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Edens steps down as Bruins head coach

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After four seasons, Noah Edens has announced his resignation as head baseball coach at Beddingfield High.

The 39-year-old Edens recently informed Beddingfield athletic director Jody O’Neal and outgoing principal F.T. Franks of his decision. Before assuming direction of the Bruins program of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference, Edens served as an assistant for head coaches John Galeazzi and O’Neal.

“It’s time for somebody else to give it a try,” Edens said in an interview Friday. “The way I approached it didn’t work. Maybe somebody else can come in and get kids to come out that I couldn’t get out and do a better job of preparing them.”

Edens will continue to teach at Winstead and Stantonsburg elementary schools and function as an assistant coach for the Beddingfield varsity football team. His intention is to return as the head Wilson American Legion baseball coach in 2020.

Edens’ resignation from Beddingfield baseball completes a span in which Bruin head coaches in football, boys basketball and baseball all relinquished their posts in consecutive months. Alumnus James Ward tendered his football resignation in May to become the coach at 4-A Raleigh Wakefield, while boys basketball Joe Dvozenja departed in June for a teaching and coaching position in New Mexico. Both positions have since been filled.

The product of Charles B. Aycock High was a right-handed pitcher for CBA, Lenoir Community College and the University of Mount Olive. Edens earned his degree from Mount Olive in 2002. He is married to the former Chelsey Byers of Fremont and they are the parents of a son, Nash, age 4; and a daughter, Bennett Gray, age 2.

O’Neal noted he and Edens are friends and said Edens, as an assistant, expressed the desire to become a high school head baseball coach. Edens landed the head Beddingfield position when O’Neal resigned.

“I saw that as a great opportunity for him,” O’Neal commented. “I would like to see him continue to coach, but I completely understand his decision. He knows the game of baseball and relates well with the kids. He did all he could with what he had.”

The Bruins won four games his first season and doubled that output in 2017. Beddingfield managed a half-dozen wins last season but went without a victory in 2019.

During Edens’ 15 years with the program, Beddingfield fielded a junior varsity team only twice and Edens’ largest roster was 14 players. He started the 2019 season with 12 players and wound up with 11. Numbers were also low this past season at Speight Middle, the main feeder for Beddingfield.

Adversity repeatedly intervened.

The Bruins solidly positioned themselves for a playoff berth in 2017. However, they had to play four games in the final three days. They needed three wins and managed a pair. Last season, an injury sidelined a standout player the entire season. Another experienced performer was shelved with an injury late in the season and elected not to play in 2019.

“If it could happen, it happened out here,” Edens lamented.

The departing coach described his players as “character kids” who attempted to do everything asked of them.

Edens reflected on his tenure by noting: “I enjoyed it. I coached some really good character kids. They tried hard and were very coachable. But at the end of the day, we haven’t been blessed with a lot of baseball players.”

Beddingfield’s program folding, Edens fears, is a real possibility because of the “possible lack of interest and the lack of baseball players making it to Beddingfield.”

Edens adds: “I would like to coach again some day — but not right now.”

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