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franklin county times

Etheridge, Southeast legend, to retire from coaching

By Staff
LESSONS  Larry Etheridge came to Southeast Lauderdale as head football and baseball coach 28 years ago. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
May 23, 2001
In sports, everybody wants to win on the scoreboard. But longtime Southeast Lauderdale High School coach and teacher Larry Etheridge said some of life's lessons are even more important.
A native of Franklin County, Etheridge came to Southeast Lauderdale as head football and baseball coach 28 years ago. The job has changed over the years, and he has worn many hats. For the past 14 years, he was defensive coordinator for Coach Dwane Taylor, and during the past 11 years, he was the head baseball coach.
In an interesting twist, Taylor did his practice teaching under Etheridge in 1976. It will be Taylor who will probably miss him the most when practice starts in the fall.
The two had some adventures. Taylor remembered the time they spent Etheridge's wedding anniversary at the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
birthplace of Elvis Presley and I don't think Coach's wife has ever thought that was funny," Taylor said.
Another time, the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers were headed to Quitman to play a football game. Etheridge was driving the bus and he and Taylor started talking about what plays they were going to run.
Taylor added that he hoped Etheridge might work the press box this season.
Retired Southeast Lauderdale principal Algie Davis first hired Etheridge and worked with him for many years. Davis called Etheridge "a principal's dream."
One legacy Etheridge leaves at Southeast Lauderdale is the baseball field.
It was once used as the old Jeff Davis Academy field but was converted in 1991 when the Lauderdale County schools bought the property.
Etheridge said he plans to continue to drive his school bus route. His wife, Virginia, will continue to teach 10th grade English. But Etheridge said he really doesn't have any set plans at this point.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.