School Spotlight: St. Martin High School (Ocean Springs, MS)

The St. Martin Yellow Jackets are one of 24 teams that will be moving into the newly established 7A division for Mississippi High School Football next season. St. Martin High School is located in Region 4 along the Gulf Coast in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The Yellow Jackets have struggled in the past few years only making the playoffs in 2018 and 2017 in the last 10 years. Last year St. Martin had only 3 seniors starting which posed some experience issues. However, most of the team is returning and St. Martin under head coach Ty Smith look to build on the lessons his young team faced and use those experiences to win some football games.

Coach Smith grew up in Natchez, Mississippi. His father was a high school football coach in Natchez. Smith went on to play Juco ball and was set to play at Southern Miss before an injury ended his Quarterbacking days. He eventually went on to start as an assistant coach at Oak Grove Middle School and Petal High School. After that he moved out west with his fiancée to Salt Lake City, Utah where he became a coach at Alta High School. Smith credits much of his time in Utah as eye opening and where he really became a coach. He then moved back to Mississippi taking on an assistant job at Ocean Springs for 9 years before moving over to St Martin for a year as the Offensive Coordinator. After that 1 year Smith took over as head coach and has been building the foundation for the future ever since.

Smith started out with 44 kids in the program and after a year has 84 currently rostered. He explains that he wants to teach the players discipline and mental toughness. Along with getting them to be students of the game. He explains that now after a year he feels it’s time to start pushing the boundaries on those expectations and wants to start seeing some wins in the record. He explained that he has been assembling a staff who are all on the same page which will really help in terms of success for the team.

(Coach Ty Smith with MSU Head Coach Zach Arnett)

St. Martin will run 4 to 5 different styles of offenses throughout the season. But its base comes as a triple or double option offense out of the spread. The Yellow Jackets just acquired a new Defensive Coordinator and will continue to be multiple on defense. Coach Smith believes you need to be multiple on defense in order to compete and adjust to the offenses that are thrown at you.

A player to be on the lookout for is 4 star WR Noreel White who will be a Senior next year. White has a list of offers from LSU, Ole Miss, MSU, and Arkansas to name a few. He will play anywhere he is needed on the field for the Yellow Jackets. He is described as strong and athletic, Smith says that he has matured a great amount over the past year.

(Noreel at a recent camp snagging the ball)

Another notable player is class of 2024 Inside Linebacker Gavin Allen. Gavin is 6’1 215 LBS with a 250 LBS bench along with a 365 LBS squat. He is described as the captain of the defense and bolstered an impressive 105 tackle season last year. Allen was all district last season and looks to build onto that this year.

A younger player to keep an eye out for is 6’0 WR Monclair Brave who is in the Class of 2025. He just recently received an offer from Liberty University. Coach Smith describes him as long and fast and still very raw. This past season was his first season playing high school ball and he should be in store for an impressive Junior year.

And finally we have what will be a 4 year starter in Jalen Anderson who will be entering his Junior season this next year. Jalen is described as the “Captain” he just flat out balls. He will play WR, S, CB, he is a true athlete. He will have lots of opportunities to help out the Yellow Jackets these next few seasons.

(Jalen being recognized for his All-District selection)