Breisinger Award winner Hall ready for special role at Princeton
The Breisinger Award holds a special place in the Thomas Jefferson High School football program, so it's only fitting that this year's award went to Pat Hall.
Hall, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound senior center for the Jaguars, is a special player, literally.
Sure, the Princeton University-bound Hall is special in that he's top notch on both the football field and in the classroom.
But he's also developed into a specialist on the football field, earning a reputation as being one of the nation's most renowned high school long snappers.
The Breisinger Award is voted on by the Thomas Jefferson football players, and given to the teammate who best exemplifies what it means to be a TJ gridder.
“It's a great honor to be voted by my teammates to receive such a great award,” Hall said. “Year after year, you hear the story about (late Pleasant Hills police officer) Albert Breisinger, so it really is a true honor to win the award that is in his memory.”
Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson's head coach and athletic director, said Hall is more than deserving of the honor.
“He's been a leader on and off the field,” Cherpak said. “He's a great student, an excellent football player, and a great role model to all the other kids.
“It's not a football MVP award. It's voted on by the players, and Pat won it because he's someone the kids feel is representative of the team and of them.”
Hall has a 4.0 grade point average and was a multi-year starter along the offensive line for the Jaguars.
“He has been a three-year starter at center, and was the leader of our offensive line,” Cherpak said.
Hall emerged as an outstanding long-snapper, and it appears that position is where his football future lies.
“He's worked hard at (long snapping),” Cherpak said. “He's traveled around all summer, going to different camps. It's something he became very good at, and he enjoys it.”
Hall initially became a long snapper during his sophomore season.
“I was the starting center at TJ, and we didn't have anyone to be the long snapper,” he said. “The coaches said, ‘you're a center. Let's see if you can long-snap.'”
Hall showed a knack for it and began to nurture the craft. He went to specialist camps in locations at other states ranging from New Jersey to Florida.
Colleges notices, and Hall discovered he had opportunities to play snapper at schools across the nation. He ultimately chose Princeton because of his academic aspirations.
“I'm very excited about the opportunity at Princeton,” said Hall, who plans to study math or economics. “It's a (football) program on the rise, and there are a lot of young guys getting a chance to play early.”
Mt. Lebanon quarterback Tyler Roth also was recruited by Princeton.
“It's a great academic institution, one of the best in the country,” said Hall of his college choise. “I couldn't pass it up.”
Carroll, Schademan sign with colleges
Thomas Jefferson quarterback Joe Carroll and wide receiver Zach Schademan combined to be one of the most potent passing-receiving combinations in the WPIAL last season.
They will go their separate ways at the collegiate level.
Carroll will continue his football career at Robert Morris University, while Schademan signed with West Virginia Weslyan.
Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.