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April 11, 2013

Norman clubs can mold district destiny

NORMAN — A few things perhaps about the goings on at area pitches:

One, though the defending Class 6A state champion Norman North boys (6-3, 3-0 District 6A-2) have lost three games this season it is the Timberwolves, not their Crosstown Clash rival Tigers (7-0, 1-0 District 6A-1) who nonetheless find themselves in the driver’s seat to return to the state title game.

Norman High, trying to get back to the title game after 2011’s runner-up finish, may jump into its own driver’s seat, but has yet to play the game that will put it there.

Two, of Norman’s four Class 6A soccer programs, it is the eighth-ranked Norman High girls (5-2, 1-0 District 6A-1) — on paper, perhaps, the least menacing of the four — that can write their own ticket into the heart of the playoffs as soon as the next 36 hours or so.

Three, given the season to date, the program of the four best suited to go win a state championship right now is also the program with the least history of the four. That would be the Norman North girls (7-1, 3-0 District 6A-2).

Now, let’s dig a little deeper.

n The North boys may have never lost three regular season games prior to this season. Still, they look like the best team in their district and there’s a strong case they’ve already topped their two nearest pursuers: Edmond Memorial and U.S. Grant.

District games remain against No. 7 Mustang (6-3, 2-1) and unranked Bishop McGuinness (4-2, 2-1) as well as Westmoore (4-5, 2-1) and Putnam City (2-5, 0-2), but it would take a major stumble from the T-Wolves to fail to run the table and, even if they stumble, they could still win District 6A-2 and still secure two home-pitch playoff games.

The second-ranked NHS boys are riding high but in a killer district. The Tigers are a clear favorite at Southmoore (6-2, 1-1) tonight but not-so-clear a favorite against No. 4 Edmond North (8-2, 4-0) Friday and No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe (8-1, 3-0) April 23.

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