Oak Grove boy’s soccer prepares for the second round of the playoffs

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 1:35 AM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -For the third year in a row, the Oak Grove boys’ soccer team gears up for an opponent in the playoffs they’ve already beaten in the regular season.

Two years ago it was Gulfport High School. Last year it was Ocean Springs High School. However, those teams would go on to beat Oak Grove when it mattered, ending the Warriors season.

“It leaves you with a feeling of we can’t overlook anybody even though we’ve already beaten them once already,” Oak Grove head coach Jesse Lang said.

That familiar feeling returns as the Warriors face Ocean Springs, a team they’ve beaten this season, in the second round of the playoffs.

“They’re not overlooking ‘em because all these kids have been through that two years in a row,” Lang said.

In that November 6th matchup, Oak Grove prevailed 2-1 over the Greyhounds.

“That was definitely not our best soccer last time we played them,” Oak Grove midfielder Brady Mills said. “We’ve gotten better since then so they’ve definitely gotten better since then. We just have to go in thinking it’s not the same team.”

The Warriors’ goals are as big as ever, but bringing home a state title has a whole new meaning this year.

After 22 years at the reins, Head Coach Jesse Lang plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 season.

“It’s the end for me but it’s the beginning [for the players]. We’ve got so many kids on this squad coming back next year that whoever takes the job next is going to have a great group to work with,” Lang said

“He coached my brother for four years, coached me for two and a half and if you ask any of them, they’ll say it’s for him,” Mills said.

“We’re all playing extra hard this year because of that,” Oak Grove forward Cade Ortego said. “Coach Lang has been with us since... I mean my brother played with him and you know it’s been a long time coming and he’s a great coach. We’re all out there working for him .”

Oak Grove hosts Ocean Springs Saturday at 6 pm.

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