Feeling like home: Kadin Hall is getting an early stay at WVSU

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers
Ripley's Kadin Hall (32) will suit up for the South Cardinals tomorrow (Saturday) in the annual WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic.

All of us at times have heard of “old home week.”

Well, now welcome aboard to something called “new home week.”

It is something Ripley High School graduate Kadin Hall is enjoying as part of the WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic.

The two teams have been practicing and living on the West Virginia State University campus in Institute since Sunday leading up to Saturday’s game in South Charleston.

The kickoff is set for 12:05. The game will be televised live as of the Par Mar Friday Night Rivals North-South Classic Edition on WCHS-TV (the local ABC affiliate)

Hall, an outstanding running back and linebacker, will soon be living permanently there as he becomes a student and football player for WVSU.

“I’m going to stay here and play at State, so it’s good to get to experience the campus,” Hall said while at a South practice. “This will get me familiar (with the surroundings) before I come down here in August.”

Regardless of whether he would be attending State or not, Hall is thrilled beyond belief to get this opportunity at State to suit up with some of the best high school football seniors from the season of 2020.

“Honestly, I was just really excited to get the call because you know this whole year has been crazy (due to COVID-19),” he said.

Hall and his Viking teammates fought through the COVID season to finish with a record of 6-3 and qualify for the Class AAA playoffs. Ripley’s schedule had to be tweaked along the way due to the state’s color-coded map, which determined whether schools of the 55 counties could play or not play.

The map ultimately did the Vikings in and their scheduled playoff game with South Charleston, who became the eventual AAA champion, was cancelled because of the map.

Ripley’s game against SC was slated for Black Eagles Stadium, the venue for the North-South Classic. So Hall will after all get to play in the stadium while representing Ripley.

“You never know when your last game might be and I’m just thankful to be in this game,” he said.

He adds his name to a long list of former Ripley Vikings to take part in the contest.

“I just wanted to be one of those guys,” said Hall, who rushed for 787 yards on 145 carries and scored eight touchdowns this past season for Ripley. He also caught four passes for 45 yards and had a TD reception.

On defense, Hall collected 58 tackles.

Hall also played basketball and baseball at Ripley. He garnered the school’s prestigious Male Athlete of the Year.

Making this moment in life for Hall extra special is being in Institute with high school teammates Quinton Joyner and Matt Moore (see their stories elsewhere on sports pages).

“Quinton’s my roommate. I wish me, Matt and Quinton could all be in the same (dorm) room, but it doesn’t work like that,” Hall said. “It’s special to have this bond and have the same experience with these guys.

“It’s just a fun experience in this game. I never thought I was going to be in this game honestly, but I am and I’m enjoying it.”

And all the while starting to feel right at home on the West Virginia State campus.