NORMAN — Wednesday was the first day athletes could sign with college programs, and several Norman athletes made it official.
A pair of Norman North pitchers chose their colleges on Wednesday, with Brad Kinsey signing with Wichita State and Austin Cranford inking a letter of intent with Hutchinson junior college. Both pitchers were key players in the Timberwolves’ run to the state championship game a season ago. Volleyball player McKayla Benner also signed with Southern Nazarene University on Wednesday.
Westmoore’s Destinie Lookout signed with Oklahoma, the reigning national champion in softball. Lookout batted .489 with nine homers this season for the Jaguars.
Lookout’s teammate, Shayla Lucas, also signed Wednesday. Lucas will be heading to The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma after a stellar career with Westmoore.
The Oklahoma wrestling team also picked up Southmoore’s Nathan Marek when he signed his NLI. Marek, who won the 160-pound state title as a sophomore, chose the Sooners over Oklahoma State.
Soccer districts announced: The OSSAA released its soccer districts for the next two seasons on Wednesday. Norman High will compete in District 6A-1 with Choctaw, Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe, Midwest City, Moore, Putnam City North and Southmoore, while Norman North will be in District 6A-2 alongside Westmoore, Bishop McGuinness, Edmond Memorial, Lawton, Mustang, Putnam City, and US Grant.
Looking ahead: Three area schools have advanced to the postseason. Norman North will host Mustang on Friday, while Westmoore will travel to Sand Springs and Class 2A Washington will host Lexington.
Of the three, North may have the easiest road. The Timberwolves (7-3) host Mustang (6-4) and will have a chance to host the second round of the playoffs as well, in what could be a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal against Broken Arrow (8-2). If Westmoore (8-2) advances past Sand Springs, the Jags would travel to meet undefeated Lawton next week. Washington (8-2), which is playing without starting quarterback Brock Harmon, would travel to 9-1 Hennessey in the second round.
Timberwolves mostly healthy: Norman North won’t be at full strength when it meets Mustang in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs on Friday, but it will be as close as its been all season.
The Timberwolves have suffered a number of season-ending injuries this year, but the players who they’ve had in the stretch run of their District 6A-3 championship season are healthy heading into Friday’s game. That includes senior lineman Kain Williams, who was banged up last week but has improved since.
“We’re as healthy as we can be,” coach Wade Standley said. “We’ve got to go out and perform.”
NHS alum earns national honor: St. Gregory’s University goalkeeper Brock Vorwald was named the NAIA’s national defensive player of the week on Tuesday.
Vorwald, a senior at SGU who graduated from Norman High, allowed just two goals in a pair of wins over John Brown and Wayland Baptist to help the Cavaliers earn a spot in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament. One of those wins was his sixth shutout of the season. He is allowing just 1.04 goals per game this season.
Kickoff time moved up: Playoff games for Class 6A are set for 7:30 p.m. by default, but Norman North and Mustang officials both agreed to move kickoff up 30 minutes. The official start time is 7 p.m. on Friday at Harve Collins Field.
North (7-3) is the No. 1 seed from District 6A-3, while Mustang (6-4) earned the No. 4 seed in District 6A-4 after upsetting Southmoore a week ago.
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