Sports Q&A: Danny Hall – Physical Education teacher and wrestling coach for Helena Middle School
Published 7:17 am Thursday, October 13, 2022
Q: How long have you been with Helena Middle School?
I’m beginning my second year at HMS.
Q: What led you to become the P.E. teacher and the wrestling coach?
I was a 3-sport athlete for almost half of my life. The lessons I learned from athletics were very instrumental in preparing me for life’s challenges. It’s hard to imagine not being a part of athletics and being part of a team. “Pride of belonging” is very important to me. I love spending time with my students and athletes. They keep me young. I do this job because I want to help kids grow into adults who can handle life’s ups and downs, especially the downs. As adults, we can look back in hindsight and say, ‘man, I wish I would’ve been better prepared for that,’ That’s what I try to do with my students and athletes on a daily basis.
Q: What do you love about coaching in Helena?
What’s not to love about Helena? I love building relationships with the kids and parents in this community. I love being a Huskie. I live in Alabaster, but I wear my blue and black no matter where I go. I have great pride in what we’re about in this town.
Q: What advice do you give your wrestlers before a match?
I just always try to lighten the mood. To be honest, once we get to that point “the hay is in the barn” as the saying goes. I try to make them realize how proud I am of them for all of the work they’ve put in up to that point, and then I make a joke about something to try to get them to laugh so they’ll relax and have fun. I try to help them manage the pre-fight jitters.
Q: What is a moment in your career with Helena that stands out to you the most?
That’s a tough question to answer because I’m just getting started. I’d have to say during last year’s state qualifying tournament in Montgomery. Our 120-pounder (Joseph Bratina) was going up against the 3-seed in the second round. Joey was seeded quite low (I think 12th or 13th) so he was by far the underdog. He went out and absolutely dominated. He crushed his opponent, pinning him in the first period of the match. It was a moment of validation for me. It helped me realize that I am giving them what they need in order to be prepared for tough matches. The seniors that have stopped by since we returned to training during the summer really mean a lot to me too. A couple of those guys have stopped by just to say hey and see how the team is doing. It warms my heart to see them, and they’ll give me grief for saying that if they see this, but I don’t care. They know they mean a lot to me, and I love getting to see them every time they stop by.