NORMAN — The crime is they’re playing tonight, and not Tuesday or a week from tomorrow. The crime is that one of Norman’s two Class 6A boys soccer programs is going to exit in the round of eight.
Tonight marks the second round of the playoffs and, after the No. 2 Norman North girls (12-2) take care of Bishop McGuinness (11-3) on the 6 p.m. undercard, the heavyweight bout will step into the ring at North’s pitch when, mixing metaphors, the Crosstown Clash takes the stage at 8.
Three years ago they could have met in the 6A championship game.
Interestingly, it was a Tiger team not quite as capable as the one NHS (11-3) will put on the field tonight to face unbeaten North (14-0) that advanced that evening when the Timberwolves failed.
Also, it’s not so bad.
The last three times the NHS and North boys have met, it’s gone to a shootout, each side winning once last season, and the T-Wolves winning this one. And though it’s a crime one must be eliminated so early in the postseason, playing tonight, most of all means, they’re playing tonight and a Clash in the hand is better than one that might never come to the bush.
The sentimental pick is the Tigers. Gordon Drummond has taken care of that. He’s the reason Norman ever became a soccer town, originating the NYSA way back when; taking over the Tiger program before the OSSAA took soccer on as a sport.
Among the names on Drummond’s coaching tree? Geo Claros, North’s coach, who played midfield for the Tigers in the mid 90s, and Don Rother, the North girls coach, who played for Drummond before playing his senior year for the T-Wolves when North opened its doors in 1997.