High school notebook: Norman North rolls into baseball state tournament
Last year’s regional tournament defeat was the fuel.
For Norman North’s 13 seniors this season, the loss at Choctaw weighed on their mind. Now, they can move forward.
The Timberwolves are back in the Class 6A baseball state tournament after a one-year hiatus, and are on a roll.
They’ve matched the school record with 31 victories, won their district and their regional championship.
“They’ve been winning at a high level for a long time,” Norman North coach Brian Aylor said. “I think the loss last year really set them on a different path to realize we’ve got to do something different here if we don’t want that to happen again.”
Behind the pitching duo of Parker Tipton and Hollis Huff, the Timberwolves have found their way. They’ve gotten big contributions defensively from Grant Randall and Dalton Smith.
Norman North opens at 4 p.m. Thursday against Stillwater at Bixby High School.
“They’re really clicking, they like each other, they’re playing well and they believe they’re going to win every game they play,” Aylor said.
Washington makes state tournament for first time in 12 years
Better late than never.
Second-year Washington baseball coach Jeff Kulbeth was fine with weather delaying the Warriors’ Class 3A regional tournament championship until Monday.
His team was well prepared.
The third-ranked Warriors rolled to a 10-0 win over Meeker and clinched the program’s first state tournament berth since 2007.
“Just control what we can control,” Kulbeth said. “We maintained that this weekend. I think that was a big deal.”
Kulbeth was a long-time assistant for the program. So, he’s seen the program work to get back to this weekend from a 12-year absence.
Washington plays No. 6-ranked Chandler at 4 p.m. Thursday at Edmond Memorial.
“To me, it’s just big for the program,” Kulbeth said. “These guys, I’ve got a group that just bought in. It’s just been good. I’ve got a great set of leadership.”
Edmond Santa Fe’s Williams resigns
Edmond Santa Fe’s Josh Williams is moving into an administrative role, and that means he’s stepping down as the boys basketball coach.
Williams resigned from his coaching duties Monday, Edmond Public Schools athletic director Mike Nunley told The Oklahoman. Williams will become an assistant principal within the school district.
“The perfect example of teach and coach, both on the court and in the classroom,” Nunley said. “Very, very proud.”
Williams took over the program three years ago and led the Wolves to the Class 6A state tournament in 2018. That season, they advance to the championship game and lost to Putnam North.
Before his time at Santa Fe, Williams was an assistant coach at Edmond Memorial.
Jacob Unruh, Staff writer