Jones pounds Vance defenders

Carley Parrish, Staff Reporter

Senior running back DeMarcus Jones is known for his leadership skills off and on the field. Prioritizing football has required the sacrifice of his time, but the reciprocation is far greater.

Jones’ hopes were high that his senior year would be just as successful as his past years.

“We had some shoes to fill, and we had a lot of doubts. I feel like we were motivated more,” Jones said.

Jones has been working with the same coaches for the past four years. They have influenced his life and sharpened his skills.

“They’ve shaped me to become better not only physically. They’ve made me the man I am,” Jones said.

Running backs coach Glendon Dillard has been working with Jones for the majority of his high school career.

“I’ve seen him grow as a player, a student and as a young man,” Dillard said. “Nothing positive he does ever shocks me. I’ll just say it’s not hard to coach someone who wants to be great, and once again that is the standard he sets for himself. That makes it easy.”

Being highly praised by his coaches, teammates and teachers, Jones maintains his positive reputation.

“He’s without a doubt a guy you want in your huddle or carrying the ball on Fridays, but he’s also a leader beyond football. He’s just a quality person,” Dillard said.

Head Coach Reggie Lucas admires Jones’ physical abilities, as well as his character.

“DeMarcus has a tremendous work ethic in the weight room, and it shows on Friday nights. He plays with passion and runs with power,” Lucas said. “He plays with a lot of heart and refuses to lose.”

Dillard feels that throughout Jones’ Cougar football experience, he has developed vital skills.

“He’s always been able to run and find daylight, but the vision, agility, blocking and the film prep, you could really see his growth over the past two seasons.”

Jones’ teammate, senior quarterback Mateo Sudipo, commends his effort on the field.

“He never misses a beat, and he’s always telling the offense what to do and who needs help,” Sudipo said.

Fellow running back Maquel Haywood appreciated how Jones inspired the team in a positive aspect.

“He really motivated the team during the games and pregames. Also he leads in the team prayer at the meetings, so he really adds to the motivational effect of the game,” Haywood said. “He’s humble, not one of those cocky players.”
With his eyes set on the future, Jones performed to the best of his ability this season.

“Recruiters like coming to see what a winning mentality looks like, and they search for that,” Jones said.

Dillard strongly believes that Jones is capable of achieving all.

Dillard said, “I believe he can pretty much do whatever he sets his mind to do, and when he does it, he’ll win at it. He’s a winner. That’s the standard he sets for himself. As for college ball, whoever gets him will get a competitor, a leader and a great representative for their program.”