The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

September 10, 2013

Jones not a stranger anymore

Oak Hill running back named Register-Herald Football Player of the Week

If you’re a high school football fan in southern West Virginia, Jalen Jones is no stranger. The 2012 Register-Herald Offensive Player of the Year is one of the biggest stars on the gridiron every Friday night, and the Oak Hill senior provides plenty of headaches for opposing defensive coordinators each week.

Around the state, though, Jones has sometimes been overlooked. Although he was a first-team all-stater last year, rushing for 2,194 yards and 27 touchdowns, he wasn’t mentioned in the same breath as Kennedy Award winner Ryan Switzer of George Washington, Martinsburg quarterback Cookie Clinton or Cabell Midland running back David Gaydosz.

So when Jones made the trip to Musselman on Friday, he knew it was his big opportunity. He was playing in the Eastern Panhandle, far from the comforts of Fayette County and in front of a different group of football fans, most of whom had never seen him play.

If they didn’t leave the stadium impressed, they must have been watching the game with their eyes closed.

Against the Applemen, a Class AAA second-round playoff team a year ago, Jones ripped off 318 yards on 32 carries and scored four touchdowns. On defense, he came up with a critical interception.

“I felt like I needed to prove that I’m the real deal,” said Jones, who now has to be considered one of the favorites for the Kennedy Award, presented annually to the state’s top high school football player, after totaling 504 yards and seven rushing touchdowns through the first two games. In the season’s first week, he picked up 186 yards on just 13 carries in a win over another 2012 Class AAA playoff team, Elkins, also returning a punt for a touchdown.

“I was really excited,” said Jones of the meeting with Musselman, which included touchdown runs of 55, 54, 15 and 5 yards. “It was really tough. They were a good team, and I give them a lot of credit. I didn’t do it alone, but I got a chance to prove something to people who don’t usually get to see me play.”

Now 2-0 on the year, the Red Devils, who were a playoff team last year before falling to Cabell Midland in the opening round, have big goals for the rest of the year.

“We’re a small AAA school, but we come to play every week,” said Jones. “We have a big heart and we play hard every time we step on the field. I love this team.

“We want to go undefeated,” he added. “For me, I just want to have a healthy season.”

— E-mail: chuffman and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

Get to know...

Jalen Jones

Height: 5-foot-6

Weight: 185

Class: Senior

Number: 27

Twitter: @jalenjones28

Favorite food: lasagna

Favorite music: Hip-hop

Favorite NFL team: Baltimore Ravens

Favorite NFL player: Ray Rice

Favorite college team: North Carolina

Dream job: Sports medicine (if football doesn’t work out)

Best football memory: Beating Musselman

Football role model: Adrian Peterson

Favorite thing coach says: “Kickers and punters get ready. Jalen, you already know, stay out there.”

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014

  • First stop Waffle House; next stop The Greenbrier

    Bubba Watson decided to keep his post-Masters victory more low key this year. Instead of going to New York for a media tour, he headed home to Orlando, Fla., and kept plans for a five-day vacation with his wife.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Cam Huffman's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Gary Fauber's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Polands share life, coaching

    Married since 2011, Ashley and Dan Poland share the good times and the bad times that every husband and wife face. Be it an unexpected tax refund or a busted water pipe, they go through it together.

    April 15, 2014

  • fayetteville Who needs the beach?

    The word seems to be getting out about the Spring Break Wood Bat Classic.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo