Will Hall can’t wait to start working with his new players at West Georgia.
Hall was quickly hired to replace former coach Daryl Dickey, who said at the beginning of the season he would step down as coach and remain as athletic director. Hall was announced as the new coach eight days after the Wolves ended the season with a 6-5 record.
“They definitely had a plan in place, and we turned it around fast,” Hall said this week. “They targeted me. Things happened quickly.”
Hall led West Alabama to a 25-11 record and two Division II playoff appearances the past three seasons, including an 8-3 mark this year, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to coach a program with “facilities better than FCS schools, even better than some lower-tier FBS schools.”
West Georgia, which has about 12,000 students, features a 9,600-seat stadium that is five years old, and the adjacent 25,000-square foot athletic building includes a 7,000-square foot weight room and 3,000-square foot locker room.
“Really, at this level, there are not a lot of places like this,” Hall said. “The town, the school, the community and the university have a lot to offer.”
Hall, a former North Alabama quarterback who won the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2003, looks forward to working with QB Dallas Dickey (Carrollton), RB Seth Hinsley (Norcross) and first-team all-Gulf South Conference picks RB/KR Derick Seward, OG Garrison Ushery (South Cobb) and LB Tyrell Adams (Mays), among other returning players.
“I’m not coming into a situation that’s broken, but we need to take the next step to 9-2 and 10-1,” Hall said. “That’s the hardest step. You have to do it with great players, and we’ve got to get some more in here.”
Strong bond at GMC
Georgia Military College coach Bert Williams credits his team’s chemistry as one of the reasons the Bulldogs (11-0) are No. 1 and will play for the NJCAA national title.
GMC will meet No. 2 East Mississippi Community College (11-0) for the championship in the Mississippi Bowl at 2 p.m. Dec. 8.
“This team is up there with other teams we’ve had in the talent level, and from a chemistry standpoint, this is one of our better ones,” Williams said. “They prepared themselves well for this season, and they challenge each other.”
He added that RB Jovon Robinson, who led the NJCAA with 2,149 yards (195.4 yards a game) and 31 TDs this season, probably will return to GMC next year.
The Bulldogs led the NJCAA in rushing with 293.5 yards a game, and East Mississippi ranked third in passing at 358.2 yards, thanks to QB Dontreal Pruitt, who threw for 3,599 yards, 42 TDs and six interceptions.
Albany State senior S Dexter Moody (Emanuel County Institute) is the SIAC’s defensive player of the year after he had 45 tackles and three interceptions. Moody also was the MVP of the conference title game victory over Miles.
Albany State (6-4) was scheduled to play a CIAA team in the Pioneer Bowl on Dec. 7, but the game was canceled.
Golden Rams QB Frank Rivers, who transferred from Grambling, is the SIAC’s newcomer of the year, and Clark Atlanta RB Montavious Taylor (Carver-Atlanta) is the freshman of the year.
Taylor led the Panthers with 740 yards rushing and seven TDs.
Around the state
Mercer finished as the No. 2 rushing offense in the FCS, averaging 277.9 yards per game (Cal Poly ranked first with 308.8). Georgia Southern averaged 360.4 yards rushing, which would have led the FCS, but the Eagles weren’t included in the national stats because they are transitioning to the FBS. … LaGrange finished 5-5, its best final record since 2009, behind QB Graham Craig, who led Division III with 357.1 yards passing. He threw 32 TD passes, seventh nationally. … Point RB Rufus Mason rushed for 1,550 yards and was third in the NAIA in yards per game with 155. David Strickland was fourth in punting at 44.3 yards. … Valdosta State LB Chris Pope (Jackson) was selected first-team all-GSC for the third consecutive season. He finished as the GSC’s all-time leading tackler (372). … Reinhardt coach Danny Cronic is the Mid-South Conference West Division coach of the year and RB L.J. Stegall (Jeff Davis) is the offensive freshman of the year. The Eagles finished 6-4 in their first year and Stegall tied for the MSC lead with 17 touchdowns. … Augusta’s Paine College went 3-1 playing a club schedule and will play a full slate next year. The Lions are in the SIAC. … Savannah State (1-11, 0-8 MEAC) won one game for the fourth consecutive year, going 4-41 during that time.
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