Cleveland’s Kory Hall does it all with best in City Section

Kory Hall, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior with strong hands, quick feet and the physicality of a boxer, might be the best high school football player few have heard of. He plays for Reseda Cleveland, not exactly a powerhouse in the city section.

Coach Peter Gunny was so concerned that another school might try to poach Hall during the offseason that he asked the boy if he would stay because otherwise he would have to make new plans for Cleveland’s offense and defense.

Hall replied he was staying, telling Gunny, “If I’m good enough, they’ll find me.”

There is no position Hall cannot play. He is primarily receiver and safety, but also plays punts, returns and kickoffs, can play defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, tight end, quarterback and running back.

“When my team needs me, I play center,” he said.

He could also start in basketball. He said he’s never run a 40-yard sprint for time but estimates he could run 4.4.

Last week, in the season opener against Granada Hills Kennedy, he had 12 tackles in a 27-12 win. Kennedy coach Troy Cassidy said, “We always knew where he was. He definitely has strong hands. He is athletic and physical.”

Hall grew up in Las Vegas with his mother and four siblings. He moved to Reseda two years ago. At the time, he weighed 225 pounds and was chubby from spending too much time sitting at home eating junk food and playing video games when students were unable to come to campus because of the pandemic.

He joined the football team, lost weight and started showing off his athleticism.

“I’ve got muscles now,” he said.

With an experienced quarterback in Emiliano Lopez, Cleveland could be a surprise team in the West Valley League.

“I love playing out there with my boys,” Hall said. “I feel like they all have my back.”

Gunny had every reason to worry about losing Hall because that has become part of life in the City Section. Promising young athletes are poached. Hall said several public and private schools approached him while he was playing seven-a-side football and made their pitch.

“I’m good where I am,” he said. “Cleveland is a great school.”

Hall could just be an amazing 17-year-old. He is the man in his house who helps take care of siblings aged 7 and 10 and does many chores.

“I clean and I cook,” he says. “I can wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, take out the trash, sweep. I can cook seafood and pasta.”

Forget his soccer skills – someone has to taste his baked salmon and watch his vacuum cleaning skills.

He said his older brothers were instrumental in preparing him for high school.

“I learned right and wrong from my older brothers,” he said.

He had seven touchdowns last season, including six.

Gunny said: “He’s probably the best player in town.”

Gunny added: “He can play and dominate in multiple positions. From a safe position he is extremely physical, knows his reads, flies around and plays at an extremely high level.”

Time will tell if Hall lives up to his manager’s support, but he said: “I have a deep passion for football. I’m stronger, I’m faster.”

And if someone needs a dish of spaghetti, he’ll deliver. Cleveland’s Kory Hall does it all with best in City Section

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