It’s like Oklahoma football knew it was time to get out of the way for a week. Actually, it’s not like that at all. It only seems that way.

Whatever, it’s a good thing. For the Sooners, because even at 5-0, they can get a lot better and now they have some time on their hands. For the rest of us, because it’s a huge week of prep sports on tap, for Norman schools and around the area.

Consider this column a reminder. Because some of what’s about to go down are just the kinds of things to get lost in the shuffle.

n Hello, there’s a Crosstown Clash tonight at Norman High and, just maybe, it’s the sport in which the Tigers and T-Wolves are most evenly matched. Norman North (17-10) is ranked No. 10 by the state’s volleyball coaches and NHS (19-10) is No. 13. By the end of the week, both squads will be trying to reach the Class 6A state tournament, but bragging rights come first at 6 tonight.

NHS has won nine straight matches. North, against a tough schedule, has lost 8 of its last 13.

It should be fun.

n While Class 5A and 6A softball and volleyball regionals commence Thursday, so to will the state softball tournaments for the smaller schools, in which three Transcript-area teams will vie for championships at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium complex in Oklahoma City.

In Class 3A, Purcell (28-6) will enter the draw ranked No. 1 with Bethel as its first obstacle in an 11 a.m. start. As soon as that game’s over, it’s No. 5 Washington’s (19-14) turn to try to tame Morris. The winners of those two games meet at 10 a.m. Friday.

In Class 4A, second-ranked Little Axe (32-2) begins its state tourney draw against Claremore-Sequoyah at 3 p.m. Should it get past that one, it gets the winner of Tuttle and Piedmont at 2 p.m. Friday.

n Both Norman High and Norman North are facing a long shot chance to reach the Class 6A state softball tourney, with North beginning regional play at Edmond North Thursday along with Putnam City and Putnam City West.

Norman High, along with Westmoore and Choctaw, have a regional date at Moore, which is likely bad news for the Tigers, Jags and Yellowjackets.

The homestanding Lions will enter regional play 28-6 and ranked No. 3.

n Friday morning comes the pre-state cross country meet at Edmond’s Mitch Park. Just like the OK Runner Classic in Norman last month, this one’s a monster, and it’s taking place on the same course as — you guessed it — the state meet.

The runners will have it a little easier than in Norman, when near-triple digit temperatures meant paramedics being ready.

n Still, all of it may seem like a warm-up to Week 6 of the regular football season, which begins in the area with Del City against Westmoore at Moore Stadium on Thursday, but will be highlighted by 5-0 Norman High against 4-1 Southmoore on Friday, also at Moore Stadium.

Perhaps the state’s biggest game this week, it has playoff implications, even with four more games remaining.

That’s life in District 6A-3.

There will be no prediction from me on this one. My preseason prognostication concerning the Tigers has already been proven patently pathetic. So pathetic, for their own sake, I can’t possibly pick them to prevail.

Clay Horning 366-3526 cfhorning@normantranscript.com

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