As the head football coach of the Shoemaker Grey Wolves, Channon Hall has become accustomed to wearing navy blue. But this weekend he’ll be on the other end of the fashion spectrum.
Hall will lead the Red Team at the FCA Victory Bowl all-star game at Waco ISD Stadium. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and tickets and parking are $5 apiece.
Hall helped the team go 7-4 and make the playoffs for the second time in school history in 2013. He spoke with the Killeen Daily Herald’s Albert Alvarado about coaching in the game.
How excited are you for the Victory Bowl?
The first day (of practice) was today and we’re trying to mesh the skills of these kids, and coaches are great.
How different is preparing for the all-star game compared to preparing for a football game in the fall?
We went into the installation period kind of like we do with our young guys that don’t know the offense. We just put it in there and hope that they pick it up and give it to them piece by piece. The more they pick up, the more they add. We’ve got a bunch of smart kids on both the Red and Blue team and these guys are picking up things fast so we’re having fun with it as coaches.
How important is it for the community to come out and support the athletes in the game?
You get to see different kids from different classifications play and compete together and it’s pretty exciting. You get to see the kids you read about in all the papers you read about in Central Texas and you get to see them up close. It’s exciting, you get to have a good time and it’s some of those guys’ last football game so you get to see them compete.
How important is a game like this for kids looking for a college team to play with?
I just think it’s important, just the overall experience. I think the football game on Saturday is just a little piece of the puzzle for these guys here, this whole week and everybody that’s involved. They get to play football again, which is special. They get an extra game and their last game of their high school season, so that makes it special in itself.
Ziere Banner, Anfernee Hawkins and Antonio Mims are on the Red Team. How excited are you to coach them one last time?
It’s fun. You know those guys and those guys have been with me at Shoemaker since I first walked in the door. You just see them have some fun, be competitive and I hope they learn something special this week that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Do you think it’ll take some getting used to coaching kids from Copperas Cove, Belton, Harker Heights and Temple?
It’s fun, those guys are good. They understand it’s just a bowl game and we’re all one team, we’re all on the Red Team right now. Everyone bought into it, is having a good time and we’re trying to get a win for the Red Team.
With so many players from different teams, how do you go about putting together a playbook and defensive scheme?
Whatever we put in today, the kids picked up fast. We had a meeting today for about 30 minutes and we went and practiced for about two hours. Everything we gave them, they picked it up. It’s pretty neat to see those guys learn a new offense, a new defense and new language that quick. It’s exciting, those guys are buying in and they want to put on a good show. It’s fun for everybody and we’re going to have fun with it on both sides.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com