NORMAN — It’s Homecoming at Norman High tonight, and coaches have something special in the works as No. 8 NHS (4-1, 2-0) hosts Choctaw (1-4, 1-1) at 7 p.m.
The 1992 state title team will be in attendance at the event and there will be a special announcement at halftime. The Tigers did the same thing last year with the 1961 championship team, and when that turned out to be a success, coaches started looking for more opportunities.
They found it in the 1992 team, which defeated Lawton Eisenhower 17-14 in that Class 6A title game.
“That 1992 team won the state title, and those are the special teams,” coach Greg Nation said. “That’s something we’ve tried to instill in our kids. Winning a state championship is unlike anything else. It creates a special bond with your teammates and your school. Your work ethic is going to dictate where you go.”
One of Nation’s goals since coming to NHS has been to bring back the alumni, and getting together old teams at Homecoming has been a big part of that.
“The alumni really wanted to be involved, and a bunch of them still live around here,” he said. “It’s a great time to bring them back. It’s a bunch of guys that want to come together, and we like them doing that here at NHS.”
There is one member of the coaching staff with a tie to the title. Coach B.W. Trenary was on the staff of that team, and is now the offensive coordinator for the Tigers in his 22nd year in the program.
While Choctaw isn’t expected to be a serious threat to the Tigers, it’s a game NHS can’t overlook. While there may be a tendency to look ahead to next week’s marquee matchup against Southmoore, that’s a mindset the Tigers are actively trying to avoid.
“We’ve got to treat every game like it’s a title game,” Nation said. “Choctaw is a hard-nosed team that will hit you in the mouth. We’ve got to be ready for that.”
Nation wants his own defense to develop that type of reputation, something the Tigers are working toward with an increased focus on physicality in practice.
“We’ve focused on swarming to the football,” linebacker Blake Dean said. “They [Choctaw] run a lot of different formations, but we’re focusing on not worrying about that and just focusing on our keys.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com