The North Cross School athletic program is based on the knowledge that a well-exercised, competitive young person can learn about himself or herself on the athletic field in a way difficult to match in other areas of school life. The development of the complete person is the goal of both the faculty and the students at North Cross and that goal is enthusiastically pursued in our athletic program.
North Cross School is a charter member of both the Blue Ridge Conference (BRC) for our girls’ teams and the Virginia Independent Conference (VIC) for our boys’ teams at the JV and varsity levels. North Cross School is also a member of the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association (VISAA). VISAA is the state governing body for independent school athletics and sponsors all state playoffs for varsity sports.
Varsity and Middle School
The sport of cross country has always been very popular at North Cross School, and the mountains of Roanoke offer a beautiful backdrop for distance running. During the season, the boys’ and girls’ teams normally compete in six to eight dual meets as well as two or three large invitational meets including Knights Crossing at Green Hill Park. We compete in the VIC championship as well as the state independent school championship at Fork Union Military Academy. All of our varsity competitions take place on a 5K course, but there are also “developmental” races for younger runners which take place on shorter 1.5–2 mile courses.
The teams train both on campus and in several local venues including Fishburn Park, Washington Park, and on trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hilly terrain in the Roanoke Valley makes for a great variety of training, and the North Cross home course is particularly challenging with its famous “Middle School Hill” coming just after the two mile mark.
Co-ed Varsity (VCC)
Edward Dickenson, Head Coach
Lauren Horner, Assistant Coach
The vision for the North Cross School football program is to create a winning program that prepares young men for the demands of life beyond of the realm of football. A North Cross football player should be supported athletically, academically, and emotionally in the football program. North Cross helps young people—on both our Middle and Upper School teams—reach their potential and achieve success in college and beyond. Our football program is a part of that process.
A North Cross football player should be a model citizen in the school community and a model student in the classroom. On the field, the North Cross football team must be fundamentally sound, well prepared, well conditioned, and confident. Finally, along with the life lessons learned and football games won, participation in the North Cross football program must be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all of those who brave its demands.
Stephen Alexander, Head Coach
Shannon Taylor, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach
Aaron Jones, Assistant Coach
Jerome Mann, Defensive Secondary Coach
Derrick Ruben, Defensive Line Coach
Dwayne Priest, Running Backs Coach
Brandon Washington, Wide Receivers Coach
Middle School Coach
Alex Hash, Head Coach
Jason England, Assistant Coach
Brian Cann, Assistant Coach
John Ratliff, Assistant Coach
James Brown, Head Coach
Chris Pollock, Assistant Coach
Follow the team on Twitter: @ncssoccer
The North Cross men’s soccer program was organized under the direction of Richard Cook in 1972. In his 36 years as the varsity coach, Cook compiled a 458-112-51 record, winning 18 Virginia Independent Conference championships and the 2007 VISAA state championship.
Current varsity coach James Brown joined Coach Cook’s staff as an assistant in the spring of 2005. Brown, a former player at Roanoke College, assumed the head coaching responsibilities in the fall of 2008. Brown also assisted both the men’s and women’s programs for the Maroons before coming to teach in the middle school at North Cross.
North Cross has a rich soccer tradition in the Roanoke Valley. Players are encouraged to play as much as possible and to attend camps around the state and country. Several team members have been recognized by the Roanoke Times as “Timesland Players of the Year” and additionally to the “All-Timesland Team.” The soccer program also boasts a record number of players who have played at the collegiate and professional levels after high school.
Boys Middle School
Ryan Cook, Head Coach
Jaime Dooley ’15, Assistant Coach
The Middle School Soccer program has three priorities: to ensure that all the players have a fulfilling experience as soccer players and teammates, to ensure that all the players gain new skills and experience in order to become valuable members of the varsity squad in later years, and to gain victories on the soccer field.
Practices emphasize passing and smart play, like good positioning and being vocal on the field. Respect for teammates, the coach, and officials will be stressed. Complaining, disrespect, lack of encouragement to others or failing to have a sense of humor about mistakes will not be tolerated. Hard work and pushing one's self on the field will be encouraged and praised.
Girls field hockey
North Cross School is the only secondary school in the Roanoke Valley to offer field hockey to its upper and middle school girls. The program consists of a varsity and a junior varsity team who compete in the Blue Ridge Conference. The varsity season concludes with a conference tournament which North Cross has won six times. Additionally the teams travel to Richmond, Charlottesville, and cities in North Carolina competing against state-ranked opponents. Regardless of the challenging schedule, the athletes focus on developing hockey skills and playing together as a team. They are encouraged to attend summer camps and to play in the Virginia Commonwealth Games.
Coaches (Varsity and Middle School)
Lilly Judge O'Brien, Head Coach
Mary Semler, Assistant Coach, Varsity; Head Coach, Middle School
Girls Varsity, JV
Traditionally the teams are not as tall as the competition and take pride in being very tenacious, defensive teams. Passing and serving skills are stressed at all levels of competition. Focus is on “team play” and developing the ability to play as a unit. Players are encouraged to attend volleyball camps offered during the summer on the North Cross School campus or elsewhere.
Ten schools in the Blue Ridge Conference offer multiple levels of volleyball. In addition to competition with the BRC schools, the junior varsity and varsity teams compete against several local public schools. The varsity team participates in the North Cross School Invitational tournament each fall which includes, in addition to North Cross, seven independent schools from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In 2016 the team won their first BRC Conference since 1994.
Terri Craig, Head Coach, Varsity
Hannah Emerson, Assistant Coach, Varsity; Head Coach, Middle School
The North Cross School Girls Varsity Tennis team plays in the Fall as does the Co-Ed Middle School Tennis Team, now in its third season. The Varsity team consistently wins the Blue Ridge Conference and were VISAA State Champions in 2016 and 2017. They play conference and non-conference matches throughout the season. Some of the non-conference matches include local public schools and private schools who play their season in the fall. Co-ed Middle School Tennis is available for students in grades six though eight. The team plays in the Roanoke Valley Tennis Association's City Middle School Tennis League and have been league champions two years running.
Amy Bagliani, Head Coach, Varsity
Angie Link and Amy Cullen, Assistant Coaches, Varsity
Tracy Schaefer, Head Coach, Middle School
Jennie Vogel, Assistant Coach, Middle School
North Cross School has four levels of boys basketball and two of girls. Coaches at each level are committed to teaching the players the importance of working hard to improve their individual skills, and all players are given the opportunity to play, regardless of their specific level of talent. Sportsmanship is also emphasized as a integral part of being on the team.
Shannon Taylor, Head Coach, Boys Varsity
Randy Burch, Assistant Coach, Boys Varsity; Head Coach, Boys JV Red
Scott Wilde, Head Coach, Boys JV White
Tyke Campbell, Head Coach, Boys Middle School Red
Melvin Brickhouse, Head Coach, Boys Middle School White
James Brown, Head Coach, Girls Varsity
Mike Jensen, Assistant Coach, Girls Varsity
Mary Semler, Head Coach, Middle School Girls
Jamie Helmer, Assistant Coach, Middle School Girls
The Varsity Swim Team at North Cross has enjoyed unparalleled success winning 13 VIC Championships and six BRC Championships; last year the boys were the VISAA State Championship DII Runner Up. Many of the teams' swimmers have gone on to place in competitions at the state level—swimmers have accumulated more than 20 state titles. The team trains and competes at the Carter Athletic Center (CAC), on the North Cross School campus, in a six-lane 25-yard championship caliber swimming facility. The CAC hosts several swim meets each season against both schools in our conferences and the top public schools in the Roanoke Valley. Swimming also has a Middle School team who competes.
Jon Sirko, Head Coach, Varsity
Kirsten Erwin, Assistant Coach, Varsity; Head Coach, Middle School
Last year, Boys Wrestling returned to North Cross with three in number but dedicated, nonetheless. The boys were willing to wrestle in different weight classes, and use the season as a stepping stone to what hopes to be a larger team this year. Due to fluctuating interest, the team's feasibility is dependent on numbers each year.
Jason England, Head Coach
The Baseball program is dedicated to providing the student/athlete at North Cross School an opportunity for personal growth in a team atmosphere. The team competes as a consistent force among the twelve teams in the Virginia Independent Conference. The baseball program promotes a strong competitive spirit in a positive team environment. Players are drilled in the fundamentals of the game in order to achieve the highest level of high school play. The coaching staff stresses the value of developing quality individuals where strong character, honoring all aspects of the game, and maximum effort are the constant goals.
Coach Eric Lawrence has been coaching since 1989. As head coach of the Raiders he has maintained a winning percentage of .700 in the Virginia Independent Conference. Dave Dickerson has been coaching since 2001 (a former second baseman at King College) and is the father of former North Cross baseball standout, Wes Dickerson.
The North Cross Raiders play their home games on campus at Porterfield Ballpark.
Eric Lawrence, Head Coach
Dave Dickerson, Assistant Coach
Scott Smith, Assistant Coach
Befreido Barros, Assistant Coach
Middle School Coach
Ray Martin, Head Coach
North Cross School was one of the first four schools in the Roanoke Valley to play girls varsity soccer, and over the years has seen the popularity of soccer explode. The girls play in the Blue Ridge Conference which consists of 12 teams. Several public schools are also included in the schedule. The team was established in 1990 and since then, the team has won eight conference championships.
The North Cross School girls middle school soccer team works closely with the varsity team, focusing on improving soccer skills and teamwork. All students with an interest in soccer are welcomed into the program, regardless of athletic experience or background.
James Brown, Head Coach
Blair Trail, Assistant Coach
Follow the team on Twitter: @ncssoccer
Middle School Coach
Ryan Cook, Head Coach
The North Cross School golf program aims to allow male and female students to learn and further their golf skills/game in a non-competitive environment. Students, regardless of ability level, are welcome to join the team. In the match play component of our season, the best golfers will qualify to compete against other teams. The program aims to introduce the game to students so they may enjoy the sport for a lifetime.
Scott Wilde, Head Coach
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North Cross School is an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school founded in 1944 and governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.
North Cross School, 4254 Colonial Ave., Roanoke, VA 24018
(540) 989-6641 • (866) 294-6284 • (540) 989-7299 (FAX)
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North Cross School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or any other legally protected status in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid or employment policies, or any other programs administered by the School.
North Cross is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. North Cross School's ECP-1 and 2 are accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools who is recognized by the Board of Education pursuant to §22.1-19 of the Code of Virginia authorizes the Virginia Council for Private Education to accredit private nursery, preschool, elementary and secondary schools in Virginia.
North Cross is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling, The Cum Laude Society and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.