By Thomas Sellers Jr.
She’s been an unsung hero.
2018 Millington Central High School graduate Paige Hall has even been a role players on her teams. Then there were times Hall had to be the MVP and star. Whether it was Lady Trojan championship volleyball teams or developing Millington Softball squads, Hall was vital to the success.
The daughter of Derrick and Karen Hall approached her athletic days at Millington as a chance to serve the team and do what was best to win. That attitude brought awards and scholarship offers resulting in Hall signing with Williams Baptist for Volleyball.
Additional honors have come to Hall’s surprise including the 2018 Millington Star Female Athlete of the Year.
“I was very excited when I got the call,” Hall Said. “I honestly really didn’t expect it. I was happy to be on the list. When I returned the call I was like, ‘Hey this is awesome.’
“I’m pretty sure all the girls on the list worked as hard as I did,” she added. “And I believe that every practice I went to, I put in a lot of hard work and dedication. I had a bunch of support along the way with my coach and all the girls on the team made me better as well. I put in a lot of hard work to get here.”
Hall also credits teammates, coaches, faculty, administrators, friends and family for her reaching her goals. Paige is the second child with older sister Ally and younger siblings Connor and Sadie.
“A lot of it has to do with my family,” Hall said of her leadership skills. “My sister, I always looked up to her when she played volleyball. She was always a leader on the court and off the court. And my parents have always shown me leadership with their ability to teach me, encourage me more and more everyday to be a leader. I am so thankful for that.”
Karen was consistent in her support of Paige by attending games, investing time behind the scenes and strengthening her spiritual foundation through the First Baptist Church in Millington.
“We go to church,” Paige said. “That was a big part of our relationship, getting to know more about the Lord. We’ve always been close and I appreciate everything she’s done for me. It makes me appreciate her everyday.”
Derrick is known throughout the community as a Millington Fire Department Battalion Chief. At home he is known as the Dad.
“He was the father-figure I needed growing up as kid and as a teenager,” Paige said. “He gives me all kinds of advice about many things. He helped around the house and he was always a leader of our family.”
The lessons from Dad, Mom and Ally have made Paige realized Connor and Sadie are watching her steps on and off the court and field.
“Connor, he’s getting into the sport stage,” Paige noted. “He’s playing soccer. I’ve gone to some of his games. He’s going into high school. So he’s about to get that high school experience with sports. I hope as he watched me play volleyball and softball, he looked up to me.”
While she played volleyball and softball, Paige admired Head Coach Whitney Horton. Horton, known for her years of experience in softball, took on the challenge of leading the Lady Trojan Volleyball team.
In her first and only season of coaching volleyball, Horton led Millington to the best finish in school history. The Lady Trojans won the District 15-2A regular-season and tournament titles. Then Millington won the school’s first Region title with Hall earning MVP.
“She’s always been there for me through everything,” Hall said of Horton. “She’s taught me so much in every sport I played. I’m definitely going to miss her going into playing college sports. She’s also one of the people who has taught me how to be a leader.
“She’s taught me everything there is to know about softball,” she continued. “Even though she didn’t know much about volleyball, she was still there. And she supported me through everything I did. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her.”
Softball came natural for Hall with her batting average improving and fielding vital to the defense of Millington.
The stats in both sports garnered attention of college coaches across the United States. Horton fielded phone calls from multiple skippers and volleyball coaches. Then she informed Hall of an opportunity from Williams Baptist.
“I went and I tried out,” Hall recalled. “I really like it — it’s a small school. It was very organized and they seem like a very nice school. I tried out for both of them and made the teams for both of them. They offered me a good amount to play both.
“But I just realized I wanted to play volleyball more,” she added. “I wanted to put more of my time in playing volleyball. The volleyball coach said I could come and play for them. And he gave me a very good offer. I was very thankful for that.”
That signing marked Hall preparing for the next chapter in her life.
“I’m going to have to put in a lot of hard work in order to be able to play,” Hall said. “That’s what I am doing right now as well. When I get there I’m going to have to bond with the girls on the team.
I’m going to have give good effort no matter what is going on.”
She graduates from MCHS with a Hall of Fame legacy including a No. 7 ranking in her class and 2018 Winterfest Queen. Hall shared the field with fellow seniors Kaylee Bone, Emily Dickens and Keyanna Jones. And the lasting part of her Black and Gold legacy will live forever with two banners earned with classmates like Olivia Ballard, Addison Coulter, TZ House and Lily Morton.
“They mean a lot,” Paige concluded.“The first banner was with my sister. That was her goal to put a banner up on the wall. And we did. My senior year, I bonded back with all the girls from my junior year. We had really strong friendships and practices. We just worked together as team. Every time I look up on the wall, I’ll see all the memories we made together as a team.”
2006 Whitney Robison Brighton
2007 Amber Gatewood Brighton &
Whitney Malone Munford
2008 Cali Overbeck Munford
2009 Michele Brown Millington
2010 Crystal Williams Munford
2011 Britt Sanford Brighton
2012 Julanne McCommon TRA
2013 Sami Jo Schulz Munford
2014 Jodie Duncan Munford
2015 Maddison Welch Munford
2016 Taylor Beasley TRA
2017 Gabby Crawford Munford