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BLADENBORO – West Bladen seniors Joseph Cooper and Travis Baxley signed Wednesday to continue their football careers next season at North Carolina Wesleyan University in Rocky Mount.

Cooper, a standout on the Knight offensive line, was instrumental in clearing the way for the Knight offense to rack up 1,206 passing yards and 1,769 total yards in 2023. West Bladen threw for 12 touchdowns and ran for 7 more TD’s. Cooper also received the school’s Wendy’s Heisman Award.

Baxley, a speedy wide receiver, caught 9 passes for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns including a 29-yarder in the 29-22 win over South Columbus. Defensively, Baxley made 19 tackles – 14 solo tackles – caused a fumble and intercepted a pass in the 47-14 win over East Columbus.

Coach Jeff Filkovski’s NC Wesleyan Battling Bishops compiled a 4-3 record in the USA South Conference in 2023 and were 4-6 overall.

Pictured: Seated, left to right, Joseph Cooper, Travis Baxley. Standing, left to right, Principal Dr. Peggy Hester and Coach Stanley Williams.

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