OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Greyhounds will take the field on Friday night against a new opponent after the game they were originally set to play had to be canceled due to COVID.
The Greyhounds lost their initial homecoming opponent after West Harrison High had to be quarantined due to possible COVID exposure.
Since Wednesday, the Greyhounds scrambled to find a new team to play. Help eventually came from an unlikely source.
“Just what a blessing social media is to get the word out to the masses, so quickly and so easily,” said Ocean Springs Head Football Coach Blake Pennock.
A Louisiana-based football account on Twitter by the name of Geaux Preps actually connected the two schools after seeing tweets about the situation. Now North Desoto High will travel from just south of Shreveport to take on the Greyhounds on Friday, completing an emotional roller coaster for South Mississippi team.
“You talk about the ultimate swing in emotion right there, you’re just down," said Pennock. “These guys have had so much taken away from them in the last nine months and just to have that thing go straight up and then down and go back up when we hear we’re going to get a game, it’s an exciting time.”
High school football is about much more than just young men making plays on the field. It provides a place for kids to display their talents, all while representing their community. And with this Friday being their homecoming game, finding a new opponent was paramount.
“A lot of times the schools are a front door to communities, to a lot of cities and towns, and from that standpoint the football program is the front door to the school,” said Pennock.
The North Desoto High Griffins - who are just 2 games into their season - will be make the six-hour drive to face the Greyhounds. With it being a new opponent that you don’t know much about, how do you prepare? Coach Pennock breaks it down.
“We already had our game plan in for West Harrison," said Pennock. "We practice that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Once Wednesday is over, your work week is basically done. Everything else is fine-tuning from there. We’re not adding anything. We’re just going with what we had, we’re going to have to make adjustments on the fly. This is kind of a rejuvenation deal. We get a chance to play. It’s just old school football, put your hand in the dirt and go make plays.”
Regardless of how the game turns out, the Greyhounds pick up the forfeit win over West Harrison to move to 6-1 overall, 3-1 in Region 4-6A.
Ocean Springs will take on North Desoto High at 7 p.m. Friday at the Greyhounds Stadium.