Editor's Note: Ed Hall's name appeared incorrectly in a previous article written about him in Wednesday's Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald.
By Rory Sharrock
It's a new season of football at Mt. Zion High School, however, there's a Clayton County oldie but goodie working the sidelines as assistant coach under head man Jarrett Laws.
Former Morrow High School star football player and class of 1987 graduate Ed Hall, who previously worked for Mt. Zion coaching legend Jackie Green, has returned to the game as a wide receivers coach for the Bulldogs.
Hall's Xs and Os knowledge, combined with Laws' pass-happy offense, is a match made in football heaven as both men hope to Mt. Zion soar to new heights in 2008.
"With a receivers coach like that, on top of everything else, it's less about what he knows, and more about how excited he is," said Laws. "He gets the kids excited about playing. I think that's more important about a coach than anything else."
It's this passion and excitement that fuels his fire way beyond teaching proper route running techniques. Hall is a living testament of inspiration and he's penned is the perfect script for success.
In 1985 during his junior year with the Mustangs, Hall took on a battle for his life after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer had spread to his stomach and lymph nodes, which forced him to sit out the season to undergo chemotherapy.
However, all was not loss in terms of life and football.
Although he missed his entire junior season, Hall made a glorious return to the gridiron as a senior, was named as an All-Region receiver and earned a scholarship to play for the University of West Georgia.
"My life wasn't in immediate danger, but it was going to take a fight to beat the disease," said Hall. "The doctors said you're going to survive, but football is not in your future. I came back and played, went to West Georgia and 23 years later I'm back coaching in the county I grew up in. It's sweet justice."
Hall is a life-long Clayton County resident and his devotion to the region extends to off-the-field business activities. His computer skills rivals his football intelligence, and he's used those talents to work in information technology for the school district.
Now, that he's back in his element of coaching, he can begin to share his wisdom and strategies of what it takes to be a winner on the field and good teammate in the locker room.
"For him (Hall) to be a link to the past is very important to me because I'm trying to get the kids to understand how the history of Mt. Zion," said Laws.
"Anyone who can overcome cancer, this (pratice) is minor. It shows the kids that the problems they face are minor compared to what he's been through. As long as they can use him as an inspiration, it makes us better," said Laws.