High School Football, North Oconee High School

North Oconee’s football program looks for new ways after 0-10 season

It was time for change in the football program at North Oconee High School after a rare winless season.

The winless season led to the retirement of former head coach, Terry Tuley, who had spent the last 11 seasons as the Titans head coach. Tuley posted an 84-40 record with the Titans.

In order to change of the team’s culture, North Oconee hired Tyler Aurandt. Aurandt came from Parkview High School, where he helped lead, as the offensive coordinator, the Panthers to a 8-4 record and an appearance in the second-round of the playoffs.

While serving as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers, Aurandt ran the spread offense. Aurandt claims that the Titans will have a completely new playbook this season on both sides of the ball.

“The offense will be similar, the defense will be different because we have a different defensive coordinator, but in terms of the culture, it’s very similar,” Aurandt said.

 Aurandt says the team is currently evaluating the quarterback position between Turner Daniel and Kaleb Sherrer. Sherrer is the son of Georgia’s outside linebacker’s coach, Kevin Sherrer.

“Both of them have shown positive signs in the weight room that they’re willing to grow and do whatever is best for our football team, but I also feel like those are guys that, if it doesn’t necessarily work out at quarterback, they can play other positions because they’re athletic enough to do that,” Aurandt said.

And on the defensive side of the ball, Aurandt plans on changing from a four-man front to a three-man front. Aurandt says the new defensive coordinator will pick between running a 3-3-5 or a 3-4-3.

In an attempt to help build a new culture in the locker room, the Titans have come up with a new motto, “Find A Way.”

“It doesn’t matter what it takes to do, just get to what you’re trying to get at,” Offensive Lineman Reed Smith says about the new motto. “He says it in the weight room every set, every rep, no matter what it takes to do, get it done.”

As a team, the players are already seeing positive changes both on and off the field.

“I haven’t seen us work this hard my whole entire high school career,” Smith said. “There hasn’t been a single time that the whole team has been in the weight room together.”

The changes in culture has begun to leave its mark on the players, who are starting to feel a whole lot more confident about the upcoming football season.

“I feel like it will be very special, we have a bunch of senior leaders,” said Cameron Christian, a defensive back. “I think we can find a way to get stuff to come (our way).”

Aurandt is hoping his senior class will take full advantage of the opportunity to return the program to its winning ways.

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