Forget awards & records, Hall has more to prove

Published 2:44 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

Coal Grove Hornets senior running back and linebacker Chase Hall signed a letter-of-intent with the Ohio University Bobcats. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, father Bob Hall, mother Teresa Hall, Chase, sisters Alexis and Kaitlin; standing left to right, coaches Shaun Smith, Jordan Lucas, Jarred Keaton, head coach Jay Lucas, Chuck Price, Justin Castle and Kyle Sites. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

COAL GROVE — One look at the high school resume of Chase Hall and all his accomplishments are staggering.

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Despite all the Coal Grove Hornets’ senior running back and linebacker accomplished, he still believes he has something to prove.

Chase Hall

Hall had plenty of suitors such as NCAA Division 2 programs Gannon University, Alderson-Broaddus, West Virginia State and Fairmont State with preferred walk-on offers from Marshall and Eastern Kentucky.

But after visiting Division 1 Ohio University and studying the program, Hall said it was a slam dunk.

“I just couldn’t go past OU,” said Hall. “That’s where I’ve always wanted to go since I was little. I just love it up there.

“They have a really good campus up there. They have an indoor facility. It’s really nice. All their facilities are top-notch.”

And then there was that little matter of still wanting to prove something.

“Mostly the challenge. Most people said I was never going to go to Division One football,” said Hall. “‘I want to prove them wrong and show them what I can do.

“And it’s close to home. Gannon is six hours away. I’m not driving six hours away and be that far from home. They said I might be red-shirted my first year. They said I could earn a scholarship from special teams. So, I’m just going to have to get out and work my butt off.”

Coal Grove head coach Jay Lucas said this is a big opportunity for Hall and he expects the All-Ohio standout to meet the challenge.

“It is, but the big thing about Chase is he’s a fantastic football player but he’s an exceptional young man and we’re really proud of all the things he’s been able to do for Coal Grove, but we’re looking to seeing what happens at Ohio University.

Hall set the Coal Grove all-time rushing record for a single season with 2,976 yards. He also had the most rushing touchdown in a season with 46 and most touchdowns in a season with 49 and most points in a season at 334.

Hall was the Southeast District Division 6 Offensive Player of the Year, first team All-Ohio and the Associated Press D6 Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Marco Cirigliano of Columbia Station Columbia

While all those numbers point toward a spot on the depth chart at running back, Hall said he will begins college career on the other side of the football.

“They’re looking at me at linebacker right now, but I could easily play anywhere they want me to. I could go back to a down safety if they need me or down as a defensive end if they need me to,” said Hall.

With the spread offense that returns quarterback Kurtis Rourke, the Bobcats won’t be changing the offense to a run-oriented attack next seasons which is one reason Hall wants prefers a move to defense.

“It’s more passing than running (in college). You might get five carries,” said Hall. But they have a lot of walk-ons who go big from up there. They’ve got a really good program.”

Oh, and there is another reason for the switch.

“You get to hit people really hard without getting into trouble,” Hall said with a grin. “My goal is to eventually be a starter.”

As a linebacker Hall had 164 tackles including 93 solo stops. He had 4 sacks and 9 tackles for a loss along with an interception.

Lucas thinks Hall will be successful at Ohio based on the character he has shown on and off he field during his time at Coal Grove.

“I think he’s a special player and I think he’s going to be an outstanding player (for Ohio),” said Lucas.

“The one good thing about Chase is no matter what the accolades were, he always understood it was a team thing. He had to have those lineman making those holes for him to run through. And as far as a teammate, he was a fantastic teammate and all those younger guys look up to him. He’s a good role model for those kids to look up to.”

Hall said he treasures his time playing for the Hornets and said no matter what happens in the future won’t be able to diminish what he experienced at Coal Grove.

“The time here will never be topped,” Hall said with a smile. “This is the place that I’’m always going to love. I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to top what I’ve done here. The players and coaches here are like a family to me.”

Hall plans to major in criminal justice and eventually become a game warden.