POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - From facing off on the softball diamond twice a year to heated recruiting battles for local prospects, the Pearl River/Gulf Coast rivalry is one of the strongest in all of JUCO sports.
This year, the rivalry expanded to the coaching ranks as well.
After five years as an assistant coach with MGCCC, Christie Meeks now takes over the Wildcats program as a first-time head coach.
Under recently-retired head coach Kenneth Long, Meeks was primarily the Lady Bulldogs’ pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, so she knows first-hand the amount of softball talent South Mississippi has to offer. After just a few weeks on the job, she is already hard at work to bring that talent to PRCC.
“I think that Pearl River is waiting to explode," Meeks said. "All of these schools around this district, it’s very (centrally) located between Hattiesburg and the Coast. We have a lot of high schools and there is a lot of talent from Jackson down."
Meeks said her main priority in recruiting is establishing an identity with potential prospects.
"Knowing who we are, knowing the staff here, knowing Pearl River, getting them on campus and knowing there’s a different culture fixing to come,” Meeks said.
The Wildcats will be hosting several possible signees on campus on Friday, July 26th for the Pearl River Prospect Camp. Taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the program is anyone from unsigned high school seniors from the Class of 2019 through rising sophomores from the Class of 2022. Registration is $45 per athlete.