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Hot shooting Cross is top athlete
Jan AOM - Liz Cross 1B825A
January’s top athlete Liz Cross with coach Michael Butler. - photo by Photo by Joe Holloway
Bryan County High School basketball star Liz Cross has a lot to be proud of. Her strong community and school involvement aside, Cross is an undeniable powerhouse on the basketball court. That’s why she’s the first Bryan County Athlete of the Month for 2007.
If you follow Bryan County basketball, then you have seen her in action. She is a proven dominant scorer for the Lady Redskins, not only for the month of January, but for the season as a whole.
“I give 150 percent at every practice, and I try to apply it to the game,” said Cross. “I’ve always been very athletic. I hate to sit still.”
Last year, she took home basketball awards for best offensive player and for outstanding academic and athletic achievement in addition to the high point award for track and making region 3-A second team for basketball. She won the Red Bowers Award for basketball in her freshman year.
“I coached Cross ever since she was in the eighth grade, and she went to the Georgia state playoffs with me her freshman and sophomore year,” said former coach Johnnie Miller. “She had to grow up fast, as she was a starter her freshman year.”
Cross overcame the adversity of a potentially career-ending knee injury her sophomore year. She stayed active by wearing a knee brace throughout her sophomore year.
“That injury slowed her down a little bit, but she moved right back up to the top and is right up there with the best athletes in the region,” said Miller. “She can hold her ground and run the floor with anyone. Liz is really the ideal athlete that anyone would want to coach. I wish I could’ve taken her with me to Tattnall (laughs).”
“She’s been great to work with,” said current coach Mike Butler. “She’s probably the best female athlete at the school, and a good student to boot. She’s very involved in many activities and clubs at the school, yet she still finds the time to fully dedicate herself to the sport.”
Off the court, Cross volunteers her time to a number of worthy causes. She is the assistant president of the Mount Moriah Baptist youth group, she tutors young children, she volunteers at the senior center, she maintains a lead roll in BCHS’s ROTC – all the while maintaining an A average in academics at BCHS.
“Liz has been a leader both on the court and off the court at Bryan County High School,” said BCHS Assistant Principal Rod Bachman.
Cross’s father Charles is on the front line of her achievements. Last year, the high school awarded him the Redrock Award to recognize him for his participation.
“She really loves her father; her father is her idol,” said Miller. “He follows her to the games and is very supportive.”
“She regards the game of basketball very seriously,” said Charles Cross. “She tries to lead by example, and it seems to be working for her as, most of the time, she scores the most points in a game.”
Liz, a senior, is currently looking at colleges where she hoping to pursue a career in message therapy. “I wanted to solely concentrate on that. Everyone’s been riding me to play basketball in college though, so it’s not totally out of the question.”
She has certainly displayed the integrity, drive and determination necessary to have a bright future in whatever path she takes.
“She has some strong leadership qualities,” said Miller. “She’s going to make it in life.”
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