We take a look back at how they got there:
There are days where I look at my State Championship Ring that I received for being a part of the 2005 4A State Champions in Baseball. I filmed the home games during their magical 36-4 season that saw this team hit 40+ home runs. Including 13 each by Cade Hoggard and Chad Cregar, the three and four-hole hitters respectively that year. I could go on about the records that team broke (and are still intact), but that is not the reason why I'm typing, but this is a day I looked at that Championship Ring.
Brent Brownlee and Hoggard each got coaching positions at high schools almost right after their college seasons ended.
Brownlee played for Mississippi State and was the final out of their 3-2 defeat to Samford in the Tallahassee Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament. He played as many as four different sports while at Oxford High that included Track, Football, Soccer and Baseball. He was very good at all four sports. Injuries plagued him his entire athletic career in high school and college (his Freshmen year he was forced to red-shirt) that eventually got him to not pursue a professional career as an athlete.
Because of his latest injury to his knee, he has given up his playing career and got a coaching job at Germantown High (a new school near Madison, MS) as an assistant for both their baseball and football teams.
His highlight-reel career included a game-saving throw-out from Center Field to the Plate against Lafayette his senior year in high school, a ridiculous catch (to this day I still do not know how he caught it) while being double-covered against Ridgeland in the first round of the 2006 Playoffs and took it for a touchdown, a 90-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Senatobia in 2005, and many clutch hits especially during his Junior year while playing for MSU during their run to the Gainesville Super Regional in 2011. He did not have the story-book ending as he (along with much of the MSU squad this year) did not hit very well in comparison to the rest of his career during his Senior year at MSU although he deserved one.
Hoggard played Football and Baseball for Oxford while he was here. He played Tight End in Football and had a huge role in the 2003 and 2004 teams. In 2003, Oxford made its only State Championship appearance. Oxford did so as a 4-seed and had to beat Hernando in the playoff-like game (both teams had to win to get the 4-seed or they would be home for the playoffs). Oxford basically played five playoff games to reach the title game that ended in a blowout loss to Wayne County. In 2004, he was a big difference maker in at least two of the team's ten wins. Against Tupelo, he caught the only Touchdown of the game in the 4th quarter of a 7-0 win. In the 2nd Round of the playoffs against Provine, he caught two touchdown passes against a defense that had only yielded one touchdown all season prior to the game (they had pitched 10 shutouts that year) and the first-string defense had not allowed a point. A field goal by Brownlee proved to be a big difference in the game as they won that year 16-13 to advance to the 3rd Round giving the Provine Rams a shocking loss to end their promising season.
In Baseball, he is the co-owner of the OHS Home Run record with Cregar with 13 round-trippers. He was also the team's No. 2 Pitcher behind Wes Grilliette during their Championship run. He proceeded to go to MSU for baseball for two years before transferring to Delta State for his last two years. His power-hitting ways continued and was a big part of Delta State's team for 2009 and 2010 as he totaled 27 Homers. Last year he was a Graduate Assistant on the team helping with the outfielders. This upcoming year, he will be an assistant coach with Olive Branch's baseball team and received a teaching job at the school.
Brownlee and Hoggard each did big things while at OHS and did big things while in college. Now they can spread their experiences and expertise with the athletes at Germantown and Olive Branch.
Oxford has normally played a home-and-home with Olive Branch baseball so there might be a time where Hoggard will face off against his former school. Germantown is relatively new and may soon join the 5A ranks, but it wouldn't surprise me if they found their way onto the Oxford Baseball (or Football) schedule in the near future before that happens.