Jones slashing to success
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
It’s hard to keep Jamont Jones off the field.
The Washington Pam Pack senior is so versatile, coach Sport Sawyer uses his multi-talented athlete in a variety of ways. Whether it’s been on offense, defense or special teams, Jones has come up big time and time again.
“Jamont is a slashy-type guy,” Sawyer said. “He has good hands. He’s quiet, but he works hard. He’s also a good defensive back.”
Jones, who has helped lead Washington to four straight wins and a 5-1 overall record (2-0 in Coastal Conference play), is coming off his best game of the season. He scored on a pass and a run, while also coming up with two interceptions in Washington’s 47-6 win over South Central on Friday.
Jones ran for 89 yards on four carries, including a 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He also had 31 yards receiving on two receptions, including a 27-yard scoring strike in the second quarter.
“It was a great game,” Jones said. “Things were just going our way. I was able to make some picks defensively and able to make some cutback runs to score long touchdowns offensively.”
Jones started his season with a bang, taking the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown in a season-opening 35-13 win over North Pitt. He also had a pair of interceptions.
“I’m just looking for improvement every day in practice,” said Jones, who has played four years on varsity. “I want to get better at blocking on the outside and, defensively, work at breaking on the ball. I just want to catch the ball and make some moves when I’m at slot receiver.”
Jones has been used in a variety of ways on offense, whether it’s lining up in the backfield to take a pitch or lining up at receiver for a pass. Jones likens his role to one of his favorite football players, New Orleans Saints’ star Reggie Bush.
In Washington’s six games, Jones has 16 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns. He’s added 175 yards and two scores rushing the ball, not to mention his kickoff return for a touchdown.
Defensively, Jones leads the Pack with five interception and has some 60 tackles.
“I like Reggie Bush and, defensively, I like (Denver Broncos defensive back) Champ Bailey,” Jones said. “I watch all the Saints games and try to see the Broncos as much as I can to watch what those guys do on Sundays. Then I try to do that on Friday nights.”
While he’s on the field for virtually every aspect of the game, Jones favors the offensive side of the ball. But he’s quick to point out that he doesn’t mind defense either.
“I like scoring touchdowns,” Jones said. “Getting into the end zone is the best feeling in the world to me.”
Jones, who led Washington in receptions and interceptions last year, said that running track and the team’s conditioning program helps his game.
“Running track is a big help (for football),” Jones said. “It helps you with speed, initial burst and different aspects of the game. It really helps with me playing receiver and defensive back. We condition well during practice so I’m pretty good during the games.”
Wayne and Valerie Jones, the “slasher’s” parents, are there for every game.
“I think my mother has only missed one game since my ninth grade year,” Jones said. “They really support me and come out to all the games.”
While Jones certainly isn’t the biggest player on the field at 5-9, 175-pounds, he makes up for that with intensity and desire.
“I have heart,” Jones said. “I’m not that big, but I try my best on every play and that’s all I can do.”
He’s hoping to continue doing just that in college, though he’s undecided as to where he’ll play.
For now, Jones is enjoying his senior season.
“We’re doing good,” Jones said. “The guys are excited. We practice hard and then we play hard on Friday nights.”
Nobody plays harder, or with more heart, than Jones.
Game 1: 1 carry for (-7) yards; 4 catches for 39 yards; 82-yard kickoff return TD; 2 interceptions
Game 2: 6 carries for 75 yards; 2 catches for 24 yards and a TD
Game 3: 1 carry for 7 yards; 4 catches for 50 yards and a TD
Game 4: 6 carries for (-8) yards; 1 catch for 9 yards; 1 interception
Game 5: 2 carries for 19 yards and a TD; 3 catches for 30 yards
Game 6: 4 carries for 89 yards and a TD; 2 catches for 31 yards and a TD; 2 interceptions
TOTAL: 20 carries for 175 yards and 2 TDs; 16 catches for 183 yards and 3 TDs; 1 kickoff return TD; 5 interceptions