NORMAN — Simply explaining the scene surrounding the goal that’s made him (more) famous, Norman North’s Mauro Cichero, without hardly trying, also managed to explain how and why he’s able to score goals like it.
“The ball went wide so I made a run toward the front post for the cross,” Cichero said. “Carson (Cacciatore) headed it out and I saw that it was going to No. 10 of the other team, and I couldn’t really get there to challenge him, so I just put myself in a better position for the next ball.”
What happened next is the stuff of dreams. Cichero, already the reigning Gatorade player of the year in the state, sprinted toward open space 10 yards directly in front of the Edmond Memorial net.
From there he delivered a breathtaking and sidewinding bicycle kick, even as he braced himself with his right hand on the artificial surface, making for greater leverage and velocity on the shot he tucked under the crossbar that handed the Timberwolves a 3-2 double-overtime victory over their District 6A-2 rival Bulldogs.
Forty hours after he scored the goal that memory remains perfectly vivid and would appear to be a look into the game from Cichero’s point of view. He’s able to recall it so exquisitely because he sees the game in such slow motion.
That or he’s been busy watching replays of his heroics on YouTube, the video sharing website, where, as of 8:45 p.m. Thursday, 72,423 views of his goal had been logged. And that might only scratch the surface.
Van Shea Iven may be the hardest working person covering prep sports in the state. For his Oklahoma High School Sports Express show and website, nobody’s on site for more games, tourneys and championships than Iven. And it’s because he walked into Memorial’s stadium to catch most of the boys game Tuesday night, there exists a beautiful and razor-sharp video of Cichero’s artwork.