Football Coaching Staff
Stephen Alexander, Head Coach
Stephen Alexander took over the North Cross football program in 2010. In his six years at the helm, North Cross has appeared in three VISAA Division III state championships and made five trips to the playoffs. North Cross secured its third football state championship in school history in 2011. Alexander was named Virginia Independent Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and was also the VISAA Division III Coach of the Year in 2011. He coordinates the offense for the Raiders and is the team’s play-caller. Before North Cross, Alexander served as the Offensive Coordinator of Briganti Napoli of the Federazione Italiana Di American Football, a team located in Naples, Italy. He also was the Offensive Coordinator at Virginia Episcopal School for four seasons. Alexander is a graduate of Grove City College where he played football in 2001. He and his wife, Monica, live in Roanoke City with their daughters, Harper and Hadley.
Shannon Taylor, Defensive Coordinator
Shannon Taylor was appointed the Defensive Coordinator at North Cross in 2010. His wealth of coaching and playing experience has been a tremendous asset for the football program. Taylor was an All-ACC linebacker at the University of Virginia where played from 1996-1999. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2000 and spent five years playing in the NFL, most notably with the Baltimore Ravens. Taylor was a football, basketball, and track star at Patrick Henry High School and is a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. Taylor’s daughter, Ataijah, played basketball at Wake Forest.
David Lake, Wide Receivers
David Lake joined the football staff at North Cross in 2013. Lake was a standout receiver at Colgate University. In his senior year, Lake set Colgate receiving records including yards in a season (793), receptions in a season (39), most passes caught in a game (11), yards per catch (20.3) and most yards in a game (179). He still holds the single season yards per catch record. That year in NCAA Division 1 football, he was ranked eighth in receiving yards, eighth in yards/catch, and tenth in receiving touchdowns. After college, Lake was drafted by the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League and went back to Colgate as an assistant coach.
Jerome Mann, Defensive Secondary
Jerome Mann was appointed the defensive secondary coach at North Cross in 2010. Mann played safety at St. Paul’s College after a standout career at William Byrd High School where he was an All-Region kick returner. In addition to coaching, Mann has played several years of indoor football with Richmond and Fayetteville. In 2012, Mann was American Indoor Football’s Defensive Player of the Year. He has also helped coach long-snappers and receivers at North Cross.
Derrick Ruben, Defensive Line
Derrick Ruben joined the North Cross football staff in 2014. Ruben was an All-Conference and four-year starting defensive lineman at Virginia Union, where he graduated in 2005. Before college, Ruben was All-Region, All-State, and Timesland Defensive Player of the Year at William Fleming High School.
Dwayne Priest, Running Backs
Dwayne Priest has coached running backs at North Cross since 2011. Priest played running back at Eastern Michigan University from 2007 until he graduated in 2010. He compiled over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in his college career. Priest was a star football and basketball player at William Fleming High School where he was named the AAA Defensive Player of the Year in football as a senior.
Brandon Washington, Receivers
Brandon Washington joined the North Cross staff in 2015, working primarily with wide receivers. Washington is from Louisa County, where he was a standout football player. He played four years at Ferrum College, graduating in 2009. He also worked on the Ferrum coaching staff in 2009, coaching defensive backs and serving as a recruiting ambassador. Washington also works at the Roanoke Athletic Club as a personal trainer. He also coordinates the spring and summer strength and conditioning program. He lives with his wife and baby daughter in Bedford, Va.
Chris Shelton, Offensive Line
Chris Shelton returned to North Cross to coach in 2016 after graduating from Ferrum College the previous spring. Shelton is a 2012 graduate of North Cross and was a four-year player at Ferrum. While at North Cross, Shelton was an All-Conference, All-State, and All-Timesland offensive lineman while also starting at defensive line/linebacker and long-snapping. He was raised and still lives in Salem, Va.