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2018 High School Football Preview: North Medford Black Tornado

North Medford has a new coach and a new culture. Will it translate into on-field success in 2018?

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 4:52 PM

MEDFORD—North Medford begins life in the Steve Turner era in 2018.

Former head coach Mike Mitchell retired in January after six years at the helm, opening the door for the formerly retired Turner.

It amounts to a homecoming, as he was the team’s defensive coordinator for ten years in the early 90s and also delivered North’s last state title in 1993.

"The seniors are really bought in this year,” senior lineman Tony Bench said. “I look at them and I see it in their eyes. They're determined to win and we didn't have that last year."

Talks of a culture change have been rampant because while North has made the 6A playoffs each of the last five years, the Black Tornado haven’t gotten out of the first round in any of the last three, and haven’t finished above fourth in the conference during that same timeframe.

Turner is embracing the task and has said the North Medford coaching position was the only job that could’ve taken him out of retirement.

"The kids want a culture change, they want to work harder, they want all these things that will make them better,” he said. “I'm enjoying it. I think the kids are enjoying it to tell you the truth. We run their legs pretty good and they smile. We're changing some things."

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