School Spotlight: Oak Grove High School (Hattiesburg, MS)

Oak Grove High School is a class 7A school located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Oak Grove Warriors have been around for 64 seasons; gradually moving up classes throughout the years. While in class 5A, Oak Grove won district championships in 2003, 2005, and 2006. The Warriors moved up to 6A in 2009. Five years later, in 2013, Oak Grove won their first state title under former head coach Nevil Barr. After the 2014 season Barr retired from coaching. Oak Grove hired from within the coaching staff, promoting Drew Causey to Head Coach. In 2020, the Warriors found themselves state champions once more under current Head Coach Drew Causey.

Drew Causey’s coaching career began in 2004, as a graduate assistant for the University of Southern Mississippi. After Southern Miss, Coach Causey moved on to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. From 2008 to 2012 he coached as an assistant at Pearl River Community College. In 2013 Coach Causey made the move to Oak Grove High School as an assistant. That same season the Warriors became state champions. Two seasons later the Warriors were in need on a head coach and turned to Causey. Oak Grove has had six 10+ winning seasons under Coach Causey, with a district and state champion season in 2020. The coaching staff remained the same when Causey got hired. In fact, six of the current coaches are former Oak Grove players, two Causey coached himself.

The Oak Grove Warriors have a championship or nothing mentality going forward at the program. Every season that is the goal and the standard Coach Causey wants his kids competing at. In order to to prepare for the upcoming season, the Warriors lift weights four days out of the week, with speed training on those days as well. On Wednesdays, the players go through a character leadership class that the entire team attends. Coach Causey emphasized that it is not just about football; the role as a coach at this level is to teach the young men how to become great husbands, fathers, and leaders within their communities. The Warriors will be returning 8 offensive starters, along with 8 defensive starters, as well as kicker and both long snappers.

As Oak Grove hits the offseason, Coach Causey gave us some players to keep an eye on for the upcoming 2023 football season:

On the offensive line, the Warriors are returning left tackle Glenn Hartfield, center Aiden Bordelon, right guard Gavyn Jones, and right tackle Peyton Rahming.

No. 3 Anthony Maddox Jr. is a 6’2″ 175 pound dual threat quarterback for Oak Grove High School. Maddox Jr. is a 4 star athlete committed to Texas A&M. He is the heart of this football team and is expected to do great things in the 2023 season.

No. 3 QB Anthony Maddox Jr.

One of the top targets for Oak Grove is 6’1″ 190 pound wide receiver Nehemiah Taylor. Taylor is a speedy athlete that can be seen lined up in the X and Y receiver spots. He also returns punts for the Warriors. Taylor has an offer from Southern Miss.

no. 14 Nehemiah Taylor (photo courtesy of HubCitySPOKES)

No. 13 for the Warriors, wide receiver Chase Pinkston is listed at 6’1 170. Chase lines up opposite of Taylor and is one of Maddox Jr.’s top threats. Pinkston also has division one football offers.

No. 13 WR Chase Pinkston

No. 4, wide receiver Damari Jefferson is 5’11” 170 pound returning starter. Jefferson has division one offer from UNLV.

No. 4 WR Damari Jefferson

Moving to running backs for the Warriors, no. 15 Kylin Champagne is a 5’11” 200 pound running back in the 2025 class. Coach Causey believes this to be a big name when his time comes to leave Oak Grove. The Warriors will have a one two punch next year with Champagne and No. 0 Jamar Pittman.

No. 15 RB Kylin Champagne

Moving to the defensive side of the football for Oak Grove, no. 93 Caleb Moore is an upcoming senior on the defensive line. Moore is listed at 6’3″ 250 pounds and is a freak on the interior D-line. Moore has over ten division one offers with schools such as Alabama, LSU, Texas, etc.

No. 93 DT Caleb Moore

Nose Guard no. 95 Andrew Maddox, younger brother of star QB Anthony Maddox Jr, is listed at 6’5″ 280 pounds. Maddox is in the 2025 class and already has national attention with over 20 division one offers so far.

No. 95 DT Andrew Maddox

Defensive end Jalen Owens is also returning on the defensive line for Oak Grove. Owen is listed at 6’5 270 pounds. Jalen Owens is a speed end that will have lots to show in the upcoming season. Defensive lineman Bradley Merchant, and Tashun Weary are also worth keeping an eye on to make an impact in 2023.

Defensive back, no. 1 PJ Woodland is listed at 6’0″ 155 cornerback. Woodland was on second-team All State this past season and is expected to make another great impact next year. PJ has top division one offers as well from universities like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M.

No. 11 CB PJ Woodland

Last but certainly not least, Coach Causey mentioned that their kicker no. 86 Luke Stewart is one of the best kickers in the state. Stewart did not miss an extra point all season for the Warriors, made all but one field goal, and made a game winning 51 yard kick this past season.

No. 86 K Luke Stewart

The Oak Grove Warriors have large expectations for this crew, but the coaching staff, team, and community believe they can live up to the hype. Oak Grove will undoubtedly be an exciting team to watch in the 2023 season and years to come.