February 9, 1989, is an infamous day in Oklahoma sports history. Basketball fans gleefully recall when University of Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs grabbed the public address microphone and addressed the crowd during a heated Big 8 Conference hoops game against Missouri. Tubbs cracked, “The referees have requested that no matter how bad the officiating is, do not throw things on the floor.”
The crowd exploded, Tubbs was ejected and the former Sooners coach has been living that moment down ever since.
Norman North senior wide receiver Cale Cabbiness wasn’t even born when the incident occurred, but it’s one he’s heard about dozens of times because Tubbs is his grandfather.
“People always come up to him and talk about that,” laughed Cabbiness. “People always recognize him.”
People are starting to recognize Cabbiness for his own accomplishments. He caught a touchdown pass in the season opener against Norman and is one of Timberwolf quarterback Jackson Remualdo’s favorite targets.
“He knows my speed and how fast I break off routes,” said Cabbiness. “He knows all the receivers. He knows how long it takes us to get off the line and stuff like that.”
For second-year head coach Justin Jones, Cabbiness has developed into one of Norman North’s “glue guys” – a dependable, hard-working player that helps make the team go.
“Cale is a guy that really does all the little things correctly,” stated Jones. “He’s a player that really has grown in the two years that I’ve been here. He’s very workman-like. He’s a team guy first and a quiet guy in the background, but just does everything that he can for our team.”
Helping the team means not only making catches from his outside receiver position, but also being a consistent blocker.
“That’s one of the most underrated things about receivers is blocking,” said the two-year starter. “People never really talk about it, but that’s one of my goals, to never miss blocks.”
“Each week is a brand new challenge and a quality opponent,” remarked Jones. “There’s just no chance to take a breath and that’s really what 6A-I football is all about. It’s a long season but at the same time it’s a sprint, because if you let up even for a minute you’re going to get beat.”
Cabbiness won’t let himself let up this season because he’s hoping for an opportunity to play football in college. He tried to catch the eye of coaches while improving his skills over the summer while attending camps at Southern Nazarene, Tulsa and Oklahoma State.
“I just took everything in that coaches would tell me because those coaches are some of the top coaches in the country,” said Cabbiness. “You also get to compare yourself to other people and see where you’re at. The biggest feedback for me is putting on weight and working on my straightaway speed.”
When the time comes to make a college decision, Cabbiness can reach out to his brother, Trey, who played football at Oklahoma Baptist, and his cousin, Cade, who is currently an outfielder on Oklahoma State‘s baseball team.
“I would love to play football in college,” admitted Cabbiness. “It’s a big passion of mine. I’ve been playing since I was in kindergarten.”
If all else fails, he can always reach out to Tubbs, who knows a thing or two about recruiting.
“He went to the OSU camp with me,” said Cabbiness, “and he lives really close to me, so I see him all the time. He comes to the games and supports me in whatever I do.”
“Obviously, he loves basketball. I think his main thing with liking basketball more is it’s air conditioned, Cabbiness joked.”
Cabbiness puts his blocking skills to the test this week when Norman North battles Edmond Santa Fe live on Yurview Cox Channel 3 on Friday, September 20th, at 7:00 p.m. This Ford Game of the Week will also be streamed on Yurview.com.