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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.

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50 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Ken Cross leaving West Bladen for East Bladen"

Guest 14
2015 years 10 months ago

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.

2015 years 10 months ago

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?

What Do I know
2015 years 10 months ago

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!!!

Todd Finn
2015 years 10 months ago

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.

What Do I Know
2015 years 10 months ago

@ 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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