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Cross High School

Cross football experiencing youth movement

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Cross—There were times last season when the Cross football team was only dressing 16 healthy players for a game.  So when the Trojans had roughly 38 players participating in spring practice, it was a welcome sight.

Head coach Shaun Wright will enter his 10th season in charge of the program, and while the 2018 edition of his team will be made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores, he is pleased by the numbers and hopes that will pay off down the road.

“Just being able to have somebody come in and relieve somebody else is huge for us.  Usually at Cross, if you’re a starter, you’re a starter at two spots.  Having some other guys that can come in does a lot for you mentally.  We’ve always had to prepare our guys more mentally than physically because of the grind of the season and all they have to endure,” Wright said.

Cross only has a few experienced players returning in linebacker/running back Dorian Pinckney, offensive/defensive lineman Travon Walters, and defensive end Antonio Bermudez.

With the quarterback position open, three players have been battling for the top spot, with sophomore Deondre Brown, freshman Kaden White, and sophomore Jose Hernandez all getting snaps.

Xavier Gattis is another new skill player to watch as he is very rangy at 6’2 and could be a weapon at receiver.  In the trenches, Quashawn Whitten and Fred Jones are two guys that Wright is encouraged about.

“If we can continue to improve, week by week and month by month, we could make a little bit of noise in the region.  A lot has to bounce your way – health, academics and all that kind of good stuff,” Wright said.

“We have to continue to learn each other and buy into the team aspect.  Sometimes young kids think they can show up a week here or a week there in the summer and then show up in August and be ready to go.  I’m trying to make sure they know this is a marathon and not a sprint.  With the coaching we have, the sky is the limit.”

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