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Bay Springs heads to “The Rock” seeking 1st state title

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 11:24 PM CST
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BAY SPRINGS, Miss. (WDAM) - For the second time in five years, Dan Brady brings the Bay Springs Bulldogs back to the state championship game.

Bay Springs seeks the school’s first state title when it lines up against Simmons on Friday at 3 p.m. in the Class 1A State Championship at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

It’s safe to say a strong contingent of Bulldog fans will make the short trip to the “The Rock” on Friday afternoon.

“There’s signs up all over town wishing us good luck,” Brady said.

“We’ve had so many people come in saying, ‘Bay Springs going to state!’” said 2016 Bay Springs graduate Amanda Agee.

“It ain’t no thinking to it,” said Lasadie McCullum, a cashier at the local Corner Market. “Of course they’re going to win.”

It’s a population of just over 1,600 but the people of Bay Springs are no less passionate about their football than any other community in South Mississippi.

Kids imagine themselves one day playing for the Bulldogs. This year’s group is living the ultimate dream – competing for a state championship.

“I used to watch my brothers play football when I was growing up,” said Bay Springs junior safety Jamare Holliday. “I always wanted to be on the field with them. It feels good to play with Bay Springs. It’s been our dream since middle school to play for a state championship.”

While Bay Springs’ road to “The Rock” might seem like a cruise – outscoring opponents 136-6 in the playoffs – there were plenty of rough waters along the way.

The Bulldogs know there’s still work to do.

“We got a bunch of dogs, no pun intended,” said Bay Springs assistant coach Regrick Young. “They work hard, they’re well-coached, they’re able to be coached. They can take constructive criticism.”

“I think we do a pretty good job keeping ‘em grounded,” Brady said. “You come to a practice here at Bay Springs and our kids are going to be getting after it and if they’re not, they’re going to be getting corrected. We’ve got talented kids, there’s no doubt about it. But talent will only take you so far. Sooner or later, your talent will let you down if you don’t have the work ethic behind it.”

Colliding with Bay Springs (11-1) on Friday is undefeated Simmons (13-0).

The Blue Devils are perennial powers in the North – winners of three state titles since 2015.

“They’ve just beat everybody into submission pretty much every week,” Brady said. “We’re just ready for a battle and that’s what I told the kids. Lock ‘em in a phone booth and we’re going to fight and see who comes out alive.”

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