|For the love of the game|
|Written by Marshall Hughes | The Bison|
|Friday, 13 April 2012 09:07|
Most kids in high school go through those years without much to worry about. Doing schoolwork, extracurricular activities and kicking it with friends is usually what’s on the menu for the majority of teenagers.
Harding’s football equipment manager, William Hall, was a typical kid going to school and playing football at Central Arkansas Christian in Little Rock. His football career began when he was 6 years old. He loved it.
Fast forward 10 years. Hall was playing high school ball and was going through another grueling practice playing the scout team running back. His good friend, who happened to be an all-state linebacker, hit him hard and knocked him out.
“I blacked out,” Hall said. “I couldn’t move. It was one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had.”
After his diagnosis of a concussion, Hall underwent a CT scan and things quickly changed. The doctor rushed him in for an MRI in which a golf ball-sized benign tumor was discovered on the left frontal lobe of his brain.
“I was worried,” Hall said. “I didn’t know what to think. All that was running through my head was thinking about if I was going to survive this.”
Hall had surgery two weeks later in Little Rock. He lost the vision in his right eye and was forced to give up football.
“I love the game and really thought I was going to go somewhere with it,” Hall said.
After the surgery, schoolwork became more of a challenge. His ability to comprehend and process took several years to become normal again.
For this reason, Hall decided to take some time off after high school graduation and work before going on to college.
During his second year at Harding, Hall decided that he really wanted to be involved with the football program in any capacity. He went to head coach Ronnie Huckeba and asked about possible positions available. Huckeba asked him if he would be interested in being the equipment manager, and Hall immediately accepted.
“The most impressive thing about Will is that his work is strictly volunteer,” Huckeba said. “The players and coaches know this, and that endears him to us even more due to the fact that he is so unselfish about this work with the program.”
Hall’s favorite part of the job is game day.
“Yeah, I get an adrenaline rush when game day rolls around,” Hall said. “Being out there on Saturdays and being so close to the action, nothing brings happiness or joy to me quite like football.”
Hall was able to travel to Europe last summer with BAT, or Bison Athletes in Training, sponsored by special teams, safeties and strength coach Clay Beason.
“I went to Italy last summer and had a blast,” Hall said. “It was probably the best month of my life. That trip will live in my heart forever.”
Hall said his favorite thing about being the equipment manager for the team is the friendships he has been able to gain along the way.
“Will is a Bison through and through,” Beason said. “He is usually the first one down to the field house, and he is always asking if there is anything he can help with.”
Hall plans to continue as the Bison equipment manager for at least two more years while working on his coaching and teaching degree.
“The joy of being with the guys and having that brotherhood that we share … nothing can top that,” Hall said. “I don’t take it for granted. Those guys are always there for me.”
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 09:17|