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Cross High School

Solid coaches key to rebuilding Cross football

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Cross—This summer, Cross football coach Shaun Wright found himself in an unfamiliar position with the Trojans.  For the first time in a decade at the school, Wright faces a rebuilding job as most of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores.

“Our expectations have not changed.  We view ourselves as a good program, not just a good team.  We’re going to push the kids as hard as we can and see where we stack up,” Wright said.

“When I first came to Cross, I never envisioned myself leaving.  Being successful, you’re going to get opportunities to go other places.  I love Cross and they have been good to me.  I look forward to rebuilding and reshaping what we’ve created.”

However, the coaching staff remained mostly intact, allowing them to use that stability and familiarity to help with the transition.

“That’s a big key.  As far as terminology and the teachings of the techniques and fundamentals that we do at each position, it just rolls over every year.  The kids start doing it earlier and it makes that transition easier from one grade to the next,” Wright said.

The lone addition to the coaching staff this summer was former Stratford head coach Joe Marion, who will be in charge of the inside linebackers.  He has coached in the Lowcountry for more than 20 years.

“He’s got so much experience.  I’m definitely going to pick his brain.  Sometimes learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do.  His knowledge of the different offenses he’s seen over the years and been able to coordinate against, we’re going to use his expertise in that area,” Wright said.

Wide receivers coach Stan Hickson has been a Trojan assistant since 1998, being one of the holdovers when Wright arrived.  Offensive line coach Jimmy Woods and defensive coordinator Denario Smalls were a part of the Cross state championship team back in 2012, and Smalls will also tutor defensive backs and running backs.

Steve Gabriel (quarterbacks/outside linebackers) and Quentin Felder (defensive line) return for their second year on the staff.

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