By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
MUSKOGEE — It seems wrong that Norman High’s Matt Hockett could ever be thought of as the second best midfielder in Norman. On the other hand, when Mauro Cichero primarily plays the midfield at the other high school in town, well, such is the nature of things.
Saturday night at the Indian Bowl, site of the Class 6A All-State soccer games, Hockett offered another piece of his game. In the first half, he piloted the West’s back line.
He looked like a natural.
That didn’t surprise his high school coach, Gordon Drummond, who was there to walk onto the field with both of his players — Hockett and Theo Ostas — during introductions, and to enjoy the game afterward.
“When he played club, he played in the back, up until he was 14 or 15,” said Drummond of Hockett, who will soon be on Oklahoma State’s football roster as a kicker. “You watch his position and it’s great.”
Last dance: For everybody playing Saturday night it was their final high school soccer game. Reaction ran the gamut.
Kali Newman, Norman North goalkeeper during the regular season, even though she’s already enrolled at Oklahoma and is already going through summer workouts with her new teammates, can’t quite believe it’s over.
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet. It hasn’t quite hit me yet,” she said. “I’m kind of in shock.”
Moore’s Jordan Cleveland sounded like she might miss her high school days, but maybe not that much.
“I’m not really upset. It was a really good season and I’m blessed to be a part of this All-State game … one last game for a sort of closure,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to college. I’m ready to go.”
Cleveland will be playing for USAO, in Chickasha, beginning this fall.
Late reporter: Collegiate athletics has become a year-round undertaking for so many young athletes, even for incoming freshmen, who frequently begin their course work and conditioning in the summer (or spring) after graduation.
That’s not the case for Norman North’s Bri Kuestersteffen, who won’t report to Alabama-Birmingham until Aug. 5, with practice beginning the next day. As for the conditioning …
“They’ve given us a 55-page workout program and I’ve been doing that,” she said, before offering some sarcasm. “That’s really fun.”
Also, on hand to support Hockett, NHS football and tennis player, Max Gillett, headed to William and Mary to play tight end, won’t report for his Tribe football duties until Aug. 1.
He should know: The list of great soccer players at Norman North is a long one. Cory Albertson, Will Smith, Russ Coleman, Jack Coleman are just a part of it. But who’s the best?
Who better than the man who brought soccer to Norman so many years ago to settle it.
Gordon Drummond was simply watching the back and forth of the first half of the boys game when it came out of his mouth. The subject was Mauro Cichero.
“He’s the best high school soccer player I’ve ever seen,” Drummond said.
Follow me @clayhorning
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