Archived Story

Jones headed back home

Published 11:25pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jeremy Jones is headed back home.
The first football coach in South Creek High School history has accepted the offensive coordinator position at Northern Nash with the hopes that it will give him the inside slant on the head coaching position at his alma-matter down the road.
Jones graduated from Northern Nash in 2001 before he was a place kicker at East Carolina University and will work under veteran head coach Randy Raper, who left Wilson Hunt to head up 3-A Knights next season.
Northern Nash has gone through a few coaching changes over the last decade and this move figures to give the school some stability for a long time as Jones will vie to be Raper’s successor whenever the longtime coach steps down.
The Knights went 2-8 (0-5 Big East) last season and Jones said that he’s looking forward to trying to turn things around.
“It’s exciting to have this opportunity,” said Jones, whose wife is also from the Northern Nash area. “It’s a program that when I graduated and a couple of years after that had, had some success and then had some one-win, three-win-type seasons but we’re hoping to turn it around.”
In 2010 South Creek was formed when Bear Grass merged with Roanoke High School and Jones guided the first-ever Cougars football team. Jones filled the shoes of departed Roanoke coach Brian Paschal, who took over at D.H. Conley after the 2009 season.
With low team roster numbers and resources, Jones struggled his first season with the Cougars as they went 0-11. South Creek would have to wait till midway through the 2011 season before it got its first win, which was immediately followed by its second win the next week.
“My best moment with South Creek was probably getting that first win against Northampton-East,” Jones said. “Just watching the guys who had been through so much get to celebrate was big.”
Despite the fact that Jones’ best year with the Cougars was a 4-8 season in 2011, his team and his coaching abilities were very well respected by his peers who knew that sooner or later he was going to get everybody on the same page.
For Jones, the decision to leave South Creek was a tough one but there’s no doubt he’s leaving the program headed in the right direction.
“I kind of didn’t really foresee (leaving) happening this way this soon,” Jones said. “But we have a lot of guys coming back for next year, we played a lot of young guys this season. A lot of those kids did some really good things and I think they have a promising future.”
Jones added that he would like to thank South Creek principal John Guard and all of those who helped him during his time with the Cougars.
“I’m very thankful and grateful to have been able to coach there these past few years,” Jones said. “A lot of the parents came out and were a big help too. I think we taught the kids the right things and tried to teach them things that were bigger than football. That was our focus, was teaching them about more than just football. We didn’t always have the best season but we learned how to deal with difficult times and to try and do things the right way and I’m just appreciative off all the support we got while I was there.”

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