There was a time when Wes Jones was running a high school football program in the Knoxville area as head coach. The limelight may have been a little brighter in those days, but nothing can match the fulfillment that comes with coaching his son’s Pee Wee football team.
Jones played football at ETSU from 1992 until 1996 and was recently recognized as one of the “Buccaneer Greats” during the ETSU/Furman football game. He was an All-Southern Conference Offensive Lineman from 1996 and served as head coach at Hardin Valley before returning to Johnson City to take an assistant coaching position at Science Hill.
With five kids, a wife and his coaching obligations at Science Hill, there is no doubt Jones’ schedule is jam-packed. But that doesn’t stop him from giving back to the community while bonding with his son.
Each Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Science Hill’s practice would wrap up around 5:30 or 6 p.m. Jones barely had time to grab a bottle of water before walking over to another field to guide his 10-year-old son Lucas and about 30 other Jr. Topper Pee Wee players through practice.
After spending each Friday night coaching with Science Hill. Jones woke up bright and early each Saturday morning to coach a bunch of energetic 9- and 10-year-old boys. Not only did he coach them, he led them to an 8-0 undefeated regular season.
The Jr. Topper Red team consists of boys from Lake Ridge, Mountain View, Woodland, Fairmont, South Side, Cherokee, Grandview, North Side, Towne Acres, Providence Academy and University School. Chad Fleeman, Jones, Mark Ragan, and Brent Young began coaching this group of boys in July, and they advanced all the way to the Pee Wee championship game this past weekend.
While the Jr. Topper Red team had to settle for a runner-up finish, the memories made and lessons learned will last a lifetime.