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East County Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 1 month ago

East County Athlete of the Week: Heather Jones

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The Lakewood Ranch junior talks winning in PKs and her biggest challenge
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

Heather Jones is a junior goaltender on the Lakewood Ranch High girls soccer team. She had three-straight shutout wins, against Sarasota High (8-0), Riverview High (2-0) and Manatee High (3-0), from Dec. 4-11. 

When did you start playing soccer?

I started playing competitively in eighth grade, with the Braden River Soccer Club. I played a little recreation league before that, but I don't think that counts. 

What is the appeal to you?

I am a very competitive person. I have two older brothers (Donald and Daniel Jones), and that played a part in it. Also, every time I join a different team, everyone is so inviting. You learn not just about sports, but about life. 

What is your best skill?

I would say communication. I do not ever stop talking on the field. Sometimes it is annoying, but it is also funny and encouraging. I get as loud as I can be after we score a goal. 

What is your favorite memory?

Last year, we played Riverview in the district tournament, and it went to penalty kicks. There was a delay because the lights went out. After they came back on, I made a save on their first shot, and then we ended up scoring and winning. The seniors all told me I saved their season. That was really cool. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

Last season, there were some struggles, and I started to doubt myself. I did not know if my coaches believed in me. Over the offseason, I started to do CrossFit and push myself to be the best athlete I can be. This season, the work has been paying off a lot. I am really happy with how things are going. 

What are your goals for this season?

We want to get as far as possible, through the district tournament and regional tournament and hopefully into the state tournament. We are close enough. There have not been any team struggles like there were last year. I think we can do it. 

What is your favorite movie or TV show?

"Captain America: The First Avenger" is my favorite movie. My favorite show is either "Wizards of Waverly Place," even though it is old, or "Family Guy."

What is your biggest fear?

I have two. I am afraid of missing out on opportunities, so I try to do as much as I possibly can. And I am afraid of disappointing the people around me. I cannot let them down. I need to get it done. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Be positive. That is the best I can think of right now. You can get in your own head so much, not just in soccer but in life. You need to stay positive to get through the day. 

Finish this sentence: "Heather Jones is ... "

... Determined. This whole semester, I have been getting up at 6 a.m. to do CrossFit, because that is the only time I have to do it. But I am determined to keep it up. 

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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