NORMAN — There will be hundreds of Norman North fans giving up their Friday night to be at the Class 6A state championship game.
One fan, in particular, is giving up more. Not that she minds.
Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Friday in Orlando, Fla. But the longtime Sooner coach won’t be there. Instead, she’s planning to fly back from the convention on Friday afternoon and be in Stillwater that night to watch her son, DJ, play linebacker for the T-Wolves.
“I’ve known about this situation for a year, and I knew there might be a conflict,” Gasso said. “I’ve been following DJ’s team and they kept winning. I made a video to present at the convention in my place.”
And, while Gasso is disappointed she won’t be there, there wasn’t any other choice in her mind.
She was hired at OU 17 years ago while pregnant with DJ didn’t know what she was getting into in terms of time spent away from home. With her schedule filled with road games and recruiting trips, she’s missed more time with her family than she would like.
“I used to read him a story at night and I would always fall asleep before him, and he would pick it up and finish it,” she said. “This is the ultimate of all ultimates in the coaching world, but this is his moment and I can’t fall asleep on this one. I have to be there for him.”
Excited to be a Sooner: North linebacker Jordan Evans said Wednesday he was both excited and relieved to have made his college football choice.
Evans committed to OU late Tuesday after discussing it over with his parents, who supported his decision to quickly accept the Sooners’ offer.
“I knew who I wanted to play for, and the main reason I committed early was to get it out of the way and focus on the game Friday,” he said. “It’s been a crazy year. I’m just blessed to be in this position.”
Gavras on practice field: North quarterback Peyton Gavras has been a participant in practice this week after taking a hard hit late in last week’s semifinal victory over Owasso.
Coach Wade Standley couldn’t discuss injury specifics due to privacy laws, but said Gavras was practicing with the team.
More buses: For the second straight week, the Timberwolves will send their players and fans to the game in a convoy.
There are 15 buses set to transport students to Friday’s 7:30 p.m. state championship game at Boone Pickens Stadium, along with another six for the team, band and cheer groups.
“It’s great how much school spirit there’s been,” North principal Bryan Young said. “The response has been fantastic. We filled the buses in under an hour and a half, and we have enough to take everyone who wanted to go.”
Defense carries Trojans: Jenks is one of the top teams in the state every year, and its offense has been prolific. But it’s been Jenks’ defense that has been the team’s biggest strength in the postseason.
The Trojans have allowed more than two touchdowns just once all season, and have held every in-state opponent to 14 points or less.
They’ve allowed an average of 12 points through three playoff games.
“We know they’re a good football team, and they don’t make many mistakes,” North coach Wade Standley said.
Twitter strikes: One of the most storied rivalries in Oklahoma sports is Jenks-Tulsa Union. But the @Beat_Union Twitter account, an unofficial sounding board for Jenks fans, has undergone an identity change for the Class 6A title game.
The name of the account was changed to Beat Norman North, where Jenks fans have engaged in mostly good-natured trash talk using the #beatNormanNorth hashtag before Friday’s title bout. North fans, for their part, have responded in kind with the #BeatJenks hashtag.
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com