Black History Month Banner Program Honoree: Willie “Boogie” Hall
Willie “Boogie” Hall once was counted among the nation’s top running backs, but his true legacy to his hometown is reflected in the lives he touched through teaching and coaching. Hall played football, basketball and baseball for Tivoli High School in DeFuniak Springs, additional holding membership in the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Association, from 1948-1952. “Boogie” set a single-game scoring record in football with 13 touchdowns and 468 yards, and scored 22 touchdowns and four extra points in two consecutive games. He was a three-time All-Conference selection. He received the NWFOA Award for the Most Outstanding Athlete twice. He was a two-team MVP in all three sports for Tivoli, scoring double figures in points and steals in basketball and consistently hitting for the cycle in baseball. He was a three-sport athlete at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and was offered a major-league contract by the Cleveland Indians in 1956. Instead of beginning a baseball career on a minor league team in Vidalia, Ga., he returned to Walton County to teach and coach for the next 36 years. He also played semi-professional baseball as a second baseman for the DeFuniak Springs Red Sox. He was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Hall was a dedicated community servant, coaching Pee Wee football teams, umpiring Little League baseball games, and serving nearly 20 years as a high school basketball contest official. He died in 1997 after a two-year battle with cancer.