Coach Goes from North West Rankin Cougar to Pelahatchie Chief


Callie Weems

Girls Junior High basketball team pose for the camera. On the left stands Head Coach Alexis Jones and on the right stands Assistant Coach Lavadius Lyles.

Callie Weems, Staff Writer

Pelahatchie High School and Junior High basketball girls were up for a surprise after hearing that they’d be getting a new basketball coach. Former Basketball Coach, Pearlene Fairley, decided it was time to move on.

New PHS and PJS Girls Basketball Coach Alexia Jones has taken on the responsibility of coaching and leading the girls during this 2019-2020 basketball season.

“Goals for this season are having a winning season of course, winning the district championship, and then going on to the big house. Just a few small goals: coming together, playing together, and having that team chemistry,” stated Jones.

The motto for this 2019-20 girls basketball season is “RISE UP.”

Jones believes in working with her students to help them succeed. “The kids are my favorite part of coaching, building those relationships, teaching them right and wrong on and off the court. Of course winning ties into that, but if they respect you and you have a good relationship with them, they’ll do whatever you ask.”

Assisting Jones will be Head PHS and PJS Boys Basketball Coach, Lavadius Lyles.

“Goals I have for this year is to get better day by day, to improve. One short term goal is to bring the district championship home, for the boys and girls,” said Coach Lyles.

Lyles’ second year responsibilities include coaching both boys and girls basketball and being able to find a balance between the two.

Lyles’ believes in all his players even when they don’t believe in themselves. “My favorite part of coaching is when I see a kid that walks into the gym and they tell me I can’t do something and I look at them later in the year and I see them mastering the skill they said they weren’t able to do,” stated Lyles.

Both coaches believe their players still need to improve before the first game, which means much needed time to prepare.

“At the end of the day, it’s basketball. I don’t look at it like I’m coaching girls or like I’m coaching boys. I’m just coaching basketball,” said Lyles