NORMAN — For the last 10 years or so, the Norman North boys have traveled to South Carolina for the Palmetto Cup.
Always a destination for some of the nation’s best prep soccer teams, it’s been a chance for the Timberwolves to showcase their program, forever one of Oklahoma’s best.
That may very well still be the case, but it’s a little different this time around.
For one, North is skipping the Palmetto Cup this season for the Southern Soccer Showcase, beginning today in Huntsville, Ala.
The T-Wolves will play one game today and two Saturday, before returning home and making up its rained-out contest with U.S. Grant Monday night on the North pitch.
Two, very rarely have the T-Wolves (2-2) ever left the state to make a national impression sporting any loss on their slate, much less two, but that’s the case this season after shootout losses to both Broken Arrow and Norman High.
North, ranked No. 6 by the Class 6A coaches, believes it may have turned a corner with a 4-0 victory at No. 9 Edmond Memorial last time out. But, even if that’s true, the Showcase is less a chance for North to showcase itself than a chance to confirm to itself the team that blew out Memorial is the real T-Wolves.
“This weekend and next week, it’s going to be six games in seven or eight days,” said North coach Geo Claros, whose team will also meet Lawton and Westmoore next week. “We’re looking forward to getting into that groove.”
The T-Wolves hope a few changes made before the Memorial game will continue to pay off.
Jonathan Newton, who scored twice against the Bulldogs, is now lining up wide on the forward line, while Jacob Jerles has moved from the back line to center forward. Also, Cole Johnson is now playing a midfield position.