Chenango County's six wrestlers are not the only ones who qualified for the state tournament today and tomorrow at the Times Union Arena in Albany. Two local residents, working as referees, earned coveted spots among the best officials in the state's biggest wrestling tournament.
Bob Hagenbuch of Norwich will make his third appearance in the state tournament, and Dale Persons of New Berlin earned his fourth trip.
We spoke to Hagenbuch earlier this week, who in addition to his officiating, coaches wrestling for Norwich on the junior high level, and also works a full-time job. "This is definitely a busy time of the year for me," Hagenbuch said.
Hagenbuch graduated from Norwich High School, and stayed involved in wrestling helping out retired Norwich wrestling coach Don Kovalchik. Seeing Hagenbuch's potential, Kovalchik made a suggestion to Hagenbuch.