STUARTS DRAFT – Sometimes competition pays big dividends.
It surely did for Ridgeview Christian senior Colin Jones.
“Regent University had academic competition called scholars weekend,” he explained. “I was a top five finalist and have a full tuition ride. It’s a $64,000 education free except for housing and books.
“It was a surprise,” he added. “I applied in December. Anyone could apply. You had to have a 1280 on your college boards and a 4.0. There were 25 contestants with timed essays and interviews with the faculty.
“The competition was the first weekend in February. It was fun, but after meeting all those brilliant people, I didn’t think I had a chance.”
As it turned out, Jones was a top five finalist, interviewed with the dean, and the results couldn’t have been better.
While Regent University is in the future, Jones is currently finishing up his high school career at Ridgeview where he will be valedictorian. He has not only had academic success, but also excelled athletically.
In sports, Jones has participated in baseball, basketball and soccer.
He played on the diamond two years for the Crusaders. As a freshman and sophomore, he was an outfielder.
“Being in the honors program and working at Chick-Fil-A, I just had too much on the side,” he explained in giving up the sport.
The same was true for basketball which he started playing in the sixth grade in middle school, last participating in it as a sophomore on the varsity. He usually was at a forward position.
Soccer has been a part of Jones’ life since youth. “I just love the teamwork between the players and the subtle strategy,” he said.
On the pitch, Jones is a defensive player. “It’s my favorite by far,” he said. “When you are one-on-one against another player, you know you are the final stop. That’s so exciting.”
Academically, Jones sports a 4.5 grade point average and will be Ridgeview’s valedictorian.
“I’ve already started working on my speech,” he said.
In the classroom, the Ridgeview senior particularly likes science, especially the biology side, and specifically microbiology.
“I’ve been in the honors program, and have been doing a full college freshman class load through Liberty University,” he said. “I’ve done American history, composition, philosophy, government, economics … enough for 31 college credits.”
Jones has been involved in numerous extracurricular activities.
He was in the band as a trumpet player, and had an active role in the spring dinner theater.
The last two years, he has been involved in the student leadership program, helping organize different events like a chapel for the International Day of Prayer. He helped organize a fall retreat and also lessons about leadership.
Outside school, Jones has been involved in AYSO soccer and worked three years at Chick-Fil-A.
He also is part of the Breakpoint youth group at Ridgeview Christian.
Jones was a boys camp counselor last summer at Camp Hope Haven in Virginia Beach.
Regent University is also in Virginia Beach, and this fall, Jones will begin studies that are in the biophysical sciences. After that, he plans on attending dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University. He also wants to play intramural soccer.
As a pastime, the Ridgeview senior loves music. Besides the trumpet, he plays the violin and the mandolin.
“I played the trumpet until I got braces for three years,” he said. “My grandma and aunt were excellent violin players and they inspired me to pick it up. I started that in the winter of my sophomore year. I love the classical and fiddle tunes, a big mixture of both.
“My brother is also a violinist,” he added. “We push each other to get better.”
Ridgeview athletic director Wayne Pettway thinks a lot of Jones.
“He is an excellent student-athlete and realizes the benefits of balancing athletics with academics,” he said. “He has a very bright future.”
Each public school from Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro selects fall, winter and spring nominees, then selects one finalist. One finalist will also be chosen from nominees made by area private schools.
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