Cross has tight bond with head coach

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

CUMBY — When it comes to high school sports, the head coach is one of the leaders for the student athletes to look up to during a season and throughout their lives.

For Cumby senior lineman Michael Cross, coach Kent Hawthorne is more of a role model than a coach.

The senior has played for Hawthorne since his eighth grade year and has a special bond with his head coach.

Cross is a multi-sport athlete in football and basketball, and Hawthorne said he is a class act for his fellow students.

"First of all, he is one of our leaders with taking care of his grades, being involved in the community and being a good person. Michael is one of those class acts and you don't get much time with kids like that," Hawthorne explained. "It has been a pleasure working with him, and I have had him since the eighth grade and he never misses a day."

Cross said knowing his coach thinks of him in that way is a confidence booster and helps him become a better athlete in all of his sports.

"It feels really great to hear him say those words in working with him throughout the years," Cross said. "I have looked up to him and he is a big Aggie fan and a coach. Coaches mean a lot to me because they have an important job shaping kids lives and he has shaped mine."

Cross said he has one goal he has set for himself this year.

"Just to give 110 percent with everything and never quit and keep going," he said, "I want to be able to do that with all of my sports this year."

Being one of only six seniors on the team this year, he said working with the younger kids has been fun so far and once the season starts he will help them out any way that he can.

"I am looking forward to a new year and seizing the opportunity to play this year. Hopefully we won't make as many mistakes and hopefully we will get in the playoffs," the senior said. "It has been good because most of them as Coach Hawthorne said are pretty young, but they are willing to work hard. They are willing to do everything they can during practices."

Cross is the son of Michael Cross and the late Cindy Cross and he plans to attend Texas A&M University for a degree in the scientific field.

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