HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Nevil Barr remembers clear as day the seasons he coached Drew Causey at Petal High School.
“He was a good football player, had good heart and a good leader,” Barr said.
The Panthers offensive lineman eventually reunited with Barr as an assistant at Oak Grove in 2013 – the Warriors won the school’s first and only state championship that year.
Since taking over as Oak Grove’s head coach in 2015, Causey’s coached with the same heart he once played with.
The Warriors have won 44 games and two South State titles in five seasons, including an 11-3 mark in 2019. Oak Grove storms into the class 6A state title on Friday at 7 p.m. winners of its last eight games.
Oxford (13-1) is back in the state championship for the first time since 2015.
"[Causey]'s done an unbelievable job,” Barr said. “But we expected him to do that. I knew he was capable of doing it. Like I said, he’s got a lot of heart. Him and the coaches have really done a great job of getting these kids to play with like one heartbeat we like to say. They really love each other, they’re going to play hard for each other, they got each other’s back. To me, the number one job of a head coach – and Drew and his staff have done that – is the morale.”
"I think we’ve been doubted out for so long this season that our kids kind of rallied together,” Causey said. “They know that we believe in ‘em and they believe in us and that’s all that really matters.”