The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

September 6, 2013

Total team effort gives Tigers edge over T-Wolves

(Continued)

NORMAN —

A team of leaders?

Maybe just a team. That’s probably good enough for the Tigers. Really, it may not get any better.

“I think it’s just the kids,” longtime NHS assistant Sunny Feexico said when asked for the Tigers’ identity. “They just came together. It’s not offense, it’s not defense, it’s just one unit.”

Honestly, the Tigers are a team after your own heart.

They’ve got some explosiveness. They’ve got a born leader in Dean. They’ve got some big defensive guns. And they’ve got a coach willing to gamble on them even though it might not work, the way it didn’t work when Dean failed to pick up a yard facing fourth-and-1, up 38-28 near midfield with 4 minutes to play.

Still, the takeaway of that moment wasn’t any kind of bad decision, but the faith Greg Nation placed in his charges; that they’d pick up the yard, but also that they’d step up if they didn’t.

When it was over, though their fans may have been, the Tigers were hardly cocky, just humble and proud.

“We played the way we were coached. We did the little things. We got after it,” Parker said. “We executed our assignments better than they did.”

Manning was thinking about the hard work in the offseason, like you get a week to prepare for the last nine games of the regular season, but most of a year to get ready for this one.

“It feels good. It feels really good,” he said. “We worked so hard all summer.”

Manning said it didn’t feel like it was NHS against the world, just “pretty much the whole town,” which is sort of smaller and bigger than the whole world at the same time.

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