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      Mullins basketball coach loses battle with cancer

      Mullins, SC - Mullins boys basketball coach Mark Gerald lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday. A longtime fixture in the Pee Dee, Gerald coached for more than 30 seasons, most of them at Mullins. He lead the Auctioneers to three state championship appearances, winning the title back in 1997.

      In 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer. But, continued to work to build character and leadership within the boys he's coached. He continued to coach up until last year. Mullins Principal Michael Stone released a statement regarding his passing:

      "It saddens me beyond belief that I announce the passing of Coach Mark Gerald. Coach Gerald got to touch the hands and face of his heavenly father today. He was a man of true honor, dignity, and a man who always made the best out of any situation. No matter what obstacles he faced, he continued to do for others. CoachGerald cared for others and lived his life to the fullest still by putting other people first and himself second. He did not want to burden anyone else with his troubles and continued to always keep a smile upon his face while dealing with his daily obstacles. Coach Mark Gerald touched the lives of so many students as a teacher, coach and administrator at Mullins High School. He has left a lasting, positive impression on so many and he will not ever be forgotten. He will truly be missed by many; especially the Mullins High School family and those students and players who he loved dearly. Arrangements will be announced at a later time. Please continue to keep the Mark Gerald family in your continued thoughts and prayers. We will miss you Coach! We will also keep running for you too!."

      Mark Gerald was 56.