Ocean Springs Greyhound Lacrosse (OSGL) is founded to provide the children and families of Ocean Springs and neighboring communities within Mississippi the opportunity to learn the game of lacrosse in a safe environment that provides an opportunity for all players of all abilities to develop skills and game knowledge. OSGL will emphasize sportsmanship, teamwork, fair play and respect for all and will work with the children and families, regardless of ability, in a sports setting, to foster and promote understanding in the fundamentals and the fine points of lacrosse.
Ocean Springs Lacrosse was founded in February of 2005 by Mark Rocco. New to Mississippi at the time, Mark and his son quickly saw the need for a lacrosse team in the Ocean Springs area. Within a year, they had raised much curiosity for the game, gained support from sponsors, and were able to have the first official Ocean Springs Lacrosse game in February of 2006. Since then, the sport of the lacrosse has been thriving in the Ocean Springs area and will continue to do so.
Full History of Ocean Springs Lacrosse
Our, Gulf Coast Gators, first season began February 2005. Bob Martino, Vice President of Lax world, donated 20 sets of equipment and Dave Cane, of Cascade Helmets, donated the helmets. We purchased the rest, sticks, balls, jerseys, t-shirts, lacrosse goals, banner and held registrations. We played with 12 girls and 15 boys. We encouraged all players to become US Lacrosse members. Unfortunately the girls only lasted 2 months. Our games were all played inner squad and the boys were starting to get bored. Trying to find the closest lacrosse team, I came across the Jesters in New Orleans, Louisiana. They were a college club team. Through many emails, my son and I were invited to play in a few of their games. We met Ford Deith and Coach Phil. Getting acquainted, we learned that Ford coached at Christian Brothers Middle School and Phil coached at Jesuit High School, both in New Orleans. We coordinated our first game that May in 2005 against the Middle School. Our kids were ecstatic. That ended our season, on a high note. As most young lacrosse players, they take pride in their sticks. As our kids became more confident, they too began upgrading their sticks.
Disaster struck next, when Katrina blew through Ocean Springs in August 2005. Along with all the destruction, we lost all our donated equipment. We immediately contacted US Lacrosse and applied for a grant, which was approved. We received 25 sets of equipment in time for our February 2006 registration. Bob Martino also outfitted my son with the newest, not-yet-on-the-market 2006 equipment. My son was so appreciative. Prior to registration, our kids purchased their own sticks and began meeting, unsupervised, at Freedom Field in Ocean Springs. Trying to keep the momentum, Mark Rocco supervised their scrimmages each weekend beginning in October 2005 through December 2005. One weekend, Charlie Reichel, a father and former lacrosse player from Long Island, NY, stopped by the field and he introduced himself. He had 2 sons that were interested in playing. His sons attended Ocean Springs Middle School and started recruiting friends to play the game.
When we finally held our registration in February 2006, our roster grew to 35 boys and each player became a US Lacrosse member. Coach Charlie also dedicated his time as a coach and helped me with the team. We held practices each Monday and each Wednesday between 6 and 8 pm. We promised our boys we would find other teams to play. So once again we searched the Internet for teams in other states within a 5-hour drive. Since the Hurricane, The Salvation Army purchased the Yankee Stadium in Biloxi, MS, and allowed us to use the facility during home games.
Since 2007, lacrosse on the Mississippi Gulf coast has continued to grow. As we remain the only team in Mississippi to field teams consistently, our organization is a member of the Louisiana High School Lacrosse League.
In 2010, Gulf Coast Gator Lacrosse evolved into the Ocean Springs Greyhounds Lacrosse, named to coincide with the school district teams in our community. We consistently register 70+ players and field four teams each season.