Amanda Jones, illustrated

Amanda Jones’ achievements in the pool as the Oak Ridge High School varsity girls water polo team hole set and team captain earned her a spot in Sports Illustrated. Village Life photo by Krysten Kellum

OR water polo star featured in magazine

It’s not uncommon for a high school athlete to make the local paper. They might even see their name in regional publications and blogs.

But Oak Ridge High School senior Amanda Jones got a real surprise when her skills on the Lady Trojans water polo team earned her a spot in Sports Illustrated. The magazine’s October “Faces in the Crowd” feature includes the 17-year-old.

“I was really excited,” Jones said of the piece.

Proud Dad Brett Jones secretly submitted the mini-bio, which reads: “Amanda, a captain at Oak Ridge High who plays the hole set position, scored eight goals in the first game of the season, a 12-9 win over Oakmont High, to break the school record for goals in a game. She then scored a combined 12 goals over her next two games. Last year Amanda set the school record for season goals (83) and became the Trojans’ alltime scorer, male or female, with her 131st goal. Through Sunday she has 64 goals for the season and 198 for her career.”

Brett said he started typing the piece for Sports Illustrated, stopped and then finished it and sent it in. “I thought, ‘Hey, she’s had a good season. Why shouldn’t she be in there?’”

Amanda has played water polo since eighth grade, participating in Olympic development programs, the Junior Olympics, club water polo and the high school team. Already an athlete (basketball and swimming), the Lady Trojan water polo team captain said, “I just thought I’d try it out.”

Fun in the pool and many new friends have made water polo “definitely my favorite sport now.” Her love of the game has been passed on to younger sister Morgan, who plays on Oak Ridge’s junior varsity team. Mom Sandy and Brett proudly support both girls’ efforts in the pool.

Amanda said she hopes to continue playing water polo in college. “I’m talking to a few schools right now.”

Earning a spot in a magazine read around the world and her skills demonstrated at Wednesday’s game against Franklin certainly won’t hurt Amanda’s chances of playing at the college level. She scored the game’s first three goals and tacked on a few more later.

Oh, did I mention the 10 goals she scored in one game at this past weekend’s Western States tournament?

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Posted by on Oct 13 2011.
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