Hall source of Bulldog power, productivity

By Jamie Combs
SPORTS EDITOR

   For opponents of the Hampton High football team the prospect of tackling Jeremy Hall, a hard-charging senior fullback, must be as appealing as a plate of Brussel sprouts to a 5-year-old kid.
   For the second straight season, this soft-spoken player is letting his superb power do most of his talking. This year he's leading the Bulldogs on the ground with a total of 387 yards.
   "Jeremy's just there," said Hampton coach J.C. Campbell. "He doesn't make a lot of racket or any of that sort of stuff. He's just always there, and always dependable."
   Said Hall, "I just try to do what I can."
   Doing what he can also means slugging it out at defensive end, where Hall performed well enough to rank second for the 'Dogs in tackles both his sophomore and junior campaigns.
   Asked what he enjoys better, running over a would-be tackler or making a good hit, Hall said: "If I had to choose, I don't know which one I would choose. I like them both."
   On offense, Hall's physical presence has lately been on full display.
   In his last outing, Hall had his number (81) called 22 times, and he responded for 121 yards and a touchdown as Hampton defeated Unicoi County, 23-14.
   "It was real fun to come out and beat them on their homecoming and everything," Hall said. "That was a real confidence-booster going into the open week. We can build on a lot of stuff."
   Representing one-half of an effective backfield combination, Hall has paired with shifty tailback Michael Peterson since the start of the 2000 season.
   A year ago the two players teamed up to gain more than 1,500 yards on the ground, with Hall producing 594 while averaging a hefty 5.9 per carry.
   This season Hall and Peterson (382 yards) are doling out another heavy dose of bad medicine.
   "We help each other a whole lot by telling each other what would be better to do, like if a block is where it's supposed to be and which way to go," Hall said. "We kind of read each other."
   Even though he didn't come out for football as a freshman and had no middle school experience to fall back on, Hall instantly stepped into the starting defensive lineup during his first season at Hampton.
   He finished his sophomore year with 80 tackles.
   "I didn't know I would be able to come straight in here and play my sophomore year," Hall said. "I guess I had a little bit of talent or something."
   Taking up one end of the Bulldog defensive line, Hall still finds the position to his liking.
   "I can kind of see everything that's going on from the standup position," said Hall, who added another 65 stops his junior campaign. "And I can be aggressive."
   It's been a solid career for Jeremy Hall, and the proof is in the numbers.
   In just over 2 1/2 seasons, Hall has deposited exactly 1,200 yards rushing and 164 tackles into the Hampton football account.
   Coach Campbell is certainly appreciative of these fine contributions.
   "Jeremy's had a very solid career," Campbell said. "He came out when he was a sophomore and had to start right off the bat. He had to learn to play at the same time. Jeremy's always been very solid, and he's an awful good boy."