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409Sports Two-A-Days 2020: West Hardin

Coach Taylor looks to change the culture in Oiler country

SARATOGA, Texas — When the new UIL districts were released West Hardin was left on an island in 10-2A-Division I.

Second-year Head Coach George Taylor knows it will be tough, but he isn't making any excuses.

"Being so far away, I mean all of our district games, we're going to be traveling about two and half hours. Just the travel time is going to wear on us a little bit, you know driving that far and having to prepare for a game. But that's where the UIL put us and we're not going to back down from any challenge."

Coach Taylor is looking to change the mentality of a program that's hasn't had a winning record since 2011.

"It's going to take the change of mentality just like you said. I know when we got our new district schedule there was a lot of people in town that kind of had their heads down. So we've got to change the outlook from the people in the town first. We have to get behind these boys and let them know that it doesn't matter who we're lining up against, we can battle with anyone."

The Oilers will depend on some key players to contribute this fall.

"Ty Gazaway, he's kind of making the transition from the offensive line to the backfield for us. He'll be heading up the linebacker corps. Randon Kelley, he's back in the same spots he played last the year. He'll be a running back and linebacker for us. We've had some seniors that graduated last year and some guys that are going to step in and play. That got some playing time last year. What I'm really excited about is we've got some freshman and sophomores that haven't seen the field on the high school level are going to step in and be an impact. 

West Hardin is scheduled to open the season august 28th at Deweyville.

WEST HARDIN OILERS 
Last Year: (4-7, 2-3)
Bi-District Finalist
Playoff Results: Mart (L 81-14)
Starters Returning: Offense (5), Defense (6)
Players to Watch: OL/LB Ty Gazaway, RB/LB Randon Kelley, OL/DL Bradley Thompson, OL/DL Josiah Berry, OL/DL Matthew Ashwell
HISTORY
District Championships: (2) 1987, 2006
Playoff Appearances: (13) 1984, 86, 87, 92, 2002, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 11, 18, 19
Playoff Record: (0-13)
Deepest Playoff Run: Area Finalist (2008)
Most Wins in a Season: (8) 1987, 2002, 03, 06
Dave Campbell's Texas Football 10-2A-DI Prediction: 7th

SCHEDULE
Aug. 28 - at Deweyville Pirates
Sept. 4 - vs Kountze Lions
Sept. 11 - at Warren Warriors
Sept. 18 - at Hull-Daisetta Bobcats
Sept. 25 - vs High Island Cardinals
Oct. 2 - vs San Augustine Wolves*
Oct. 9 - at Shelbyville Dragons*
Oct. 16 - at Joaquin Rams*
Oct. 23 - vs Timpson Bears*
Oct. 30 - at Garrison Bulldogs*
(District Games*)