Hall leads Bears with heart

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

WEST LINCOLN — He is small in stature but not in heart. West Lincoln junior Tyler Hall flew around the football field Thursday night making plays against a quick Amite County High School team. 

It was a rough senior night as Amite County shut out the Bears 44-0 but it was not all that bad. West Lincoln underclassmen walked up to their senior teammates to hug them goodbye. Hall will be in those same shoes in a year from now. 

West Lincoln will lose seniors Ryan Purdy, Will Harris, Baylor Sills, Logan Anders and Zackary Taylor. Hall’s words bore emotional weight as he looked over to the seniors. 

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“They pushed us everyday and never gave up even if we were down,” Hall said. “I take these seniors to heart. They are like family, they are my brothers. I know if I ever need anything I can call them. I’ve been playing football since I could walk so I don’t know how I will take it next year.”

He has already taken on a leadership role by being a spark plug for the football team. Assistant Coach David Gilbert said he wished he could take the heart and passion of Hall and put it in all of his players. They work hard but Hall brings something extra to the field as does Taylor. Gilbert said when they both make plays they pick the team up. 

Hall said sportsmanship, hustle and hard work motivates him in football. Late in the third quarter, Hall flew into the flat and made a low tackle to stop a sprinting Amite County player. He sprang to his feet and ran over to offer a hand up to the ball carrier he had just up-ended. 

After the game, Hall was the last player to get through the handshake line as Amite County players took time to compliment his play style. One told him they liked his hustle. He spent most of the game playing on offense and defense. 

“They respect me and I respect them. They helped me up and I helped them,” Hall said. 

MaxPreps list Hall as having a Five-foot and Three-inches tall frame and weighing in at 117 pounds. One thing the MaxPreps website does not have is a measure of a player’s heart. 

While Amite County slashed and gashed the Bears with speed, Hall was always up to the challenge and constantly reading the game trying to put himself in the best position to make a play. 

“He might be the littlest guy on the team but he has the biggest heart and plays so hard. He is an outstanding guy and plays his heart out. He will be a big senior for us,” Gilbert said. “He works hard and puts in the time. He needs to get the job done and that is the easiest thing I can say about him. He puts in the time and is always at practice, lifting weights. He loves it and thrives in it.” 

The loss ends the season for West Lincoln but they will soon return to work for the next football season. West Lincoln went 2-8 in 2023 and hopes to improve in the win column next season. 

Gilbert said they will get a few days off for rest before hitting the weight room again. Hall will likely be at every weight lifting session bright and early. He said they will see how the team comes together for next year. 

“We have grown a huge difference since last year,” Hall said. “We lost guys mostly on our line and we will have to start back like we did.”