Choctaw Central athletic director Walter Wilson announced the hiring of three new head coaches during a press conference Monday afternoon. They are, from left, Elyse Etheridge, girls golf; Pepper Posey, football; and, Mercedes Cotton, softball.

Photo by 
Steve Swogetinsky
Choctaw Central athletic director Walter Wilson announced the hiring of three new head coaches during a press conference Monday afternoon. They are, from left, Elyse Etheridge, girls golf; Pepper Posey, football; and, Mercedes Cotton, softball. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians announced the hiring of three varsity coaches for Choctaw Central High School during a press conference Monday.

Choctaw Central athletic director Walter Wilson announced Elyse Etheridge as the new girls golf coach; Mercedes Cotton as the new girls slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball coach; and, Pepper Posey as the new head football coach.

All three coaches have connections with Choctaw Central and expressed excitement in moving their respective sport forward during the coming school year.



Etheridge said that she had a lot to learn about the sport of golf but said she would do so as she prepares Choctaw Central for competition. She is a graduate of Choctaw Central and currently is an assistant coach on the basketball team.

“We like to win around here,” Etheridge said. “I am willing to work and learn, and maybe one day we will bring a state championship home to Choctaw Central.”

Cotton inherits an established softball program that she is very familiar with. Cotton was an outstanding softball player during her years at Choctaw Central. A 2009 graduate, she is back as head coach of the slow-pitch and fast-pitch teams.

“I enjoyed playing softball and I wanted to be a coach one day,” Cotton said. “I think we are going to have a competitive team.

“Many of the girls play fast-pitch travel ball. Right now, we are transitioning to slow-pitch. It may take a little while.”

Coach Posey coached seven years at Choctaw Central as an assistant under Coach Tommy McCool. He acknowledged that the Warrior program has struggled in recent years and pledged to do all he could to start turning things around.

“We had some good seasons when I was here before and I believe it can happen again,” Posey said. “We have to establish trust in what we are doing and understand that we are going to stick with the schemes that we practice all week.

“I believe you make your breaks and luck through hard work.”

Posey met his team last Monday on the first day of practice. He said he was getting to know them and his assistant coaches.

“You can tell these kids have had good coaching. They are disciplined and understand their drills,” Posey said. “You can tell that they want to win.”

Posey, a graduate of Southern Mississippi, is the former head coach at Newton High, and served as defensive coordinator at Neshoba Central. He has been out of coaching for the past three years because of health reasons. He said it was time to get back in.