By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Pulaski County wide receiver Aaron Hall is part of a senior class that will play for a third regional title in four years next Friday night at Harlan County against the Black Bears.
Throughout his outstanding prep career, as good as he’s been on the gridiron for the Maroons, Aaron Hall has been in a ‘class’ by himself off the field.
Always with a smile upon his face, Hall has been the epitome and a prime example of a kid that always played athletics with great sportsmanship, while never getting down or feeling sorry for himself.
And — to be perfectly honest — Aaron Hall could have dwelled in self pity at times due to a physical handicap that he was born with, but he has always been as positive in every aspect of his life as an individual could possibly have been.
Hall suffers from limited use of one hand, but that has hardly slowed down this Pulaski County wide receiver and return man.
Heading into PC’s regional championship game this week at Harlan County, Aaron Hall has put up some pretty gaudy numbers in his career.
He has caught 94 passes for 1,110 yards and 11 touchdowns in his three seasons of varsity action for the Maroons, and he’s returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as well.
And, he’s done all of this playing with a physical handicap that would have sidelined most guys — however most guys are not Aaron Hall.
Off the field, Hall’s accomplishments are as impressive as his stats on it.
Hall is the president of Pulaski County High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as serving as president of PC’s student council.
He currently has a 4.2 grade point average in the classroom, but there’s even more when it comes to Aaron Hall.
When Somerset football players Jacobi Gilmore and Will Hinton were injured in a terrible car crash back on October 4th — the day before the Jumpers were to head to Danville to face the Admirals — Aaron Hall was the first person to approach PC head coach Johnny Hines about the possibility of the Maroons wearing a purple patch on the back of their helmets the very next night in the Maroons game at Madison Southern — something that Hines and Hall’s teammates agreed to do.
It’s for all of these reasons and many, many more that Aaron Hall was named recently as one of Kentucky’s 20 finalists for the coveted Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.
There were 1,170 students from the Bluegrass that applied for the award, but only 20 made the finalists list, and one of those 20 was Aaron Hall — something that didn’t come as a surprise whatsoever to the man that has had the privilege to coach this very special athlete and person for the past four years at Pulaski County High School.
“First of all, he’s a great football player for a kid that is playing with the disability that he has,” stated PC head football coach Johnny Hines.
“You really can’t call it a disability though, because he comes out here and runs by people and catches touchdowns,” added the Pulaski County coach with a broad smile across his face. “He’s a terrific little football player with a lot of guts, but he’s an even better person. In fact, he’s just a great person.”
Indeed, if you talk to anybody that knows Aaron Hall, it’s always positive, with nothing but good things to say about this special, special kid and player.
As for Hall himself, he says that being named as one of Kentucky’s 20 finalists for the Wendy’s Heisman Award is truly a great honor indeed.
“I’m very proud about it, but I couldn’t do it of course without God, my family, and my teammates,” Hall stated.
“I’ve been very blessed throughout my playing career, and have played with some great players, and I’ve enjoyed myself thoroughly,” Hall added.
As far as enjoyment goes, Hall says that for him, 2012 has been the year that he’s had the most enjoyment out of the game of football.
And, it’s not all been due to the Maroons posting a 9-3 record so far in a very surprising season — a season that has included a district championship and a berth in the regional title game coming up.
Aaron Hall says that for him, 2012 has been a blast since he’s catching footballs thrown his way by his little brother, Riley Hall, who is an outstanding freshman QB at Pulaski County High School.
“You know, I’ve played with three quarterbacks in my three years of varsity action,” stated Hall.
“I played as a sophomore with Zach Eastham, last year with Aaron Smith, and this year with Riley, which has been my favorite year,” Hall said. “Some of the stuff that we’ve done in games this year, takes me back to when Riley and I were younger kids throwing a football to each other in the backyard at home.”
If Pulaski County is lucky enough to advance all the way to the Class 5A state title game in a few weeks, then Aaron Hall will be guaranteed to play in only three more games for his high school career.
While the Maroons may be a decided longshot to advance to ‘The Carpet’ this season, there’s one thing that is undeniable.
While Aaron Hall may have been a ‘longshot’ four years ago to make an impact in the PC football program, he’s done just that — both on and off the field.
There may be other players down the road that will be bigger, faster, and stronger than Aaron Hall, but there will never be another player at Pulaski County High School that will be as good of a role model for younger kids out there both on and off the field than Aaron Hall.
Hall’s career may very well be coming down the backstretch, but his legacy and the mark that he made and will leave on the PC football program will be remembered for many, many years to come.
And that my friends is what a Heisman High School Award is all about.