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Cross' shade of red

November 14, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Over all his years in high school football, Glenn Cross has seen a lot of red.

The temper and adrenaline rush that all coaches feel aside, for Cross it has been the red of Fort Hill and the vivid red of North Hagerstown, the two teams he coached for much of his tenure.

Tonight, his allegience won't be tested in the least.

"I'll be wearing North Hagerstown red," Cross said. "It's been a long time since I've been up there. I've seen these kids every day and this has been a great thing to watch (coach Danny Cunningham) develop these kids."

Cross spent 19 years coaching North before retiring after the 2000 season. He came to North after serving as an assistant at Fort Hill before a brief stint as head coach at Bishop Walsh, both in Cumberland, Md.

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In his time at North, Cross led the Hubs to the state playoffs in 1990 with a junior quarterback named Danny Cunningham leading his offense.

"He was a great quarterback and a great leader for us," Cross said. "He did the things he had to do to win. We were a winner in all those years when he was with us (as a player). He was one of the best quarterbacks I ever had and a fine young man to coach. Now he has channeled all that into the right direction with these kids."

Cross and Cunningham have had their careers intertwine over the course of 15 years. Cunningham was a player, assistant coach and then offensive coordinator for Cross before taking over the job after his mentor stepped down.

Cunningham has given Cross credit for teaching him the coaching ropes. That is one way of looking at it, but not the way Cross does.

"I'd like to think that, but Danny is the right man for the program," Cross said. "If he did learn something from me, I hope it was from the mistakes that I made. I take no great credit for this at all. He was a great quarterback, assistant coach, offensive coordinator and now coach."

Cross said he's impressed with the way the Hubs approach everything, starting with everyday life.

"They are all a class bunch of kids," Cross said. "They often stop by my class to talk and they are all great kids. They are a reflection of Danny."

When it comes down to the game itself, though, Cross finds a piece of the coach still lurking inside. He has an opinion, but still tempers them because he doesn't want anything he says to show up on a bulletin board somewhere. At the same time, he doesn't want to slight anyone he knows in his native Cumberland, either.

"I don't know (how this is going to play out)," Cross said. "I haven't seen Fort Hill play, but I have seen some of the highlights of their games. I don't know. I see North as a good balanced football team that could be tough to beat.

"It's going to be a good game ... it should be a close game."

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