FC junior Logan Hall has sports in his blood, and as he approaches the 2015 Iowa State Boys Basketball Tourney in Des Moines, the history isn't far from his mind.
Logan's grandfather, Gene Hall, was a member of the 1954 Fertile Indians state tourney team, coached by Edward Colbert. Play in the state tournament at that time was held in the Iowa City Field House. The Fertile Indians, decked out in their red and black school colors, were playing in their second consecutive tourney, having been defeated by Ottumwa 55-45 in 1953 tournament play.
Back in the day, all 16 schools invited to the tournament were in one class, regardless of size, and sectional, district, and substate games were based on a 5 year daily attendance average. Fertile had a daily average attendance of 63 students and entered the tournament with a record of 32 wins and 2 losses. Wales/Lincoln (45 students) and Slater (54 students) were the only smaller schools. Des Moines Roosevelt was the largest, averaging a daily attendance of 1,175 students. Five of the schools in the 1954 tournament averaged 81 students or less.
State tournament experience and participation has a long blood line in the Hall family, and Grandpa Gene started it all. Gene even dated Judie (Haugen) Hall in high school, who was the post player for the Fertile girls basketball team. They dated throughout high school, married in 1959 and the rest is history.
Logan's Uncle Tim high jumped in two state track meets, and Uncle Tracy ran on state final relay teams. His Dad, Troy, also participated in the state track meet four years running, and was a member of the 1984 FC championship baseball team.
Logan's sister, Bethany, qualified twice for the state track tournament and his brother, Nick, played on the FC football team that qualified for state play-offs.
Cousins then followed the example of their grandfather and their parents. Chris Hall (Tim) was a member of two-time state golf championship teams at Newman High School and played in the football state championship game, finishing as a runner-up. Casey Hall (Tim) was a member of the Newman high baseball championship team and played in a semi-final championship football game. Cousins Austin, Brady and Hailey Horner (Tammy Hall Horner) followed suit. Austin was a state wrestling qualifier who had a fourth place finish for Clear Lake High School, and Brady was a three-time state wrestling qualifier for Clear Lake. But the girls didn't slack off either. Hailey Horner was a member of the Clear Lake High School girls state golf qualifying team. Nowadays, the Hall family just sets their cruise control to head to Des Moines.
Sadly, grandparents Gene and Judie won't be there to see Logan play in the 2015 tourney; they passed away in March, 2014 and June, 2004, respectively. But you can bet they will be there in spirit, watching and cheering from above. Count on it.