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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — West Bladen basketball coach Ken Cross has resigned in order to accept the vacant head coaching position at rival East Bladen High School, pending approval from the Bladen County School Board. (UPDATE 9:00 p.m.)….The Bladen County School Board approved the move Monday night.

Cross will replace Alton Hill at East Bladen High School. Hill resigned as the Eagles head coach two months ago after just one season at East Bladen.

Cross began his coaching career at St.Luke’s in New Jersey in 1968. Seven schools later he moved to North Carolina in 1990 after accepting the head basketball coach position at Tar Heel High School in Bladen County. Tar Heel and Bladenboro High consolidated in 2001 to form West Bladen High School.

Cross was named the West Bladen coach in 2001. His 2007-2008 West Bladen team won the 2-A state basketball championship. Over the last four years West Bladen had a record of 101-13. This past the Knights finished with a 23-4 mark.

Patty Evers is the East Bladen director of athletics. She worked with Cross at Tar Heel High School when Cross was the boys coach and Evers was the girls basketball coach.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest33

    From what I understand, the focus at West is on posting the best possible test scores in school history for the second semester. My nephew just came home with a big smile on his face, a level four in English class. He never had a level four in anything! The basketball coach interviews are over form what we have been told. No name until testing is over. It looks to me like West has their priorities straight. Academics should always take the front seat, and from what we have seen the West kids are improving big time. I like the message they are sending. If the coach is who we think it is, watch out. The fact is that they have their sights set on being a high performing school that has a great basketball team, not a school that lives and dies with a coach. I will bet that after the tests are over with, they come out and name their coach. From what my nephew tells me, there would be no open gyms anyways until after testing is over with. Isn’t that the way it should be? Don’t worry. East may have snuck up and stolen a coach, but West will wait until they are ready to respond. But when they do, they will be heard. They can have the coach. I will take a better school any day. Good luck to both schools, though.

  • What Do I know

    Why hasn’t our new basketball coach been named? If it can be done “fast” over at East? Why can’t it be done fast over at West?

    Concerned Knight supporter.

    After all, we want the open gym sessions on again as soon as possible; unless they are illegal by NCHSAA rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Where is the news from the BOE meeting last night? Wasn’t our new coach suppose to have been approved last night?

  • What Do I Know

    @ Guest 15

    Don’t you know that news travels fast in Bladen County and especially in County Government to include the CC and BOE. Remember, the East AD and Cross use to be best of buddies over at Tar Heel. The conversation could have gone something like this, “hey, I’m scheduled for a meeting on the 16th with my adminstrator; why don’t you schedule one with your administrator on the same day and see about getting the days an application has to be in waived so I can come on over to East as b-ball coach and get this NCHSAA investigation done away with”!!!!

    Again, news travels fast. If Mr. Finn is getting test scores raised over at West; then the administrator over at Eest is privy to that news and therefore his students strive to raise their test scores so West won’t be one up on them.!!!!

    Again, news travels fast in Bladen; If as some have suggested, that Mr. Finn is on his way out at West(and he has approached a coach about coming to West) then with Mr. Finn leaving (God I hope not) and the BOE currently in place; what chance do you think the new coach has of surviving or even wanting to survive at West? About as much as the last several b-ball coaches over at East!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And to put the icing on the cake. I understand there is a movement under way in the county to create ONE big county high school and turn the two county high schools into middle schools. A precursor to that would be the two high school bands being put together for the Water Festival parade!!!!!! How about those apples?

    Hold on, another Bladen County news flash is coming through; nah, this one is even to far fetched for even me to pass along. Oh, why not. The new mascot for the one big county high school will be the MARTINS; in honor of the founder of Bladen County, Mr. Martin Bladen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SMH

    I am shaking my head right about now. The man has been gone almost two weeks and all you people can do is pine for him like it wasn’t his decision. We all know it was. He isn’t coming back no matter how badly you bash Mr. Finn. He isn’t coming back and from what I hear nobody really cares anymore. He gets to dictate who the principal sits with at games now? Who cares who he sits with. Does he question who you sit with? So then you start dragging the schools test scores into the mix and this has WHAT to do with the coach? Nothing. You act like the school can not go on without this man who didn’t even work there. Why hasn’t anyone demanded that the coach becomes the principal since he seems to be so valuable? How has Cross made the school better in ten years? Only a team, not the school. Now the school is better in a lot of ways not just tests and everyone knows it. Cross didnt do anything to get it there. And also from what I understand it wasnt even about open gyms it had more to do with having private school kids at the open gyms wich is illegal in any book. The kids at the school aren’t good enough without having to break rules to bring other schools kids in? I think everyone knows what happened and someone put it well on this page and that makes sense to me. Some people cannot handle the fact that the school is a good school now and their jealousy has caused them to hate. Their hate is rallied around this coach who didnt want to be a part of things anymore. So take the cross fans and get them some new shirts and hats so they can root for a new school. After all, if they arent there to root for the players, they really arent fans. We need to be fans of the school and for the graduates who dont play ball as well. If Cross doesnt want to be a part of that it says a lot about him and people who are still crying for him.

  • Guest15

    In your comment you said EAST was ready for the meeting on May the 16th. Why was East meeting? You also implied that Finn had made the test scores at EAST higher. Finn is very good at most parts of his job which is evident by all the success at West this year but I didnt realize he was pulling double duty at East also. Then you said that West’s new coach wouldn’t be there long. You really shouldn’t make statements about a coach who hasn’t been named yet. I know you are confused on which participants in this whole scenario are right and wrong but you could at least get the names of the school you are supporting right!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest 14

    1.You make no sense. East interviews were held on May 6th. Job was filled on May 9th. Let’s see that comes BEFORE May 16th, or are you using some new math.
    2. The undercurrent has been there and it was feeding Mr. Finn’s ear. You only had to look at who he was sitting with during the play-offs. I heard last night that person was going to get the basketball job, should be interesting.
    3. Way to ignore my point. He’s been scrambling in damage control after the threats of sueing and banning people from campus.
    4. Just tell me who you tested this time and who you tested last time. If the headcount is the same and the scores go up, I’ll be the first to congratulate.
    5. Sorry you just dont get it. Schools have fund-raisers. There is a group of fans who Mr. Finn has alienated and they will be a hard sell. Maybe you and him can make up the difference.
    5b. Funny it took a whole year for this scrimmage question to come up. Principal was there from August until May, now it comes up to be used as an excuse. Show me chapter and verse in the NCHSAA handbook.

  • What Do I Know

    #1. If Cross is such a fantastic coach (which he is pretty good) why on earth would he not be able to get another coaching position even if East had been taken by the time of his meeting on the 16th. There has to be some other reason why he bypassed the meeting on the 16th. By the way, the East administration was prepared to talk on the 16th; the question is whether or not coach Cross was ready to listen!!!!

    #2. Let him continue to have losing seasons at East like his predecessors have and see how long he last. He has the perfect situation at hand because he can always use the old “it is finally time to retire” speech if the heat gets too hot over at East. Even if he wins every game except the two against West; he won’t be around very long over at West. Wonder why he lasted so long over at West if there has always been an undercurrent that didn’t want him. Remember, Mr. Finn has only been over there one year.

    #3. Looks to me like he has already grown some skin if he is the only one who has stood up to “I’m the retired coach Cross and you will cower down to me”. It is true that Principals are not always right, because they are human; but they are still the Principal. The coach is not the Principal. By the way, has anyone ever heard Mr. Finn state that he is perfect? Didn’t think so. Those words might possibly come out of some coaches mouths we have in the county but not Mr. Finn’s.

    #4. Now we get into the questioning of why test scores have risen so dramatically over at East. COULD IT BE THAT THE SCHOOLD HAS WON THE ATTENDANCE AWARD BASICALLY EVERY TIME IT HAS BEEN AWARDED? And of course, if students are where they suppose to be; in the class room learning, they would naturally raise their test scores.

    $5. Not sure exactly what you meant by #5. As for this tax payor; I don’t think any school student should be out selling anything. Take the $5000 that is spent on trips like the one to California by two BOE members and the money that is spent on “the coach” having the gym open on Saturday mornings; and put it toward whatever the students have to get out and sell for. By the way, does anyone know if it is legal for high schoolers to scrimmage against college age and pro age athelets? One other thing BOE, who pays if one of our high school students is hurt in one of these scrimmage games? Obviously, the BOE would pay through a law suit if one of the college age or pro age people were hurt. Maybe we need to let “the coach” take care of those!!!!

    Go Knights, win the state softball tournament.

  • What Do I know

    If the coach violated NCHSAA rules at West, doesn’t that follow the coach where ever he goes?

    If it is pursued and the coach is found guilty, will East be put on probabtion and the entire athletic program denied post season appearances in all sports or just basketball?

    What will the football, baseball, soccer, and softball coaches and Mr. Batchelor at East think of their new coach, if this does happen?

    If he is guilty of violating the rules, seems he would be a man and go ahead and retire completely!!!

  • Guest 14

    Two pages of vicious attacks by anonymous posters, some real courage shown here, so let me join in and be a coward as well. Here are a few things to consider:
    1. Coach Cross didn’t wait on the meeting because the East Bladen job would have been filled before the 16th and he would have been left with no place to coach. It was pretty obvious West administration wouldn’t talk to him and was trying to force him out the door.
    2. He has it made now. He’s somewhere that wants him. There has always been an undercurrent at West that didn’t want him, so now good luck with dealing with him twice a year.
    3. Mr. Finn has sccomplished a lot at the school, but he needs to grow some skin if he intends to continue as a principal. There will be lots of times principals are not agreed with and threatening to sue or ban someone everytime they don’t agree with you doesn’t help your image.
    4. Everybody keeps pointing at these EOC’s and reciting great numbers. I hope they are fantastic, …but please share what percentage of students took the test. Schoolwide test scores are very dependent on who takes the test. I understand that all students have to take the year-end EOC’s where some of the early scores were not taken by everyone.
    5. There is some mending of fences that needs to be done in the community. There has been a lot of posturing and comments about who has students in school. If those tax-payers that dont have students in the school dont have a voice, then I’m sure no one is going to be coming around to them with a reverse raffle ticket or a plate sale ticket.

  • Todd Finn

    Although I have mixed feelings about contributing to this conversation, certain aspects of this thread have been brought to my attention and are bothersome. I believe there is the need for clarity and closure, and I hope to provide at least some of this now. First, to those who support the students at our school, I thank you. After all, they are why we are here. The issue that has prompted this report and subsequent discussion is no longer an issue to us, at least. We will have a new coach by Friday, and it is only fair to he and the kids that this chapter is wrapped up. The personnel action from last week has been completed, and there is no further need for speculation in the matter. Ultimately, speculation on investigations and filling-in-the -blanks of a subsequent editorial will not change anything, rather it will only drag-out the negativity and distract the students and their families from what is truly important. Finally, although it is human nature to want neatly-packaged answers and/or someone to hold accountable, the Bladen County Board of Education is not deserving of the finger pointing we can read here. There is no conspiracy, no plot to discredit, and certainly no hidden agenda. An employee sought an opportunity that may be a better fit and said transaction was approved. If anyone had any idea as to what these board members must deal with every day, they would concur with the notion that this is but a drop in the bucket. I encourage all of us to move on. In life, rarely do all parties see everything the same way. How boring would it be if we did? This will be no different, but, as Bill Pacells says, “it is what it is”. Personally, I am rooting for everyone in this situation. For all but two nights during the season, I am rooting for Coach. I applaud his loyal followers, and am impressed with the degree of loyalty I have seen supporting our school. Most of all, we have to keep these kids in mind. They are super kids. They have turned their school around with a remarakable school year and that should be news worthy itself. As of today, my plans are to come back next year even stronger, and this distraction is not enough to change that motivation. Besides, that may be the ONLY way I can get a ticket for the game here in January! Let’s look at this as yet another intriguing chapter in BC sports history, look forward to the game when it eventually plays out(can you imagine the hype!), and move on to bigger and heavier things. In short, what is past is prologue, and we shall move on. Thanks for your time in reading this.

  • Guest12

    How much do you want to bet the powers that be knew about this all along and let it happen hoping an investigation would just go away? That said, I bet they never even give it a second look. They do need to look at the up and coming recruiting of all of Crosses players from West. If and when that happens, watch the NCHSAA swoop in and do what they do. Smething tells me that Cross and his flunky have no intention of coaching their new kids, but they probably want their West kids in East uniforms. East parents should be happy about that. Their kids lose out. What a shame. One coach who plays by his own rules causing so much turmoil. Shouldn’t the BOE have seen this coming?

  • Putting it to bed

    Let’s go ahead and put this thing to rest. We all know that some people like Cross, while some prefer the decisions and actions of Finn. But we can take all of our preferences and list the facts to find out what really happened, then we can all move on.
    First, Cross and Finn did not see eye to eye. Can we agree on that?
    Second, although Cross has been at the school much longer than Finn, he never applied for or became the principal at the school. This either means he was not qualified to or that he didn’t want to. Either way, he was not the principal.
    Third, although Finn did not win a bunch of basketball games at West Bladen, he did apply for and become the principal at West Bladen. Therefore, Cross is under Finn for better or worse. Agreed still?
    Cross has every right to seek another job if he does not feel he can work with Finn. Am I right?
    Cross may or may not have broken some rules, based on earlier posts it seems that the thoughts are that he did.
    If he did, it was Finn who probably called him on it, or the AD. Either way, it probably caused the final conflict.
    Cross interviews at East before he meets with Finn, so apparently the meeting that would have addressed any issue and determined whether or not Cross was coming back never takes place. Still with me?
    This is all well and good until Cross receives the benefit of an article printed on a website proclaiming he as the victim and Finn as the aggressor who made him leave. This is where it gets interesting.
    People assume that because something is on he Internet and written by one of their own, it HAS to be true.
    The article prompts the principal to ban the blog writer from campus for whatever reason, right or wrong.
    The online news source then makes THAT into the story, claiming the have been banned.
    Then this becomes the newest issue. If a principal bans a blogger, he must be mean enough to have forced Cross out.
    Bloggers are not journalist, and newspapers are not blogs, by the way.
    If the blogger was perpetuating negative stories by talking to kids on campus and then running the stories on the blog, he may or may not have caused a rift at the school.
    The principal saw the banning of the blogger as a means to cut off his access? Maybe?
    The firestorm of negativity begins, sixty people weigh in on this issue here, and another sixty weigh in on the bloggers website which is edited and slanted in favor of the blogger. Public perception is manipulated to make it seem as though he blogger and the Coach are triumphant.
    Now, based on these posts, some true motivations are coming forward. Blogger is a politician perhaps seeking office and sees this as an angle to win a seat back. Coach takes the job at East to start over again and work for a principal he can get along with. Principal is more than likely out the door because of the whole mess.
    If everyone got what they wanted, we can put this thing to bed. But the end result is something to look at. If the principal ends up out the door, could that not be the intended result of this mess all along? If, when all is said and done, the principal is forced out and then the coach comes back to West because of it, the rest of the story will have taken place and it will all make sense. So let’s just see if that happens. In the mean time, the issue really is over for now. If we put it to bed, we can wake it up later on if what I think is happening actually happens. Then and only then is this an issue.

  • You ask where the BOE was and state almost $5000.00 spend on a trip for two members, I can tell you were they were, it took at least 5 of them to vote to spend this money so some of those that didn’t go are guilty spending (wasteing) our childrens money while millions (now over a billion dollars) are being cut out of education at the state level, and this is one of the poorest countries in this state, good job BOE, super job and that’s means a lot to us parents that some of you have to go to California to learn how to do your job. As stated in another post here by me (Bladen County Citizen) this group of monkeys are getting worse every day, they go through superintendents like crazy and pay money to other groups to find them because they don’t have time ( maybe they were in California looking for the next one) and most likely the newest one won’t last long, so maybe they went out west and got the next one lined up. The BOE ask the county for more money for schools and then waste our money like this, this is uncalled for, the schools are running out of paper at the most important time of the year and we have board members in California, maybe there was a big sale on copy paper out there, hope it was cheap and you got a lot to offset 5 grand, how long would that have paid a teacher? how much does the next super make, didn’t we run for months without him? how many teachers could we have instead? if all of you did your BOE for free, how many teachers could we have?
    Last, I hope to see the charter school limit gone, maybe within the next 2 years my child can go to a real ( as in ran right) school but if I can make it thru 2 more, then who cares, I will be done with Bladen County Schools and the monkey board that tries to run it.

  • What Do I know

    Calling all Knight supporters. It has come to my attention that the teachers at West Bladen do not have any copier paper. Let every Knight supporter purchase and carry to the school at least one (1) ream of paper. Many can probably afford to carry a whole box containing 10, 15, 20, etc. reams. With EOG testing being upon Knight country, let’s show our support.

    Where is the board of education when all this is going on? Almost $5000.00 spent on a trip to California by two members of the BOE would have purchased quite a lot of paper. What a waste of resources when the money was needed at our schools.

    At least we can thank God all nine members did not go.

    DON’T FORGET THE PAPER DRIVE. Guess this is how we (the tax payers)will have to handle things in the future.

    Another thought. Wonder how much it cost to light the gym on Saturday mornings? Surely enough to buy many reams of printing paper. Where are you at BOE with this going on right under your noses? Do your jobs and get the prioities of our schools in order.


    @ what do I know , you are so right .Mr.Finn is in charge ! He has made wbhs what it is today , not even in a year time. They are jealous because he stands for what is right and he don’t back down from these so call people that thinks they can do whatever they want to . They are use to people backing down to them , until they meant Mr. Finn. Mr.Finn and the students are WEST BLADEN !!! I hope we don’t have to set in another sports banquet and listen to Cross!!! When ever he would get on the stage , everybody would be like “oh God” how much longer can he go on. ATTENTION STUDENTS AND PARENTS , COACH CROSS QUIT WEST BLADEN TO GO TO EAST BLADEN.MR.FINN AND THE PLAYERS DIDN’T QUIT.DON’T BACK DOWN MR.FINN !!!! THAT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE.THEY ARE JEALOUS AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH SOMEONE WHO IS AS DECAITED TO (YOUR) YES YOUR SCHOOL> WEST BLADEN HIGH. AND A BIG THANK YOU GOES OUT TO YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ballgurl1

    What the principal did was the right thing to do. If, as I heard, a school called to report a violation of NCHSAA rules by Coach over the Spring Holiday, it certainly fell on the principal and A.D. to investigate and prohibit further instances. If Coach had stayed at West for the scheduled meeting that might have been cleared up, but he hurried on over to East, so the truth behind all that may never be known. Good luck to you Coach Cross, as always. Thank you, Mr. Finn for following up.

    As for a comment about “…bullying and threatening…” I don’t think this person ever even saw Coach at a game. If the principal was “…bullying and threatening…”, I can only imagine what other schools think Coach Cross does on the sidelines.

    Last, but not least, Guest11 you are wise. I hope that everyone on both sides of this issue will take your advice. I know that I am. Thanks.

  • ballgurl1

    Well said Guest11. You are very wise. Let’s hope that people on all sides of this issue will take your advice. Thank you.

  • Ballgurl1

    “…bully and threaten…” Did you truly ever even see Ken Cross coach??? Your description of what the principal supposedly did is also exactly what some people would accuse the coach of doing in some way, shape, or form at almost any game he coached.

  • Clean house!

    Have you seen their numbers? Test scores skyrocketed. They are leading the county and the region in many areas that are finally positive! So if he cleaned house of any lemons, that is great! Now, if you look at the Clark story, and you buy that load of crap, you deserve each other. This was a low performing, dangerous school a year ago. It is now a good, solid school. You cry for Cross and you curse Finn. But could Cross run hat school? He was there for ten years, and for ten years the school under performed. Finn is there for less Than a year and now our kids are starting to get it. Clark is right in one area. Finn will be scooped up and will more than likely be gone by July. But with this treatment, who can blame him? My child graduates this year, so at least I got one good year. But she doesn’t dunk a ball so I should just be quite, right? Maybe Clark or Cross can apply for the job and go run the school. But if I were Clark, I would be weary. After all, folks know he is running for school board again soon. If he is part of he reason for chasing Finn out, while accusing him for chasing Cross out, it is Clark who will once again be on the outs. I can tell you now, Clark is trying to discredit Finn and it is personal. He thinks he can drum up votes by making it he against Finn. But this will backfire on him, mark my words. He lost to Dr, Smith last time, and he will lose to a pumpkin if Finn leaves. We will know exactly why. You all are worshiping the wrong Cross. You disrespect the principal, and you make Cross into a saint. You have it twisted, and I can’t wait until Finn gets his next job. As long as my child graduates before he leaves.

  • Ballgurl1

    What I understand was motivating the principal was academics with EOC’s coming and word from another school that NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association)rules were violated over the Spring Holiday by Coach. As a result of that, keys were apparently taken and an investigation started. That,”old timer”,is more than enough motivation. Had Coach made the scheduled meeting, he might would have been able to answer some questions. Or perhaps, that is the reason he did not make the scheduled meeting, but resigned and headed to East instead. Some people, including the NCHSAA, Mr. Finn, and the A.D. apparently believe that rules and policies should be followed. They are there for a reason. Good luck to Coach Cross in his new endeavors and to Mr. Finn as he continues what he has begun at West Bladen.

  • mallen

    Todd Finn, WBHS Principal is was a history teacher before a principal. He is more aware than most folks of free speech and freedom of the press. With freedom of the press comes a responsibility of accuracy in reporting, even highschool seniors know to cite sources of information when doing a report. There is a difference between a journalist and blogger. Calling John Clark a journalist would be like calling a snowball an iceberg.

  • A Mother’s love

    I say ” WAY TO GO , MR.FINN ” You guys are so jealous of this Principal ( MR.FINN ) it’s funny. E-town/Bladenboro , It’s always been that way. But new flash E-town and Bladenboro are in BLADEN COUNTY! Mr.Finn has done something that no other could or can do . Don’t hate !! HE and the STUDENT’S are WB . HE MADE WBHS WHAT IT IS TODAY IN JUST UNDER A YEAR !!!! NOBODY ELSE COULD OR WOULD !! Hope we don’t have to hear MR.CROSS at the sports banquet. Keep your head up Mr. Finn , there are alot of people backing you up !! So don’t back down from BOE , they haven’t never had to dealt with somebody like you , so they don’t know how to take someone who don’t back down and is not a quitter!! WE ARE WEST BLADEN !!!!!!!! :)

  • Mom in the know

    Apparently keys are taken as a standard operating procedure at the end of the school year during close out for inventory and accountability purposes. Everyone not in season has to turn in their keys in May, according to one of the OE members. Don’t believe the hype by a writer who hangs out with the coach on weekends. That is biased at best. That said, why would a principal who is known for his focus on the testing process create a distraction so close to the testing week? The answer is he would not. There was no intent to fire the coach, based on what I have been told. According to the head coach of another sport, all teachers and coaches were told that there would be no after school events unless the sport was in season for the purpose of encouraging students to attend tutoring and study sessions. This is great because my student athlete actually goes to tutoring now. This school jumped up about twenty points in six months, so what he does works. So, to answer your question about what kind of a man this is? He is a man who has been the only principal to see this school to a competitive academic year….ever. You worship Ken Cross because he wins basketball games. This man is a former Special Ops combat vet, a brilliant educator, and my daughter even has him for a teacher during the school day. What has Cross done besides coach basketball? And did you see that early in his career, he worked at seven schools in nine years? Not the first time he flew the coop. If a principal wants keys, he should get the darned keys! He is the principal. Cross was the coach. In my opinion, peole need to know their roles or go home. By the way, did you know that this school had a shooting at it last year? What did Cross do about that? Nothing. He didn’t apply to be the principal. So let him go to East Bladen. And if you have a problem with the principal, go and see him yourself. You will agree with me if you do. I know both men. I choose Fin over any coach, any day. At least while I have a kid in that school.

  • FunnyFace

    Maybe Mr. Finn took the keys because a school reported that the men’s basketball program at West was breaking NCHSAA rules and this had to be investigated, not because a “firing” was planned. And by the way, the AD that got moved to another school years before, tried to work with Coach Cross, he just did not want to go by the rules of the program then, either. She paid the cost for him that time, just as Mr. Finn seems to be now.

  • What Do I know

    Looks like the has already got them on their toes at East. He got them to schedule an EOC get together for the parents on “prayer meeting” night of all nights. Parents, be on the look out for players dribbling basketballs through your meeting area. Also be on the look out for the “step team” and their “very” demonstrative routines. Some of you older parents may blush.

    On second thought, since it is on prayer meeting night; better advice might be to find yourselves on your knees at some local church’s altar asking God to intervene in behalf of this untoward generation.

  • What Do I Know

    If he was going to be fired at the May 16 meeting, then the reason should still be investigated thoroughly; regardless of where he is working now.

    By the way, he quit. He quit his players, his fellow coaches, the other teachers, the administration, the school, the cross crazies, HE QUIT. “Quiters never win and winners never quit”.

    The question still remains, why would a winner quit? Find out for us John, Mr. Robert, or the BOE.

  • A mother’s love

    Sounds to me that there is something behind this story. Mr.Cross , forsakes his school and players to run to East Bladen. WHY????? OK BOE, DO YOUR JOB !!!!!

  • What Do I know

    WOW!!! We know who Coach Cross is now; he is the One who carried the cross!!!!

    To have the ability to go to a meeting before the meeting date is an awesome attribute to have on one’s resume(probably one of the reasons his application paperwork was approved in an astronomically quick time at the BOE)!!

    If I make no misstake, day after tomorrow will be May 16. Just kidding you, we all make misstakes in posting and you more than likely meant “a meeting had been planned for May 16 between Coach Cross and the administration”. For sure, there is something rotten in Denmark if “Coach Cross was going to be fired at the May 16 meeting!!! If you need a job Mr. Robert and John can surely use you if you are able to uncover those kind of “news” nuggets on a timely basis.

    Next thing we know Coach Fisher will be coaching football at West Bladen!!!! Any possibility there is an iota of truth to that rumor?

    Taking the gym keys away from Coach Cross made me think of a song back in the 1960’s about Daddy taking the car keys away and them it went on to say something along the lines of “we’ll have fun, fun, fun now that Daddy’s took the T-bird away”. Of course, here we are talking about the gym keys and fun can’t be had on “Saturday” mornings now that Mr. Finn had taken the gym keys away. Not to worry though, go on over to East and the “gym will definitely be open on Saturday mornings”. Looks like Coach Cross is already ruling over at
    East. Makes one wonder if a teacher wanted to “on their own” to open their classroom on a Saturday morning for her students to prepare to improve their EOG scores; would it be approved? Just can’t build those “brain muscles” up enough.

    The Coach did quit “not fired”. He quit his players, his fellow teahers and coaches, his administration, his school, his community and I believe he quit on himself. Sure thought he was a better man than that.

  • what a sorry mess

    Coach Cross will be missed by the students and teachers at West Bladen. I believe what John Clark wrote in the bladenonline article. And yes you would think a new principal would not bully and threaten coaches and teachers, but just because you think it should be that way DOES NOT MAKE IT SO. How many other teachers and coaches have been demoted or shown the exit door at West Bladen this year? And what about the principal banning journalist from bladenonline from the school and sports events? Whatever happened to freedom of speech and press?

  • sadoverthewholesorrysituation

    Coach Cross will be missed by the students and teachers at West Bladen. I for one believe what was printed in John Clark’s story. You would THINK a new principal would not threaten and bully coaches and teachers, but just because you think that is the way it should be-DOESN’T MAKE IT SO. How many other teachers and coaches have been demoted or forced out or shown the exit door at West Bladen this year by the new principal?

  • Guest11

    After reading the blogs dealing with Coach Cross. I think it is a shame the way adults are acting. We expect our kids to be respectful; look at the way adults are acting. I think alot of Coach Cross; but he is a grown man and is capable of making the right decision for him. We need to respect HIS decision and move on. The politics are getting ridiculous and I am really ashamed of how our school is always being put down. In Bladen County, we can’t keep a Superintendent how are we supposed to be stable. I think Mr. Finn has made some really good changes and lets remember he is the principal. When I was in school we and our parents respected the principal and the coaches and teachers did also. Parents we really need to watch what we say around our teenagers all these negative remarks are not good for our teenagers. Lets practice what we try to teach our teenagers RESPECT.

  • What Do I Know

    Hold on here!!! What is going on?

    Coach Cross can’t wait to get his team on the floor, even to the endangerment of the step team members. By Granny, I’m in charge here and my boys are going on that floor regardless of who is out there!!!!

    Then Coach Cross is told the date that the principal csn see him and he can’t wait again. By Granny, I’m Coach Cross and you’ll see me when I want to be seen. Why? Because, I’m the greatest( sorry that moniqcure has alrady been taken by Cassius Clay) and besides the principals schedule and teacher evaluations are unimportant compared to me (I’m Coach Cross).

    Meanwhile, the train started coming, and then, and then, and then; along came sports writer John and his boss Mr. Robert. Both good men. But who is in charge here. Mr. Finn, that’s who. If a person is on the West Bladen campus it is Mr. Finn’s business. I don’t care if you are sports writers, the owner of a web site, a coach, a teacher, a student. It is Mr. Finn’s business, or at least the business of the people that Mr. Finn has been hired to run.

    An where is the sports writer getting all this inside information? One would think he would be reporting box scores. Not what is going on behind the scene. Even Robert requires a name(although evidently not a full name) but the sports writer gets away with just saying “an
    administrator”. And since when is it wrong to congratulate an opponent or opposing coach?

    There is something rotten in Denmark and I don’t believe it is a rat in the gym!!!!!

    By the way, East Athletic director; don’t ever tell Coach Cross anything. Mr. Batchelor, if he request a meeting with you; drop everything you are doing and be at his beck and call to include having that gym open every Saturday morning even if Christmas falls on a Saturday. By the way, is it legal for a high school team to scrimmage against former graduates which might include college players and even pro players? And who is paying the light bill for the gym on those Saturday mornings? Is it Coach Cross?

    There is an expression in the Bible, “and it came to pass”. So shall this. I wonder how Coach Nance feels? Didn’t he bring a state Championship to Bladen County back a few years ago? What about coach Autry, didn’t he bring a state championship to Bladen County back a few years ago? Fame is fleeting!!!!!! Twenty years from now, they will be saying, who was that Cross guy. I have been out of Bladen County schools for over 40 years and for the life of me those coaches who were also teachers hold no greater esteem in my life than do my English, math, biology, etc. teachers. For those of you who graduated from Bladenboro High School, can you picture a coach or any teacher telling J.W. Black when he will hold a meeting with said coach or teacher? Don’t think it would ever happen. Mr. Black was in charge; Mr. Finn is in charge.

    And last but not least; Coach Cross quit West Bladen and his players. Mr. Finn and the players did not quit the Coach!!!!!!!!!

  • OldTimer

    You know if Finn had just fired the guy I could understand that. That at least would be a ‘Man’s” way of doing things. But this business of taking away his gym keys and not allowing the boys to practice is more than I can stomach. Someone needs to check into what was motivating this Principal. It really does not make sense to throw away resource like Coach!

  • Crossed Up and Confused.

    Just when you thought it was over, there seems to be more to this story, so I hear.I’m just a parent, but you wold be surprised what we hear when the folks around us dont know we are listening.

    First, we now know that there was a meeting between Cross and the admin on May 16 (bladen online reported this so it may not be true). Was he going to be fired at that meeting? We will never know. I think no. But who knows?

    Cross resigns on Monday, May 9th, to avoid the meeting altogether and then get borad approval to switch over to East Bladen. Are we to believe that he resigned, went to East, interviewed, got all of the ppwk done, and then got that to the board all in one day and then got approval? Nope. The ppwk needs to be like 48 hours earlier. He had the deal done on May 6 at the latest, probably before.

    This thing was planned out. He was leaving, and he was never going to be at that meeting where he MAY have been called out for smething.He knew what it was. He knew he had something coming if a meting was schduled for exactly two weeks ahead. Something formal was going to happen.

    Once Cross gets approval, he runs his mouth to the papers and his assistant coach starts bringing up how mean everyone was to his buddy. He acts like he never wanted to leave, and that he was forced out. But when you think about it, if he was forced out, when did that happen? He never made it to the May 16th meeting.

    According to balden online, the principal Mr Fin took his keys away. I think he may have done something wrong to lose those keys. I mean wrong, wrong. Could that be why? Fin is a first year principal and in my opinion those guys are usually so tight they are right by the book. So Cross loses his keys (according to bladen online, again, could be wrong)for what we ae led to believe is no reason at all. But why would that be? There had to be a reason.

    It is logical to then think that Cross knew he was (maybe?) in hot water and therefore he avoided the meeting and took another job where he will lose a lot more games (because they are not good) than he ever has but still have a job. The guy is retired and has nothing else to do. Maybe he thought it would all go away. And maybe it would have. But his little followers had to run their mouths. Had to make an issue out of it.

    Meanwhile his cronies and flunkies are writing all kinds of nasty junk in the papers, trying to discredit the school and the principal and make Cross look like he was chased out. Now I heard that Fin is a hard a** and not exactly easy to get along with, so he is no angel either. But he has a school to run, Cross only has a team to coach. Could Cross run that school? Don’t think so. Who is in charge you ask? Who is worth more, I say.

    But could it be that he wasn’t chased out, but maybe he ran away? Think about it. He has never backed down to any principal since he has been at that school. NEVER! There has been maybe five principals and they all had to put up with him, good and bad. He got an athletic director moved out on time because she didn’t like him. So why now does he back down to a first year rookie, if that is what we are supposed to believe? And for that matter, a guy who everyone thinks is leaving anyway for a bigger school (he is a hard a** but he has done a great job, even Cross lovers have to admit that). I think I know why. He was going to get caught. Stand by on this one. If it is true, maybe he isn’t the martyr you all are making him out to be. Maybe Cross Crossed the line, then Crossed over, bearing his Cross, but he really got Crossed up himself. Don’t be Cross with me…it is just what I am hearin’. I could be wrong though. What would I know? Im just a parent. Go Marching Knights!

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