PCHS hoops star holding his own on gridiron

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

For the last several seasons, Ryshaun Hall has been a star for the Pike County Bulldogs on the hardwood.

But in his last year in high school, he couldn’t resist being a part of the tradition of PCHS football.

Hall said he has spent his entire life in Brundidge and had to at least try to follow in the footsteps of the great players that played before him.

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“I have been here all my life since Kindergarten,” Hall said. “I have seen the program be great, and seen all those state championships. Watching all that made me want to be part of it. This is my last year, and I wanted to be out here with my boys to experience it all.”

Hall said that every time he takes the field, he glances at the scoreboard and sees the dates of Pike County’s five state championship teams, and is immediately “fired up” to be a part of next chapter of the historic program.

“It is a feeling that is hard to describe,” Hall said. “I am doing the same thing that James Jackson did, that Darrel Renyolds, that Chris Nickson did and that Steven Coleman did. I can feel them on the field every time out there. It is something that I never will forget.”

Over the summer, Hall, a senior, traded long-range jumpers and free throws for third-and-short and extra points as he transitioned to football in preparation for his senior year.

Despite the differences in the two sports, Hall feels that some of his hoops instincts have carried over to the gridiron.

“Physically there isn’t a lot, except for having quick feet,” Hall said. “But I do use my leadership skills. I never tell my teammates, on the basketball court or the football field, to do something that I either haven’t done or wouldn’t do.”

Pike County head coach Fred Holland said that many of the younger players look up and listen to Hall.

“He came on a little late this summer, but he is becoming a leader more and more every day,” Holland said. “Some of the younger guys look up to him, and he has been a hard worker for us.”

In last week’s 49-13 win over Goshen, Hall scored his first career touchdown. The big play, Hall said, was not his making.

“I actually ran the wrong play,” Hall said with a smile. “But when I score, I had to say thanks to all to Terrance (Cochran), Isaac (Nickson) and the rest of the offensive line for opening up that hole. If it wasn’t for them, the play would have probably lost yards. I just wanted to put some more up on the board.”

Holland said that the Bulldogs are tinkering with using Hall, and his dynamic athleticism, on defense during the season.

“He is improving every day as an offensive player,” Holland said. “We are are also working him some in some defensive packages. We feel that he can help us in a variety of ways.”

Pike County opens region play Friday night by hosting the Barbour County Jaguars.

Hall knows the players from Clayton well, and wants to keep the early-season momentum rolling in week two.

“I have never beaten them in anything my entire time here,” said Hall. “I want to get this year going good, and knock them off in everything this season. It all starts on Friday.”