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July 28, 2013

Tigers getting familiar with new roles

NORMAN — Just a few weeks from the first football practice of the year, Norman High coach Greg Nation’s team is already adjusting well to some new faces.

The Tigers, who advanced to the second round of the playoffs last season behind a talented running game spurred by quarterback Zach Long, are filling a number of holes on the roster.

The most prominent of those is quarterback, where Jakcob Dean will take over after spending last year at wideout. It’s a move that isn’t easy for the former receiver, but it’s one Nation said he’s attacking with energy.

“He’s done a really great job working out and throwing the ball,” Nation said of Dean. “We’re working on getting him prepared mentally for the task. That’s the biggest transition.”

Joining Dean in the backfield will be running backs Dupree Young and Darius Manning as the Tigers return to the triple-option attack that took them into the second round of the playoffs a season ago.

With the first practice scheduled for Aug. 12, Nation said his team is anxious to get onto the field.

“We’re working on gaining quickness and staying mentally focused,” he said. “The kids are doing a good job staying with the program. We had a really good season last year and have these kids back and ready to go again.”

Attendance numbers released: The OSSAA released this week preliminary ADM numbers for next year. The numbers, based off daily attendance, are used to divide schools into classes for athletic purposes.

The numbers this year were watched especially close because of the OSSAA’s decision to split the Class 6A playoff into two divisions starting in 2014. Under the new structure, the top 16 schools in terms of attendance will be grouped into one playoff, while the bottom 16 schools will be in a second division.

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