NORMAN — The injury picture at Norman North is clearing up, but it is still far from clear.
David Cornwell and Tyler Sipe both went out of last week’s game against Yukon with scary-looking injuries. Sipe went down with a neck injury and laid prone on the ground for nearly 30 minutes before being carted off in Friday’s victory, while Cornwell injured his right knee on a blocked punt in the second quarter. Sipe was diagnosed with a strained muscle in his neck after being taken to the hospital in a precautionary move, while Cornwell left the game on crutches.
The news out of North is mixed. Sipe’s injury was not as serious as it appeared, and the senior is back to practicing with the team. That clears the way for the tight end to return to the team in time for Thursday’s game against U.S. Grant (0-5) if coaches decide it’ s worth bringing him back against the winless Generals.
Cornwell’s situation is less clear. While all signs point to the Alabama commit being out for at least this week’s game and possibly longer, neither Cornwell or coaches at North have disclosed exactly how serious the injury is and how long he could be on the sidelines.
Cornwell’s status likely will be the most closely watched storyline out of North in the next two weeks as the Timberwolves prepare for a matchup against Edmond North (3-2) next week that could determine the District 6A-3 champion. But, while the extent of Cornwell’s injury isn’t being disclosed, the team is preparing this week as if junior backup John Kolar will get the start under center.
Kolar, who had moved to wide receiver this season, came on in relief of Cornwell last week and led the Timberwolves on a comeback that ended in a game-winning Jake Edzards’ field goal as time expired.
“John played lights out,” coach Wade Standley said. “He came in and commanded the offense and made some big-time plays for us.”
Sipe and Cornwell aren’t the only injuries the T-Wolves are dealing with. Also out again is linebacker Trace Magee, while defensive back Chris Briley and receiver Jake Brewer both returned to practice.
While the Timberwolves likely won’t have to play their starters the entire game against U.S. Grant on Thursday, Standley said they are approaching the game like any other and don’t plan to hold anyone out who would otherwise be able to play.
Still, the T-Wolves will look to avoid any further injuries this week as they look toward next week’s showdown with Edmond North.
“We’ve got to take care of this week, and then we’ll focus on Edmond North,” senior tight end Payton Prince said.
Follow me @Chosler88