North Cross tabs Dwayne Priest as next head football coach

‘We’re going to preach family. That’s what it’s all about.’

ROANOKE, Va. – North Cross has called upon a familiar name and face to be the next head coach of its football program--Dwayne Priest.

Priest was a highly touted high school football star during his time at William Fleming in the early 2000s under then head coach Keith Smith. In his final season as a Colonel in the fall of 2005, Priest rushed for over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns while also being one of the best defensive backs in the state.

Dwayne Priest celebrates after scoring a touchdown for William Fleming during the 2004 season (WSLS)

After time at Fork Union Military Academy, Priest went on to play at Easter Michigan University. That’s where he racked up just over 2,000 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in his four seasons on the field.

Eastern Michigan running back Dwayne Priest (22) scores a touchdown followed by Central Michigan cornerback Vince Agnew, right, in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Ypsilanti, Mich. (AP Photo/Tony Ding) (AP2010)

“I played nice competition but had to get hip surgery once I finished my senior season,” said Priest. “I had to rehab for about five months. There was a European League being setup so I went over there to Paris and played for a year.”

Priest returned home in 2014.

“North Cross was the first school to give me an opportunity to come on as an assistant coach,” Priest said. “I’m very excited to be back here as the head coach at North Cross School. Just a family atmosphere here at North Cross and just a pleasure to be back here.”

Priest feels his background and presence will speak volumes.

“With me just being disciplined and sticking to the script, teaching these kids to be young men--if I do that these kids will gravitate to want to come to North Cross,” said Priest.

On the field, Priest wants to run a dynamic offense with discipline and the ability to spread the ball while defensively the motto will be physicality.

“We’re just going to continue to build the character in these kids.”

The Raiders program is coming off of back-to-back state championships at the VISAA Division II level.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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