This Friday is going to be a big day, and an even bigger night, at Halls High School, with the season opener football game on a brand-new turf field, and coach J.D. Overton didn’t mince words when he spoke to the Halls Business and Professional Association Aug. 15.
“We play Powell in three days,” he said. “That’s about as big as it gets around here.”
Overton and tailback Cooper Cook visited the group to give an update about the football program and many infrastructure improvements underway at Dink Adams Stadium. Overton said the football roster is “just north of 100 guys” this year, showing growth in just a few years’ time. That means one in every 11 Halls High students plays football.
“We have some special guys,” said Overton. “Except for being a husband and a father, being a football coach at Halls High School for young men like Cooper Cook is one of the greatest privileges of my life.”
Twelve of 22 starters are returning this year, 13 if you include the kicker, and eight players have been starters for three or more years of their high school careers.
“There’s lots of experience coming back,” Overton said. “Last year is the second year in a row that we lost in the second round of the playoffs. We’re not happy with that finish, but that’s not been done before since 1999 or 2000.”
Overton spoke about the new turf field sponsored by the Haslam Foundation and the renovated press box spearheaded by Gordy Noe of Pioneer Heat and Air.
“It’s the best-looking field I’ve seen. It looks magnificent,” said Overton. “The press box is an immediate upgrade from what we had.”
He thanked many people and businesses who helped with the projects, including Knox County Schools maintenance department, Carl Tindell and Johan van Tilberg of Tindell’s, Travis Kitts of Power T Graphics, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones and more.
But most of all, he encouraged everyone to come out on Friday nights for the Halls football games.
“We really look forward to seeing you guys out there,” said Cook.
Halls High School squares off against Powell, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at home.