NORMAN — When David Cornwell tweaked his ankle in a scrimmage last week against Edmond Santa Fe, both he and coaches tried to downplay the injury, even as he limped back to the team bus.
“I’ll definitely be taping my ankles from now on,” he said after the scrimmage. “I didn’t think I needed to, but I just twisted it. I’ll be fine in a day or two.”
But that estimate proved to be optimistic, and the injury has lingered in the week since. It limited Cornwell’s participation at Norman North’s practices, and it may keep him out of tonight’s scrimmage.
North will travel to Mustang for the final preseason scrimmage, where the T-Wolves will take part in multi-team drills before meeting Southmoore for a half-game scrimmage at 6 p.m. It’s a scrimmage that Cornwell, who transferred to North before his senior season, may not take part in.
“We’ll see how he ends up doing tomorrow night,” coach Wade Standley said. “It’s a precaution more than anything. He’ll be all right, but I’m not sure he’ll be out there.”
Losing Cornwell even for a scrimmage may be a blow to the Timberwolves, who showed some flashes of brilliance but also plenty of holes in last week’s scrimmage against Edmond Santa Fe. The offense hummed with Cornwell at the helm for the first time, but Standley said the T-Wolves are still working to improve their timing before kicking the season off against Norman High next week.
On the other side of the ball, North looked exactly like what they are: a young team with a lot of new faces. Edmond Santa Fe quarterback and Oklahoma commit Justice Hansen broke a number of long plays against the unit, which lost nearly all of its starters from last year’s state runner-up squad.
“We saw some good things and some mistakes that we need to work on,” Standley said. “There’s no shortcut to experience. We have 18 new starters and we’re still working on playing gap-assignment football on both sides. It’s a process and they’ve come to work. We’ve had a good week of practice.”
Heading into tonight’s scrimmage Standley has kept expectations reasonable with his team. Just a week from the season’s opening kick, the third-year coach said the most important thing is staying healthy while still competing. To that end, he acknowledged that things aren’t yet set in stone; there is still plenty of competition for starting jobs and playing time, and tonight’s scrimmage is a chance for coaches to find a little more clarity.
“We’re looking to get some continuity with our offense and our defensive personnel,” he said. “We’re still trying to find the right combination of guys and sets, and that’s what we’re focusing on: playing our best and staying healthy.”
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