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A seven-year itch

Playoff football returned to Nesti Stadium for the first time in seven years, much to the delight of the Hall Red Devil faithful.
Playoff football returned to Nesti Stadium for the first time in seven years, much to the delight of the Hall Red Devil faithful.

SPRING VALLEY — Hall hosted its first home playoff games in seven years Saturday. It seemed like old times as the crown at Nesti Stadium scratched a seven-year itch.

The aroma of pork chop sandwiches filled the stadium.

The Hall stands were packed with fans dressed in red and white while others lined the fence at the end of each end zone.

Hall students rattled the fence railing of the student section and shook their thunder sticks.

The fans were riding the officials about the calls that didn’t go the Red Devils way.

Head coach Randy Tieman laughed when he was told the fans were all over the officials for a defensive pass interference that wasn’t called at the end of game.

“That’s Spring Valley. They’re passionate about the Hall Red Devil football team,” he said.

They would like to do this again next year and the year after. That’s what Spring Valley is all about.

Back on the map: The Hall senior class had come through with much hype after going 17-1 at the underclass level. They took a detour with a tough road as juniors with a 1-8 record and they lost some class members along the way.

The seniors who stuck it out this year helped put Hall Red Devil back on the map with their first playoff appearance in six years and first playoff win in seven years.

On the mend: Hall junior Tyler Taber made one rushing attempt and took a hard hit, knocking him from the game. He laid on his stomach along the sidelines, barely off the playing field. He was examined and soon taken to the hospital by an ambulance crew.

Tieman said Sunday afternoon that Taber sustained some internal bruising, but was home.

So close: Hall sophomore Dolton Booth, who dressed varsity this year, had to watch Saturday’s game from a chair along the end of the Hall bench. He sustained a broken tibia and fibula while playing in the sophomore game in Week 6 against Sherrard and faces a three or four month recovery.

Being so close to the action was hard to take.

“I wanted to be out there playing,” he said.

Honoring Al: Hall junior Al Baldonado was recognized during halftime of Saturday’s contest fresh off running down All-State honors in the IHSA 1A State Cross Country finals in Peoria. He placed 17th with a time of 15:38

Baldonado humbly took his place on the football field as his accomplishments were announced. He said later it was a great feeling to be honored like that by all his fellow students and Hall fans

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