters his sophomore season as leader of the Tornado. "All of our losses were to bigger schools or schools that were competing for championships. We would have liked a couple more 'W's,’ but with the changes we made, I was proud of the guys. I don't think there was a team in the state that made more of a philosophical change on offense. Those changes are starting to pay off. We have all five starters back on the offensive line, so we're gelling much earlier in the preseason."
A division realignment in Section IV's Class B may also prove beneficial to the Tornado. Maine-Endwell, the three-time defending state champion, is still on the Tornado's schedule, but is not a division opponent. The other Class B team that beat Norwich last year, Johnson City, is also outside the division.
Instead, Norwich will face Susquehanna Valley, Oneonta, and Windsor in divisional matchups. Norwich beat all three of those clubs a season ago including a thrilling overtime win at SV.