The “Beef” Signs Scholarship: Sparkman’s Austin Hall To Play LaCrosse In Tennessee
HARVEST- Austin Hall has a unique situation among local high school athletics- He attends Sparkman High, but plays lacrosse for one of the school’s arch rivals in Bob Jones. To add to the already cloudy storyline is the fact he recently signed a scholarship to Tennessee Wesleyan University at a ceremony at his place of study.
At 5-foot-11 and 270 pounds, Hall is definitely a large physical specimen on the playing field. He’s always been the “biggest kid in the neighborhood” and understands confidence in sports is a necessity. He said, “I think I can do just about everything as this scholarship is the result of hard work.”
The sport of lacrosse is a club sport and not sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, which allows student-athletes to play for any team they choose, thus the reason for Hall playing for Bob Jones as Sparkman does not field a squad in lacrosse. He plays for the banner under Bob Jones, but knows his roots are set at Sparkman High.
Hall played baseball and football, but really stuck to his love for playing ice hockey, which he still plays for the unsanctioned high school sport under what is known as the Green Team. Many hockey players play lacrosse and his best friend talked him into playing the locally unconventional sport of lacrosse several years ago. He played different positions until his sophomore year when he switched to the position of goalie. Playing the previous positions Hall said helped him understand the game and prepared him for his current position in the net.
His Green Team on the ice rink is in mid-season and is currently on a seven-game win streak. He plays center on the ice and seems to possess great skating skills among his huge physical stature as he has the nickname of “Beef.”
The Bulldogs program at Tennessee Wesleyan is part of the NAIA and play in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. The royal blue/white squad is led by head coach Kevin Parker who is in his 11th season with the program. Hall expects to play as a freshman while he studies business marketing and will go the university with a 3.1 grade point average.
The son of Jason and Angel Hall also works part-time in concessions at the Von Bran Center.
He has played hockey for as long as he can remember as seven years ago his team, the Huntsville Chargers, played in a tournament in Lake Placid, New York, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics where the United States team, composed mostly of collegiate players, upset both the Soviet Union and Finland to win the gold medal in what has been called “The Miracle On Ice.”
“We played on the same rink as that Olympics and we even had the same locker room at Team USA as we won that tournament and it was something I’ll always remember,” said Hall.
He has suffered numerous injuries in both hockey and lacrosse and loves the physicality and competitiveness of both sports, especially lacrosse. Hall added, “I love the fast pace of the sport and I wouldn’t trade my experiences.”