Hall leads by example for Warriors

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando football coach Bill Hall has built a strong tradition at the school.

That tradition has led to success year in and year out. It’s part of the reason that despite losing some key players from the 2013 state finalist squad, Sherando still had another solid year this season.

“We have a sign that hangs in our locker room, ‘tradition dictates a standard of excellence.’ We talk a lot about excellence around here in terms with football. We live by standards. You want to hold yourself to a higher standard. You don’t just want to wake up in the morning and just exist, you want to be fueled and driven to accomplish great things.

“So during football, that’s what they’re driven to accomplish. I think that tradition dictates that ‘Hey, we’re not going to be average.’ We try to model that as coaches, and I think our older guys model that. So it kind of becomes a culture of, ‘That’s how we know.'”

Hall, the Northern Virginia Daily’s 2014 Football Coach of the Year, leads his players in the right direction on and off the field.

“Coach Hall does a great job of organizing the guys and keeping everyone together,” Sherando senior Brogan McPartland said. “The fact that he’s always here, always on time, always on schedule, it really trickles down to the rest of us. We have no choice, even if we didn’t want to be on time, because we know he’s going to be on time — we know what he expects. I think that’s probably the best part about his leadership role. That he sets a great example and that we all have to live up to that example, or try our best.”

Hall said that every year is different and every team is different. The Warriors had a big senior class and players back from last year’s team, but not necessarily with a lot of experience.

Hall said he was proud of what the team accomplished, which is about more than just the 9-3 record.

“I think looking back on it, it was very rewarding that we were able to transition a new crop of kids and blend them with some guys that had experience and success the year before,” Hall said. “More importantly than football is did we prepare these guys in terms of teaching them the fundamentals of how to be successful in football, which equates to the fundamentals of how do you be successful in life. And I feel like we accomplished that.”

The Warriors battled back from deficits several times this season, including a furious fourth-quarter rally against Handley.

The Warriors trailed 29-14 late in the third quarter, but scored the last 29 points for a 43-29 win. Hall said overcoming adversity was a real positive sign for the team.

Hall said the success during the season started in the offseason.

“We have a lot of really good players, but we’re successful because of what we put in in the offseason and the type of relationships we have with our players. That’s what allows us to be successful,” Hall said. “If we don’t put in the time in the weight room and we don’t have those relationships, then we don’t have what we need to be successful — we have a very average program. Our guys know that. But it’s one thing to know it, it’s another thing to go and do it.”

Sherando had 23 seniors and he said they made their own mark at the school.

“This group did a good job just in terms of persevering,” Hall said. “They’re a group that was going to work and be extremely committed. They were a group that was not going to accept not being successful. They were a group that could respond to adversity and adverse situations, and they proved that time and time again.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com