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The passing of East Bladen Coach and County Commissioner Russell Priest in July overshadowed the announcements of plans by both the NCHSAA and NCISAA to resume sports.

Gabe Barber received a national award, Sayaun Dent committed to continue his basketball career at UNC-Pembroke, and a trio of East Bladen baseball players went to the Dixie Pre-Majors World Series with Hope Mills.

The passing of longtime East Bladen Coach Russell Priest was a huge loss for the Bladen community, and he was remembered by a number of friends, colleagues and officials.


The NCHSAA released a revised plan for the resumption of public school sports that would begin in November with volleyball and cross country.


The North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) announced their plans to play sports including football in the fall. The plans were later updated to allow cheerleaders to attend the games.


East Bladen’s Gabe Barber was notified that he had been named to the United Soccer Coaches High School Scholar All-America Team.


Sayaun Dent who led Sandhills Community College to a national championship and was named NJCAA Division III National Player of the Year committed to play basketball for UNC-Pembroke in the 2020/2021 season.


East Bladen’s Zach Meares, Freddy Wooten and Brady Hollingsworth were members of a Hope Mills team that played in the 2020 Dixie Pre-Majors World Series in Guntersville, AL. The Hope Mills team won their first game then dropped the next two games.



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