Norman's Tori Kitchel – Character Counts Presented by INTEGRIS Express Care


By John Tranchina

Tori Kitchel believes that Norman’s soccer success in 2018 could be traced to strong leadership, and as a senior who took on that role this season, she played a big part in it.

“We’ve had good leaders in the past and I’ve always looked up to them, so I’ve just wanted to be that for the other girls on the team,” said Kitchel, an attacking midfielder for the Tigers. “It’s important as a senior to lead your team. I think we had good senior leadership this year overall and I think that was a big reason why we did well.”

Norman was moved to District 6A-4 this season and had to drive across the state to face perennial powers Union and Owasso, providing lots of time for team bonding on the bus, and they beat them both. The Tigers went 7-0 to win the district, outscoring opponents 36-2 in those games, and ended up with a 17-2 record overall, eventually falling 1-0 to Mustang in the state semi-final.

“In the past three years of my career at Norman High, we’ve lost in the first round every year, so it’s always been really disappointing,” Kitchel said. “But I think we got the ball rolling early in the season, specifically when we beat Norman North (2-0 on March 13). We played Union and Owasso back-to-back, which at first, I thought was a bad thing, but once we won, we just got our momentum going and we were just really motivated the rest of the season.

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“It was just nice that my senior year, even though we didn’t get as far as we wanted, we still accomplished a lot, only losing two games this season. We were all really close and all worked hard.”

Norman coach Tyler Hardage praised Kitchel’s performance, on and off the field.

“Tori is a player that always has a smile on her face,” said Norman coach Tyler Hardage. “She is a fierce competitor on the field, but the nicest person in the world off the field. Kit, as she goes by on the team, is a person of high character off the field. She does well in her classes and has the respect of all of her peers. She truly cares about her teammates and does everything in her power to help them.”

Kitchel, who is also involved with the Jazz Choir and Norman High Chorale, as well as the worship band at her church, will be continuing her soccer career next season at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.

“I had a few other schools offer me, but I just wanted a place that would challenge me spiritually,” she said. “It’s a good distance, it’s not that far from home, and it’s a great school – good academics all around, what I wanted.”