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Norman North starting fresh with new coach, young starters

BY RYAN ABER Staff Writer raber@opubco.com Modified: August 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm •  Published: August 27, 2011
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First-year Norman North coach Wade Standley understands what he's up against this year.

He takes over a Timberwolves team that went 3-7 last year and doesn't even have the luxury of a lot of returning starters who gained experience last season.

Norman North brings back just one offensive and three defensive starters.

But while experience isn't a Norman North strength entering the season, Standley has seen plenty of encouraging signs after moving over from Liberal, Kan.

“The kids are extremely teachable here,” Standley said. “They're very willing to work. We've got a lot more to do and a lot more to put in before the season starts, but I like the work we're doing to this point.”

Whether that work pays off this season or not remains to be seen. But if nothing else, the Timberwolves figure to not be caught short on experience in the future.

As a sophomore last season, Bryan Payne was in the rotation at running back behind Raymond Demby and Emilio Gatewood.

Now, he'll be asked to carry much more of the offensive load.

“I'm looking forward to it,” Payne said. “I lie the system that the coaches are putting into place.”

Standley is installing a one-back spread offense.

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