Countdown to Kickoff 2022: St. Martin Yellow Jackets
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - St. Martin kicks off 2022 with a fresh face leading the way. Head Coach Ty Smith replaces Eddie Wayne Whitehead who had led the Yellow jackets for the last eleven seasons.
Smith was an assistant under Whitehead and is now focused on building long term success.
“We’ve been incorporating everything from the youth league, the middle school, the 9th grade,” said Smith. “We just held a youth camp this past Saturday and had roughly 50 kids show up with about 30 varsity kids working it. The community is begging for it and we’ve got a bunch of guys on staff and players who are ready to give it everything they’ve got for their community.”
The Yellow Jackets only won two games in 2021, but that’s a distant memory with a new head coach St. Martin has a renewed sense of optimism and enthusiasm.
“He brings electricity, that’s the attitude and the motto is family,” said Noreel White, junior athlete. “That’s the energy he brings, he wants everybody to be together and it’s working so far.”
“Everybody has a completely different outlook and attitude with our new players,” said Lane Hewett, senior offensive lineman. “We have new coaches and it’s just a completely different look on both sides of the ball.”
St. Martin has a new signal caller, but that doesn’t mean a lack of experience at quarterback. D.K. Jenkins transferred from Mendenhall where he was a starter the last three years. Jenkins also has a familiar face to help him along the way, his dad Derrick Jenkins is the defensive coordinator.
“He helps me learn the game more, we have plenty of time to talk about football,” D.K. Jenkins said. “I’ve been around it all the time, I’ve been around it since I could walk so it’s a good experience and good learning being around it so long.”
Around Jenkins coach Smith is working with limited experience and that’s okay with him.
“We have three 9th graders that we’ve bumped up and will play significant downs for us,” said Smith. “It’s scary with a lot of sophomores on the field for us too, but the future is very bright.”
The Yellow Jackets open the season Aug. 26 hosting Stone High.
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