Former East Bladen Head Baseball Coach, Russell Priest, passed away on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at the age of 73. He was a graduate of Elizabethtown High School and Pembroke State College, where he majored in physical education. He served the students and student-athletes of Bladen County Schools for more than 40 years. The baseball field at East Bladen was named in his honor (Bladen Journal).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the East Bladen High School Russell Priest Endowment Fund, 5600 Highway 87 East, Elizabethtown, NC 28337 or the Bladen County Shriners Club, P.O. Box 1835, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.