FRISCO, Texas — John Stephen Jones’ junior season at Highland Park (Texas) ended with him helping lead the Scots to the 2016 UIL Class 5A Division II state championship with a 16-7 win against Temple last December at AT&T Stadium.
That’s the same venue where the Dallas Cowboys play. The team is owned by grandfather Jerry Jones and his father, Stephen, serves as executive vice president and CEO.
With two rushing touchdowns, including a 38-yard scamper in the first half, John Stephen earned offensive game MVP honors for the Scots. Jones enjoyed that victory for about three weeks until he and his teammates started preparing for 2017.
And even though the Scots won state last fall, Jones knows he still has room for improvement, specifically when running the ball. He also wants to improve his completion percentage and take fewer sacks as a senior.
Jones takes great pride in that state title, but knows the Scots’ road to repeat will be winding.
Jones throw for more than 3,000 yards with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions after winning the starting job in a battle against two seniors.
“It’s going to be just as hard as it was last year,” Jones said Sunday at The Nike Opening Regional. “We’re going to just go out there, work hard and see where that takes us.”
The event was held at the Ford Center in Frisco, part of The Star complex where his grandfather and father work.
One recent change for the senior-to-be is that he gave up lacrosse to focus on football, a tough decision because Jones had been playing lacrosse for a long time with many of his friends. And playing another fast-paced game like lacrosse had an added benefit, it helped improve his decision making as a quarterback.
“Yeah, I feel like any sport will help you at any other sport — the physical nature, the speed of the game,” he said.
Highland Park hosted several playoff games at Ford Center last fall, and Jones admitted it was nice to return to a facility he knows well for The Opening.
“It’s awesome. Been here a few times, it’s nice to come out here and compete with a bunch of dudes,” he said.
Something else the affable signal caller never complains about is of being asked about his famous family, figuring such questions go with the territory of being a Jones. The family has especially enjoyed the last few weeks after Jerry Jones was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame over Super Bowl weekend.
“I don’t get tired of it,” he said. “They are a very interesting family, love them though.”