NORMAN — The gold ball doesn't sit in Wade Standley's office, but a silver one with the words ‘State Runner Up' does.
His Timberwolves know what it takes to get to a state championship game, but not the feeling of state title victory. Norman North lost 55-20 to Jenks last year in the Class 6A finals.
To Norman North, this year's playoffs are still far away. Instead, Standley and his team are focused on continuing to build.
“We want to grow,” he said. “Our goal is to put ourselves in position to play for a championship, so that means we want to grow to getting better every week.”
The Timberwolves will run this season under a multiple spread and a multiple 3-4 defense. With only one returner on defense and three on offense, there won't be a lot of experience.
That's where Payton Prince and Tyler Sipe come in. The tight end and H-back, respectively, both received offers to Division-I schools. Prince is already committed to Tulsa.
“Those guys have the experience of being there,” Standley said.
Then there's also offensive lineman Trey Wormington and defensive lineman Carter Klein.
“These guys know how great it felt to make it all the way to state, and then they came up a little short,” Standley said. “We don't want to watch again. We want to get back.”