T-Wolves have another senior slinger
With a too-good-to-be-true name, Norman North quarterback Kam Sixkiller appears on verge of maintaining program’s grand QB tradition
Note: I’ve been helping my old paper with the high schools again, producing this column for today’s Norman Transcript, four days before the season opening Crosstown Clash.
Here’s a secret.
Probably the last two years, certainly the last two falls, Norman High quarterback Tias McClarty’s been my favorite high school athlete.
I enjoyed how he sounded like he was 22, despite being a first-year starting sophomore.
I appreciated how his interviews never disappointed. During the week, pre-game, post-game, not only was he a great talker, but listened to the questions, too. You knew he’d help you write your story.
The reason you needed to talk to him, of course, was the jaw-dropping electricity he’s always provided.
If the Tigers can give him just a little more protection and run block, too, enough to first, move the chains and second, create almost as many conventional big plays as McClarty’s bound to turn broken plays into, NHS could really be on to something.
The Crosstown Clash comes Thursday.
I wish him the best.
Also, watching Norman North scrimmage the last two weeks, I have an observation from Timberwolves’ camp:
They’re doing it again.
They did it under Brent Barnes.
Now they’re doing it under Justin Jones, their fifth-year, defense-first head coach, who nonetheless finds himself putting a team on the field that may well remind us of Barnes’ best squads, and the thing announcing it the loudest?
Once again, North will be led by a first-year-starting-senior quarterback, who appears bound to light opponents up.
What’s that thing they say?
Past is prologue.
So it would seem.
The history’s so much fun and we’re about to tell it, but let’s get the young man in the story now.
His name is Kam Sixkiller, which only makes it better. Pretend it's your mission to be the football-fiction heir to the great Dan Jenkins, could you do any better than naming your quarterback Kam Sixkiller?
He’s been fabulous through two scrimmages, in two running-clock quarters at Mustang, completing 5 of 7 throws for 117 yards and two touchdowns, only one incompletion on him; and in one non-running-clock quarter against Edmond North when, though he cleared out early for backup Owen Eshelman, he completed 3 of 4 for 119 and two touchdowns.
Perhaps, by season’s end, he’ll be compared any number of bygone single-season-senior Timberwolves starting quarterbacks, so many of them so good.
It began with Peyton Gavras in 2012, who would have had two seasons at the helm but a concussion knocked him out most of his junior year. As a senior, with help from a defense and return game, each propelled by NFL veteran Jordan Evans, he helped lead the T-Wolves to the state title game.
The next year, though it appeared junior John Kolar’s job, it was usurped by incoming transfer David Cornwell, already an Alabama commit. Cornwell played well, but with 12 TD passes under his belt, was lost for the season to a Week 5 knee injury, making the position Kolar’s after all.
Still, it wasn’t Kolar’s job from the get-go until 2014. Though he was good — almost 2,300 passing yards and 23 TDs — North finished out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
No problem, in stepped Cam Hardesty in 2015, the same year Barnes took over for Wade Standley. Hardesty threw for more than 2,500 yards, the T-Wolves won seven games and retuned to the postseason.
I don’t know where to find the Class 6A offensive record book, but the 2016 T-Wolves must be all over it.
His only season as starter, Brandon Marquardt threw for an amazing 4,624 yards, a ridiculous 48 touchdowns and even ran for 307, taking North back to the state title game.
Getting to throw to Drake Stoops (86 catches), Charlie Kolar (66) and Collin Klein (51) made it easier.
Regrouping in 2017, the T-Wolves still won seven, returning to the playoffs behind senior quarterback Ryan Peoples, who was very good, throwing for almost 3,100 yards, 31 TDs against 10 picks, running for 500-plus, too.
Things slowed upon Jones’ arrival, but the T-Wolves won six times in 2020 and were back to seven wins last season behind another first-year-senior starter, Gavin Frakes, who’s already made a big impact at New Mexico State after throwing for 2,197 (24 TDs) and rushing for 895 (eight TDs) last season. For a while, completing more than 80 percent of his throws, Frakes was collecting more touchdowns than incompletions.
One season to make it happen.
He may roll out, he may execute a few called runs. Yet, at 6-foot-3, 184 pounds, a pocket passer by his own description, surgical strikes are his game. They’re only scrimmages, but he’s hardly missed.
Let’s hope it’s a wonderful Clash, involving two fantastic quarterbacks.
One of them’s been there before.
The other has history and the last two Thursdays on his side.