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Hall will continue playing football at WV State

Mark Martin
Sportswriter

In a conversation with Ripley High's Kadin Hall this past summer, you could see the look of concern in the young man’s eyes when discussing the COVID-19 situation and what it might do to his final year of football as a Viking. Hall had been a big-time contributor for Ripley in his sophomore and junior seasons under Eddie Smolder and was looking to go out with a bang in his final campaign under new head coach Steve Sayre. “I just hope we have a season,” Hall said at the time. He had dreamed for years of following in his father’s footsteps to one day be a Viking standout. Kevin Hall was an excellent running back/linebacker for Ripley back in the late ‘80s and is a member of the Ripley High School Viking Football Hall of Fame. Not only did Hall want to have the chance to soak up one more season of Viking football for the obvious reasons but also to give himself a shot at continuing to play the game on the collegiate level. Fortunately, it all worked out. Ripley managed to play a nine-game schedule, though, the Vikings were denied one regular season game and a postseason playoff encounter with South Charleston due to COVID-19 issues. Hall, as expected, was a vital part of Ripley’s 6-3 mark under Sayre, who had been an assistant on Smolder’s staff. Hall rushed for 787 yards and scored eight touchdowns in his senior season. He had four pass receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side from his linebacker position he collected 58 tackles. For his efforts, Hall earned Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention. “I can’t say enough about Kadin. He was so consistent and so tough running the ball and playing linebacker. Potentially, he was going to be a thousand-yard rusher had we played 10 games and a playoff game, I really think. We will miss his blocking, his leadership and effort,” Sayre said in an interview with Jackson Newspapers following the All-State balloting in December. Hall’s hard-nosed style of play and love of the game caught the attention of several coaches, including West Virginia State University. And in the end, the Yellow Jacket program of head coach John Pennington won out. Hall will become a member of the program at State this coming August. It is too soon to know where he will play for the Yellow Jackets. Versatility is certainly on his side with his running, blocking, pass-catching and tackling skills. West Virginia State is a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference. The league did not play football this past fall due to COVID, instead opting to have an abbreviated spring schedule starting in March. The hope will be to then have a full regular 2021 season. A season in which Kadin Hall looks forward to more normal times. And one affording him the opportunity to continue doing something he loves while not having to look over his shoulder and worry about the unknown.