Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Sisters Meagan Hall, left, and Maddie Hall pose for a portrait at Wesleyan School in Norcross on Thursday. Senior Meagan and sophomore Maddie have heavily contributed to the success of the girls soccer program at Wesleyan School this year.
Chad Hall was a standout football player for the Norcross private school in the early 2000s. Jenny and Erin Hall were parts of the girls basketball program's long history of state titles. Lauren Hall was a state champion diver the past four years.
Now the Hall family name is taking over soccer.
Meagan and Maddie Hall have the team ranked No. 10 in the state and seeking a fourth straight playoff appearance.
"The cool thing I think about the Halls is that they are all good at different sports," Wesleyan girls soccer coach Lacy Gilbert said. "You've got basketball, diving, soccer -- they are not all playing the same sport. There's a little bit of balance."
Soccer games have become the family gathering spot for Halls this spring. Meagan and Maddie's father Greg, who played football at Furman, is the team's announcer for games. Their mother Leslie is the team mom and their younger sister Ellie can usually be found running around the sidelines. Grandparents and aunts and uncles usually occupy the stands.
"They are a very close-knit family. They are all supportive of all the cousins," Gilbert said.
Because of the success of their older cousins, Meagan and Maddie bear the responsibility of upholding the family name.
"Especially at Wesleyan, it's such a Hall family name. You're expected to be a good athlete," Meagan said. "Everyone's like, 'You're an athlete because you're a Hall.' We have a lot of expectations on us. It's a good thing because it challenges us to keep getting better and working hard."
Chad Hall was a standout football player at Air Force and is now in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Jenny is one Wesleyan's all-time scorers in basketball and Erin led the Wolves to three state hoops titles. Lauren won four state titles in diving and set a state record. That's just a short list of successes from the long line of Hall cousins to play at Wesleyan that also includes Merritt, who helped Wesleyan to a state title in football and now plays for Georgia, and Kelly, who won basketball state titles in high school and cheered at UGA.
"It's kind of intimidating sometimes," Maddie said. "I remember when I was in middle school in PE and they were like 'Oh, so you're related to Chad and all of them.' I would get kind of scared. They did everything good."
Meagan and Maddie are holding up the family name pretty well in soccer.
Before the Halls joined the varsity team, the program had not been to the playoffs the previous two years. They've reached the postseason every year since Meagan joined the team. The physical senior midfielder has brought a toughness to the team.
"She's confident to dribble through people and knows she's not going to mess up. She sees the field very well," Maddie said.
Maddie is a sophomore forward/midfielder and has quickly grown into a leader in her short time on the varsity.
"She's really tough and she never gives up," Meagan said. "She's really aggressive and even though she's smaller than the rest of the people out there, she's not afraid to go up against bigger, stronger, older girls. She's not afraid of anybody."
The opportunity for Meagan and Maddie to play one final season together had a scare earlier this season. Meagan, who has recovered from two ACL tears, missed four games with a concussion.
"I know what it's like to not be able to play just because of a lot of different injuries I've had," Meagan said. "I've come back my senior year appreciating being able to play and being able to contribute. I think that's given me the drive and determination to leave it all on the field."
Meagan is back healthy and is one of 10 seniors for Wesleyan. The class has had its fare share of success, reaching the Final Four as freshmen. There's only a month left in the season, which means a handful of games left for Meagan and Maddie to represent the Hall name together.
"I've made sure to spend a lot of time with my family because it's going to be hard being away next year," Meagan said. "We are all really close. We want to make the most out of the time we have left."