NORMAN — Class 6A is in the final year of district play for the foreseeable future, and for Norman High and Norman North, those districts couldn’t be much tougher.
District play opens this week, and NHS (2-1) and North (1-2) face an uphill road to match the playoff runs from a year ago. The Tigers, who compete in District 6A-4, open the district schedule with a trip to 2-1 Mustang, While North travels to meet a newly-resurgent and undefeated Midwest City squad.
With the first three games of the season out of the way, the “preseason,” as NHS coach Greg Nation calls it, is over. The only games used to determine whether or not a team makes the playoffs are district games, which will run from this week until the final week of the regular season. Beginning next year, Class 6A will be split into two, with the top 16 schools by attendance being split into two separate divisions, eliminating the traditional district schedule.
That makes this season the final year the Tigers or Timberwolves can accomplish the traditional goal of all teams: to win district titles.
Undoubtedly, NHS faces one of the toughest district in the state. Headlined by undefeated Lawton and 2-1 Edmond Santa Fe, ranked No. 4 and 6, respectively, the district is deeper than perhaps any of the four in Class 6A. But the rest of the group is stacked as well, with No. 9 Southmoore in the mix as well as vastly improved squads in Edmond Memorial, Mustang and Putnam City West.
It may be the toughest district in the state from which to pinpoint four playoff teams, and while the Tigers are in that mix, there’s enough depth in the district that no one’s spot is guaranteed, especially after the disappointing performance the Tigers put on in a 21-19 loss to Yukon on Friday.