With the final round of the OSSAA 6A Boys State Championship coming to a close, Norman North and Edmond North were knotted up at 923 strokes apiece.

According to the scorecard, Norman North held a one stroke advantage at the event’s conclusion. However, after coaches and officials convened at the clubhouse, it was ruled that Huskies’ senior Carson Blaser’s final score was one stroke lower than reported, leading to a tie that would result in a playoff hole to determine the team state champion.

Blaser came up big on the 18th hole by smashing a long ball from almost 200 feet away onto the green, which put the senior in position to tie the event with a strong putt.

Fans gathered around the green to watch in suspense as the two teams battled it out in the heat for a state title.

On the playoff hole, a clutch putt by Timberwolves senior Jake Hopper sealed the victory for Norman North. Edmond North had a chance to tie the match, but left multiple putts just shy of the cup.

In the first year under head coach Ryan Rainer, the Timberwolves brought home the first state championship in program history.

“These guys are close knit, they’re friends, they’re buddies,” Rainer said. “They buy into what we’ve been preaching… keep fighting, keep grinding. It matters. Every shot matters. They finally reaped the rewards of the work they’ve been putting in.”

Edmond North made a strong push early in the final round, at one point leading the field by five strokes. The Huskies depth powered them into contention as the only team to place all five competitors in the top 40. Senior Carson Blaser led the way, finishing in ninth place. Junior Bo Burton also finished in the top 10.

Late surges from Norman North seniors Hopper and Leyton Kyle pushed the Timberwolves into the top spot. Kyle remained consistent throughout the event, heading into the final 18 holes in second place, where he would finish. Hopper, an OU commit, landed at fifth on the leaderboard.

With Ben Stoller of Owasso closing in down the stretch, Kyle lofted an incredible drive straight down the middle of the fairway to fend off the defending state champion.

“His patience and maturity over the last month is incredible,” Rainer said of the state individual runner-up. “I wish I had another three years with him.”

Jenks and Stillwater High finished in a tie for third place, nine strokes behind state runner-up Edmond North. Jenks sophomore Sam Morris finished in fourth place, while Stillwater was led by 2022 individual State Champion Grant Gudgel.

Gudgel coupled lengthy drives with swift short play to finish three shots ahead of Kyle. The Pioneers’ star sophomore’s victory comes as a massive upset, defeating a former state champion and multiple Division One commits.

“I came into this tournament not swinging it well, my game didn’t really feel great,” said Gudgel. “I was just saying, ‘Let’s just go out there and have fun and see what we can shoot.’ I kept it one shot at a time and added them up at the end and fortunately came out on top.”

In his second year as head coach, NHS coach Gregg Grost led the Tigers to fifth place, marking the second consecutive top five finish for the Tigers. Senior Carson Wright moved up two spots in the final round to finish tied for seventh place.

Stoller, a Kansas State commit, finished in third place to garner All-State honors. Broken Arrow senior and Oklahoma City University commit Alex Bloxham as well as Kyle and Hopper earned the other three All-State automatic bids.

Grost and Rainer have put their teams in contention for a state title early in their tenures, cementing a culture in Norman Public Schools that has carried the two high schools to immediate success that looks to continue.

“I believed it was their time,” Rainer said. “I told them it was your time to go get it… Really love these guys and proud of what they’re doing… We’ve got to go get back out next year and get back to work… We’ve got to keep working hard and earn it.”

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