School Spotlight: Ocean Springs High School (Ocean Springs, MS)

Ocean Springs High School is a 6A Region 4 High School in the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Ocean Springs opened its doors in 1927 and has established themselves as a powerhouse in the Gulf Coast area in the recent years. The Greyhounds have made the playoffs the last 5 years. It has become an expectation to reach the postseason and they don’t plan at settling for just that. Ocean Springs has advanced one week further into the playoffs for the last three seasons and the hope is to keep that streak alive going into the 2023 season. The Greyhounds are in the middle of a coaching change this upcoming season as their Head Coach of the three years Blake Pennock will be moving over to take on the Head Coaching gig at Gulfport High School.

We spoke with interim Head Coach Jake Bramlett on the upcoming season and how he has gotten to where he is as a coach in the program. Coach Bramlett has been the offensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Ocean Springs for the past three seasons under Pennock. Bramlett grew up surrounded by older family members who were public educators and coaches. It was something he knew from a young age that was what he would eventually go on to do. He started out moving around Mississippi for 9 years working for various schools including Petal and Madison Central, along with a few others. He claims “some people call me a little crazy for up and leaving so much, but I understand I needed to make those sacrifices early in my career to get to the places I wanted to be.

We asked Coach Bramlett how he goes about coaching?

“I believe in coaching the whole athlete top to bottom of a roster. Everyone needs to be on the same page. I want to instill leadership in all of my athletes along with the athletic skills to succeed. That goes for the coaches as well, I want self driven individuals in our program who are all willing to do what it takes to get to where we want to go.

Coach Bramlett (via Ocean Springs Website)

The Greyhounds like to push the tempo on offense. Being fast on offense can really catch a defense off guard and give you the leg up in a game. Same thing on defense, we want to match the offenses energy and overpower them. We do that by being physical, rallying to the ball, and causing chaos wherever we can.

What is the hardest part about being a coach?

“It can be difficult sometimes to understand that these teams consist of players with a wide range of backgrounds. And playing football could be one of the only bright spots of their day, so trying to keep that in my mind if a player is acting differently it may not be their commitment they could have other things affecting them. But that is also what makes coaching great, I have the chance to make these one on one relationships and help them work through their hardships on and off the field.”

Player Spotlights:

One player to look out for is 6’1 205 lbs linebacker Trace Carter. According to Coach Bramlett he is a high IQ player who not only studies his position, but the defense as a whole. He was 2nd team all state as a junior and has a few D1 offers going into his senior season. He goes into the next season with hopes to keep that production up on the defensive side, while also having a few packages in short yard situations offensively.

Another star of the defense is middle linebacker Eric Moore. Eric is 6’1 210 lbs and really came into his own over the second half of the season last year. He has the ability to fill the holes on the defensive line, while also being great in space. He has one D1 offer at the moment and looks to tack on another 100+ tackle season next year.

A younger player to look out for is class of 2025 RB Will Smith. Will had his sophomore season cut short after 5 games dues to injury. He led all of 6A football in rushing yards for those 5 games. He is 5’9 190 lbs and has great vision above all else. Being a sophomore he had a slower first game, but once he ran that first guy over he eventually found his groove.

Will Smith running the ball (courtesy of Our Mississippi Home)

And to round it out we have a class of 2024 defensive lineman Talan Carter. He is 6’2 290 lbs and is the “heart and soul” of the defense. He is the main anchor on the line and does a great job at lining up his fellow lineman pre snap. He is quick off the ball and loves to give the offense problems. It is noted he is vocal leader in the weight room as well.

(Picture courtesy Ocean Springs Football Twitter)