2007 Oak Grove Warriors Preview

The Oak Grove Warriors has proven to become state contenders each year since 2003. The 2003 team was the first team in school history to travel to Jackson to compete in the class 5A state championship where six players signed scholarships.

The 2004 team lost to Ocean Springs for the 5A south state bragging rights where seven players signed scholarships. The Warriors lost to Meridian back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 for a shot to travel to Jackson for the 5A state crown. The 2005 team had four players signed scholarships. With 12 players sign scholarships in 2006, the 2007 Warrior team will be young and looking for players to step up.

"We lost two offensive lineman, our running back, our quarterback and three receivers." head coach Nevil Barr says. Senior QB, Drew Norwood, was back up to two year starter, Kirk Lance, who looks to take over the reins. The 6' 4" QB completed 13 of 22 pass attempts and one TD as a junior. Norwood attended the Manning Passing Academy a few weeks ago along with junior WR/LB, Jordan Blankinship. The 6' 3" 205lb Blankinship has division 1 potential who must have a break out season to earn that respect.

"Our lineman should be our strongest point on offense. We've got some talented receivers who look to step up," Barr mentions. Returning OL starter Matt Peters, will lead the way up front. Delvin Ervin and Jared Quinn will see alot of action at receiver. As a junior, Ervin was second on the team in receiving yards with 530 on 45 catches. Senior Michael Hawthorne, played both running back and defensive end as a junior, but look for Hawthorne to play more at full back this year.

Two year starter, DB Charez Virgil, will play a vital role on both offense and defense this year. Virgil is probably the fastest player for the Warriors who's been timed at 4.4/40yd. Look for Virgil at running back and receiver as well as defensive back. As a junior, Virgil was selected to the second team all-state team who had 90 tackles, eight INT's, caused two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, had three QB sacks and blocked four punts.

Probably the most exciting players on the team other than Virgil is Tyler Kittrell who's a three year starter at LB. Kittrell also plays on the Warrior baseball team who took the summer off from baseball to concentrate on his senior season. As a junior, Kittrell opened the eyes of several divison 1 recruiters with 97 tackles, intercepted three passes, five QB sacks, recovered four fumbles and caused one fumble. The 6' 2" 210lb Kittrell runs a 4.5/40yd dash.

Once again, Oak Grove faces the expectations of winning it all.

(Sammy writes owns and runs http://www.pinebeltelite.com)

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