Warren Central soccer star Hall signs with Gulf Coast

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2023

When she was a sophomore, Gloria Hall started to realize soccer was a sport she not only enjoyed, but might be good enough to play for a long time.

Fast forward two years, and she’s making it happen.

Hall, a senior striker for Warren Central, signed Wednesday with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s women’s soccer program. It marked the end of a two-year process and the high point of a lifetime in the sport.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“It’s amazing. I’m so grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to do this,” Hall said. “This is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was 4 years old, since I touched the ball for the first time. It’s so surreal that it’s actually coming true.”

Hall was the 2021 Vicksburg Post Player of the Year as a freshman, when she scored 20 goals, and has been knocking the ball into the net ever since. She has two goals in the Lady Vikes’ first three games this season, giving her 52 — and counting — for her high school career.

Hall said Gulf Coast coach Ryan Joiner has told her she’ll probably be a striker in college, but a move to midfielder this season has shown her a different side of the game.

“I want to play striker because I know how to do everything up there. But I love midfield,” Hall said. “In the middle you’re more of a playmaker, so you’re working with defense and your forwards as well. You’re getting more touches on the ball. It’s not you against their defense and the goal. I like that a lot.”

Hall was initially recruited by East Central Community College after attending one of their camps in 2021. Joiner, its coach at the time, was hired by Mississippi Gulf Coast earlier this year. Hall soon became one of the targets for Joiner’s 2024 recruiting class, and she decided to follow him to Perkinston.

A late offer from Hinds Community College was not enough to sway Hall, who had built a relationship with Joiner through two years of the recruiting process.

“It started two years ago, my 10th-grade year. I didn’t really know if I wanted to play, but then I kept falling more and more in love with the sport so I was like, ‘I’m just going to do it. I’m going to go tour colleges. I’m going to reach out to people,’” she said. “I sent a bunch of emails out, and the first tour at East Central was when I realized I love this. I love the fact of going out somewhere else, besides Vicksburg, and playing for a group of different girls.”

Besides playing for Joiner, Hall said she enjoyed her visit to Gulf Coast.

“I fell in love with Mississippi Gulf Coast the second i toured it. It’s the location. The coach is amazing. The program is awesome. Everything about it’s awesome,” she said.

Good word of mouth from former classmates helped influence her decision as well. Hall is the eighth Warren County athlete since 2020 to sign with one of Gulf Coast’s teams.

“I know a lot of people there,” Hall said. “They liked it and they stayed. I haven’t heard any bad things about it.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest