NORMAN — They may have competed against each other in high school, a trio of Norman runners will soon be racing alongside each other.
Norman North’s Belle Wallace and Abbey Mace will join Norman High’s Hayley Redwine a few miles from home at Oklahoma next fall. All three signed with the Sooners on Wednesday and will stay in Norman next year.
All three distinguished themselves in high school. Redwine finished third at the Class 6A cross country meet in November, just three seconds behind Wallace, while Mace came in fifth. Their finishes helped deliver the Timberwolves a state title and the Tigers a second-place finish.
“They made a good decision and I’m proud of them,” North coach Mike Ramsey said of his senior athletes. “They were special to me. I could count on them every time I needed them, and they answered the bell every time. They’ll be greatly missed, but they’ve passed the torch on.”
Hockett headed to Stillwater: Norman High’s Matt Hockett added a dimension to the Tiger football program that every high school team would love to have: a game-changing special teams player. He averaged more than 43 yards a punt last season while making seven of his 12 field goal attempts, with a long of 46 yards, while also converting 97 percent of his extra point attempts.
He will continue his kicking career at Oklahoma State.
The recruiting process did not start as early for Hockett as it did for some other players, as college coaches don’t typically target punters and kickers until late in the game. But the coaching staffing in Stillwater thought that Hockett could provide some needed competition in the kicking game, and he’ll get his chance to do so right away.
“They’re looking at him to be an immediate impact player,” coach Greg Nation said when Hockett was first offered a roster spot by the Cowboys. “Whoever he’s competing with, it’s going to make them better. It’s a good situation for everyone involved. We had him for three years and he did a super job for us.”
Prince looking ahead: Current Norman North power forward and ex-Norman North tight end Payton Prince is excited to begin his time at Tulsa next season, where he’ll try to make an immediate impact on the Golden Hurricane roster after an impressive high school career.
Still, there’s more than that on Prince’s mind.
“It feel great to make it official,” he said. “It’s also nice to have it behind me so I can focus on basketball season.”
A starting member for the 10th-ranked Timberwolves, Prince hopes to help lead his team to a Class 6A state tournament berth this season. It would be a fitting end to a North career that has seen Prince help lead the football program to unprecedented heights, including back-to-back district titles and a state championship game appearance.
“To all of the freshmen and sophomores and juniors, I would just say embrace it because it goes fast,” he said. “There’s no better feeling than playing in that state championship game.”
Gillett heading to Williamsburg: Though he did not sign a national letter of intent on Wednesday, NHS split end Max Gillett nonetheless made his college football plans known, committing to Football Championship Subdivision power William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Va.
FCS schools — what used to be called Division 1-AA — are allowed to give out 15 scholarships each year, 10 fewer than Football Bowl Subdivision programs are allowed to dole out.
Still, joining the Tribe is no small thing. Last fall, William and Mary very nearly upset West Virginia opening day before falling 24-17, and followed that with seven wins in its next nine games.
This coming fall, the Tribe opens the season at perennial national power Virginia Tech.
Follow me @Chosler88
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.