Hall making Allen go
Senior RB coming off 282-yard effort against Pleasant Valley
Allen coach George Clay has been around Canaries football going back to his days as a player in the late 1980s.
He has seen a number of games and can’t remember a more impressive one than the rushing effort senior Gavoni Hall produced in a 41-14 win over Pleasant Valley. Hall rushed for 282 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns.
Was it a school record?
Clay said he wasn’t sure and planned to keep checking it. Regardless of what he finds, Hall’s performance was one of the best in Allen history and he hopes to add more just like it, starting with Friday night’s game at East Stroudsburg North.
“It was really a great experience to get all of those yards, but I have to thank the offensive line,” Hall said. “They really helped to get me where I’m at right now. When I scored my touchdowns, they were the first guys I high-fived.”
Hall credited Carlos Morales, Ivan Nieves, Johnnie Williams, Ricardo Mendes and Trevon Gaynair as the guys who created the holes he was happy to go through.
“The offensive line is a lot better,” Hall said. “Coach [Mel] Thomas has made a big difference working with the offensive and defensive lines.”
Thomas played at the University of Colorado and spent time in the NFL, including a stint with the Eagles. He’s hoping these birds can take flight just like the ones in Philly.
The Canaries are hoping to start a second straight season with a 2-1 record and extend East Stroudsburg North’s losing streak to 26 games.
But both Hall and Clay said the Timberwolves are improved despite being 0-2 and being outscored 99-6 in losses to Freedom and Stroudsburg.
Allen has not won more than two games in a season since 2005 and is no position to overlook anyone.
“Our mindset is to stay positive and just keep working hard,” Hall said. “We want to put our minds only on whatever we’re doing.
“Keep focusing on that. Nothing but positivity.”
Hall, listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, said he worked extra in the offseason to prepare for this season. Even when the team workouts were done, he went to Planet Fitness to continue lifting weights and run on a treadmill.
“Gavoni is a great kid,” Clay said. “All of the attention he’s getting may be making him nervous. He’s the guy who always tries to lift everybody up with a joke. Right now, though, he’s very humble.
“He has worked hard for his success. It’s not by accident. When he leaves practice, he goes to another gym and works on his own.”
Hall ran for 105 yards in the season opener against Emmaus.
The O-line is experienced and big. Nieves goes about 400 pounds and gets excited about blocking opponents.
The whole team is excited about getting out of the rut that Allen football has been in for most of the 2000s.
“They know we started 2-1 last year and didn’t win another game,” Clay said. “They heard it over and over again and they want more. It’s all about one week at a time, and they’re pushing forward and trying to get better. I’m excited to see where this season goes.”
He’s also excited to see where Hall goes.
Hall said he moved with his family from Staten Island while he was in middle school. He likes Allentown, likes Allen and sees the opportunities the school presents.
Asked about his future, he said he’d love to play in the NFL. His Plan B might include majoring in marine biology at NYU.
Allen began school this week and Hall immediately received plenty of congratulations and pats on the back from his teachers.
“It was a nice feeling, but I don’t let it affect me,” Hall said. “I am not the type of guy who tells everybody I got this, I got that. I just want to keep working and winning games. I want to stay humble.”
“We want to put our minds only on whatever we’re doing. Keep focusing on that. Nothing but positivity.” — Gavoni Hall, Allen running back