Talawanda senior trades skates for cleats


Photo by Kristen Morio

Jonathan Hall plays during the 21-22 season.

By Emma Cavoli and Lane Mameniskis

Talawanda High School senior Johnathan Hall grew up on the ice, playing youth hockey for 14 years. That changed the summer prior to his sophomore year when he had to make a choice between continuing with hockey or shifting his focus to a new sport. 

“I had to pick one summer between going to play hockey or playing for Resolute (premier Ohio lacrosse club) and I chose hockey,” Hall said.

But when hockey competition ramped up, Hall admitted he lost interest. 

“I kinda started not liking it so much when it started getting serious and I had to go to junior camps and all that stuff,”  Hall recalled. 

Jonathan Hall played hockey before switching to lacrosse. Provided photo

Hall spent the rest of that summer developing his lacrosse skills under the guidance of (then) Talawanda Brave senior and current Lawrence Tech University midfielder Grady Holmes. Hall credits Holmes with showing him what college recruiters look for in potential lacrosse signees. 

A true leader

Hall’s extra practice and devotion to the sport helped him stand out during the 2021-22 season. As a junior attacker, Hall led Talawanda last season with 47 goals. Despite his individual success, Hall is quick to give credit to his teammates, including junior Sam Olenick who led the Brave with 25 assists during the same season. 

“Yeah mostly because of everyone around me, like that was not all me,” said Hall.  

Tyler Hazelwood, a fellow senior attacker, said he sees his friend as both a gifted athlete and stand out guy. 

“I would say that he handles adversity really well,” said Hazelwood. “It doesn’t matter if he is going up against a really good player or the worst player ever, he is always playing the same way. He is always playing on top of his game, and it teaches other people to do the same thing.”

Life at home 

Raised in a strict household with two older brothers and a younger sister, Hall attributes his on-the-field leadership skills to what he learned at home. 

“We couldn’t have phones till we were teenagers, and went to church on Sunday,” said Hall. “I think that’s definitely helped with that leadership role. Other than that, I think it’s helped me stay out of trouble.”

His parents, Brandon and Angela Hall, instilled good behavior in their children by checking up on schoolwork and encouraging part-time jobs. Hall is currently taking college credit plus (CCP) physics, economics and literature courses at Miami University. 

“I only take three classes a day now instead of having seven hours a day here,” said Hall. I haven’t come to the high school for a day this whole year, except for practice and games.” 

Overcoming obstacles 

Although Hall does well in school now, that wasn’t always the case. He has dyslexia and struggled with reading and writing during his elementary and middle school years. With the help of Talawanda’s aid programs, he’s now able to balance athletics, school, and a part-time job at Miami’s Goggin Ice Center. 

Hall returns to his roots on the ice when working with his dad Brandon at the rink. He works mostly on weekends, driving the Zamboni and sharpening skates. His favorite part of the job is working on the ice maintenance crew during Miami RedHawk games since the job reminds him of when he used to play competitively. 

Hall admits that his decision to focus solely on lacrosse was a tough one. But it was a decision that now appears to be paying off. Through five games this spring, Hall leads the Brave with a 1.8 goals-per-game average. He is currently talking to recruiters, hopeful to play in college and continue his lacrosse career.