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Thursday October 6th, 2022 7:14PM

Two-a-Days: Changes abound for Falcons heading into the fall

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 28 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2022 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago. And teams throughout northeast Georgia already are in full countdown mode.

With that in mind, we spent the last couple of weeks catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how spring practice went, how the summer is going, and what coaches believe the fall will look like. Our "Two-a-Days" series honors those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs. 

Over the next two weeks, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...

FLOWERY BRANCH

The Falcons have a new head coach and offensive staff and will have to find a replacement for graduated quarterback David Renard as they also bump up a class to 5A. However, new head coach Jason Tester is familiar with the program and the personnel, having been promoted from defensive coordinator when ben hall resigned.

But the keys to the season may rest with filling some big gaps left on the offense and in rebuilding the defensive secondary.

We talked with coach Tester to discuss how all the changes have been coming along and the quarterback battle to replace Renard.

QUESTION: Coach, how has the transition gone from running the defense as the coordinator last year and now running the entire program?

ANSWER: "My first head coaching job was in Grand Haven, Michigan, in 2016. I also spent two weeks as the head coach at Brookwood in 2020 when Philip Jones was quarantined. Both those experiences helped with the mental preparation and transition to overseeing the program here at Flowery Branch. Honestly, for me, it's been a seamless transition. Working with Philip Jones and Ben Hall over the past four years gave me great perspective on how to maximize our players. Our entire offensive staff is new, with Offensive Coordinator Aaron Nance heading up that room. The staff and players on our new offense have responded. I really like where we're at offensively headed into the season. Defensively, Scott Jackson has taken over for me. The majority of our defensive scheme remains with a few added wrinkles."

Q: Y’all have two big areas of need in quarterback and in the defensive secondary. Has anyone jumped to the forefront on replacing David Renard, and who are some guys that may be ready to take over in the secondary on defense?

A: "Losing a three-year starter like David Renard is tough. David commanded the huddle and was a key leader for us. We've had three quarterbacks competing for the starting role: senior Brody Jordan and juniors Brendon Corry and Josh Oliver. All three have been active in that QB room with Coach Nance and have split reps through spring and in June 7-on-7s. At this point, we're focusing on their growth and pushing each other to maximize that position. At this point, we do not have a starter named yet. That will play out all the way through our scrimmage.

Defensively, our secondary did lose three of four starters from last year. Drake Smitherman is returning at cornerback. Myles Ivey and Ty Akins both saw key reps last year, so we're confident they will help us. Other players in the mix to contribute are Cameron Campbell, Elijah Kiep, Walker DuBose, Jeremiah Ware, Jordan Elder, Seth Larson and Jalen Augustin."

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Flowery Branch football, Two a days
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