Sports Spotlight: Hall Sparks Shoemaker Turnaround

KILLEEN (October 27, 2013) It's the day after the game and it's all smiles at Shoemaker. Coming off it's biggest win in years over district favorite Midway, the Greywolves weekly in-season Saturday workouts have been a lot more enjoyable this year.

"It always feels good after a win, you know," said linebacker Malik Clemons. "You used to being sad, you know, dragging around but you come in with high energy, ready to get in and get some work in and get ready for the next opponent next week."

"We just know we still have the same mindset. We know we still have to go hard to be able to win games," said defensive back Dwyane Williams. "We can't start being lazy now because we won some, we have to keep working."

A humble mindset from a group that has every reason not to be. With it's five wins, Shoemaker has won more games this season than in the previous four years, a 3-37 record. Two of those years were 0-10 seasons under previous head coach Ken Gray. In 2011 Killeen ISD hired former Harker Heights and Pflugerville Connally assistant Channon Hall to try and turn the program around.

"I knew a challenge was in front of me. I've seen it, I know the area, two of my kids were born in Killeen," said Hall. "So, I felt like giving a chance to give back and I knew we had some athletes at Shoemaker High School, so I just wanted to change the culture. Do what we can do, get the energy going over here and I knew good things could happen."

It took awhile for the good things to happen, but they slowly started to. Shoemaker ended it's then 31-game losing streak in the final game in 2011. In 2012, two wins. Despite losing it's best player, running back Johnny Jefferson who's at Baylor, things have finally come together in 2013.

"We were going to have no excuses no matter what. We're trying to win every ballgame we played, and that's what we worked for," said Hall. "But being smart enough to know that it was a process. And what's happening now, that process is coming to light. We started some sophomores my first year and now they're seniors and those guys are really coming on for us."

"This class that we have, class of '14, we really have a lot of good players," said quarterback Ziere Banner. "So, we came in with a grindset throughout the summer and hey, look what happened."

What happened is Shoemaker is in prime position to make the playoffs for only the second time in school history. It's last appearance came in 2008.

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