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From season to season, Christy Jones brought the same traits to each of her Wilson Christian Academy teams this year — determination, hard work, hustle and a joy for whatever sport she was playing at the time.
Mix in her natural athleticism along with her outstanding performance in the classroom and work in the community and the Lady Chargers senior was an easy choice for 2019 Thomas Law Attorneys Female Student-Athlete of the Year as presented by The Wilson Times.
The announcement of the honor at Wilson Christian’s Awards Day on May 21 caught Jones, the daughter of Teresa and Chris Jones of Wilson, by surprise.
“I was not expecting this at all!” she gushed. “There’s a lot of other kids that do a lot so I didn’t expect this for me. I am really involved but it was a big surprise! I was not expecting it!”
Athletically, there were few who did as much as Jones. In volleyball and basketball, she was right in the thick of the action and unafraid to sacrifice her well-being if necessary — leading the team in digs or rebounds as well as floor burns.
“My dad’s always told me that all you have are your high school years and you might as well give it everything you’ve got because that’s all you’re going to be playing,” she said. “That really stuck with me.”
Jones averaged 6.1 digs, 5.2 kills and 2.1 blocks per game as the Lady Chargers went 19-2 in volleyball, winning the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A East Region District 3 title.
“She brought fun to the game,” Lady Chargers head coach Ryan Vanderboegh said. “She loved to joke around. Probably some of the most leadership potential I’ve seen. The girls loved being around her. … When she’s working hard, she wanted to be better. She’s always making her game better. It was just the total package and so, as a coach, it’s always easy to coach somebody like that.”
As a right-side hitter, the left-handed Jones, Vanderboegh said, “balanced out our offense. She made our team what it was.”
When basketball season arrived, Jones simply shifted gears. She averaged 10. 7 rebounds, 6.0 points and 2.0 blocks per game in helping lead the Lady Chargers to another district title. Wilson Christian finished 24-7, losing in the NCCSA 2-A championship game.
“It’s pretty amazing the way she turned out,” Wilson Christian head coach Brian Trull said. “She kind of struggled with the game to find where she fit her sophomore and junior year. Her senior year she just made up her mind that every rebound was hers. You could just see it in her eyes and that was her mentality and she was very important to our success.”
Trull said that Jones ended her Lady Chargers career eighth all-time in rebounding.
When spring came, Jones approached Lady Chargers soccer coach Don Samson about trying out for goalkeeper, despite not having played the sport since she was 4.
“I had played softball for a long, long time,” she explained. “I had played three sports previously but my junior year I was tired of playing three sports because I was busy all the time and I was volunteering and working outside of that. So it was all the time busy, busy, busy! I never had a spare second. So my junior year, i wanted to take off a sport, so i took off softball.”
But she had a change of heart as a senior, remembering her father’s words and offered her services to the soccer team.
“I’ve always joked with Mr. Samson about playing soccer,” she said. “They needed a goalie and I knew I wouldn’t be able to play the field because I don’t have any foot skills since I haven’t played soccer in 14 years. But goalie, all you have to do is use your hands so I might be able to do this.”
Samson, well-acquainted with Jones’ work ethic and athleticism, was more than happy to offer her a shot in goal.
“The same mentality she brought to basketball, she brought there,” he said. “Even in practice, nobody was going to score on her. She took pride in keeping that ball out of the net. By no means was she the most fundamental goalie but the effort, the heart that she put into it made her an all-region player the one year she played.”
Indeed, Jones earned NCCSA All-East Region acclaim in soccer, as she did in basketball, with 47 saves and a 1.26 goals against average as the Lady Chargers finished 13-5-1 with another District 3 crown. Just like in basketball, their season ended in the state championship game.
“I actually really, really enjoyed it and I enjoyed the team,” Jones said.
Academically, Jones brought the same energy, graduating with a 4.6 GPA and No. 3 in her class.
She is a member of National Honor Society, the Drama Club and the WCA Communications Team while serving as a teachers assistant and videographer for the varsity boys basketball team.
She is a member of Wilson Youth Council and has served as a volunteer for such activities as Special Olympics, Whirligig Festival and Wilson Train of Lights. She played travel volleyball for Wilson Elite Volleyball Club and is active at her church, Marsh Swamp Free Will Baptist.
She will attend The Honors College at East Carolina University.
Seemingly always bubbling with energy, Jones said that she is so active because she enjoys being around people.
“I’m a social butterfly,” she said with a big smile. “If anybody knows me, that’s one thing they know about me, so I always loved staying busy and I love talking to people. That’s why I want to be a nurse.”
One can only imagine that she bring the same characteristics to that profession that she displayed in athletics.
“I always tried my best,” she said. “Everybody has a bad day and so even when I had a bad day, I tried to give my best, 110%, and always have a good attitude. It’s hard sometimes but you’ve got to stay focused and as along as you stay focused and give all your glory to God, honestly, you’re always going to have a good attitude.”