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Oct. 28, 2021

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Mountain View football preview: RB Jones gets a free pass for Week 1

After busy summer, junior running back will be ready for Week 2 of football season

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter
Published:

A year ago as a sophomore, Preston Jones the football player rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the Mountain View football team, surpassing 100 yards in a game six times.

Preston Jones the baseball player might be even better, though.

Which is why the start of Jones’ 2014 football season will be delayed by a week.

Playing baseball in showcase events and tournaments all summer long, he might have traveled a lot, but Jones never really got a break. A short vacation planned eight months ago has conflicted with a few early practice dates for football season so Jones will be missing Week 1.

“It doesn’t set a real good example,” Jones acknowledged, adding that he feels like he is letting down his teammates. “At the same time, I hope they understand where I’m coming from.”

Coach: Adam Mathieson.

2013 record: 9-3, 5-0 3A GSHL.

Key players: Preston Jones, jr., rb; Chris Mitchell, jr., ol; Garrett Jones, sr., db; Lex Reese, sr. qb; Corey Henderson, sr., wr; Jesus Familia, sr., wr; Jeff Adams, sr., te; Colin Biggs, jr., wr; Will Warne, sr., k.

Coach: Adam Mathieson.

2013 record: 9-3, 5-0 3A GSHL.

Key players: Preston Jones, jr., rb; Chris Mitchell, jr., ol; Garrett Jones, sr., db; Lex Reese, sr. qb; Corey Henderson, sr., wr; Jesus Familia, sr., wr; Jeff Adams, sr., te; Colin Biggs, jr., wr; Will Warne, sr., k.

Season outlook: A young offensive line, and the Thunder are moving from the Class 3A GSHL to the 4A GSHL. That could be a cause for concern at some programs. Not at Mountain View. The Thunder have made the postseason in each of the past four seasons. This is an established program that usually gets better as the season progresses. "We embrace the challenge of competition," Mathieson said.

2014 SCHEDULE

Sept. 5 at Auburn

Sept. 12 Juanita

Sept. 19 at Union*

Sept. 26 Battle Ground*

Oct. 4 at Bethel

Oct. 10 at Skyview*

Oct. 17 Heritage*

Oct. 24 at Camas*

Oct. 31 Evergreen*

  • -- 4A GSHL game

Home games played at McKenzie Stadium

Season outlook: A young offensive line, and the Thunder are moving from the Class 3A GSHL to the 4A GSHL. That could be a cause for concern at some programs. Not at Mountain View. The Thunder have made the postseason in each of the past four seasons. This is an established program that usually gets better as the season progresses. “We embrace the challenge of competition,” Mathieson said.

2014 SCHEDULE

Sept. 5 at Auburn

Sept. 12 Juanita

Sept. 19 at Union*

Sept. 26 Battle Ground*

Oct. 4 at Bethel

Oct. 10 at Skyview*

Oct. 17 Heritage*

Oct. 24 at Camas*

Oct. 31 Evergreen*

  • — 4A GSHL game

Home games played at McKenzie Stadium

They do, and so does the head coach.

“The football coach of me wants him here. But life is bigger than me. Life is bigger than football. Life is about experiences,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said.

Plus, a physical break from constant activity might be perfect for an athlete’s mental state.

“He’s probably played 80 baseball games this summer,” Mathieson said. “So you wish him well, tell him to have fun, and you can’t wait until he comes back.”

Deep down, Mathieson wonders what Jones would be like if football was his top sport. Describing him as talented, tough, and smart, Mathieson said Jones is the whole package.

“He’s as good a player as I’ve coached,” said Mathieson, who has helped players make it to the National Football League, including former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

High praise, and Jones is humbled by it. He said he would be open to playing football in college as long as he could play baseball, as well. So perhaps football will be a long-term option, too.

Short term, though, Jones said he just wants to make up for his Week 1 absence by being the best he can starting in Week 2.

Mathieson said having Jones for 89 percent of the season is a lot better than none. There have been high-profile baseball players in the region who have given up playing other sports.

Jones, though, said he loves football too much to specialize now.

There is nothing quite like a football team, he said. The bond he has with his teammates is his favorite part of the sport. He knows that if he breaks free for a long touchdown run, 10 other guys on the field made it possible.

“Playing football for this team really means you’re a family,” Jones said, noting the Mountain View’s philosophy to love, prepare, and compete. “If you love one another, you’re really motivated to prepare. And if you prepare, you’re going to be able to compete against the best.”

The Thunder will be going up against some of the best teams in the state this season. After four years as a Class 3A program, Mountain View is returning to the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League. Last year, three teams from the 4A GSHL made it to the state playoffs, with Camas finishing second.

The Thunder, who have made the postseason the past four years and reached the quarterfinals of the 3A playoffs last season, are young this season, too.

“We’re going to really have to step it up compared to last year,” Jones said.

The Thunder understand they are back in the underdog role. That’s OK by them, Mathieson said. The players and coaches expect to get better throughout the season. They might even have to endure a slow start.

Unless plans change, Jones knows he will not be getting any yards or scoring any touchdowns that first week of the season.

Call it an excused absence.

Then, when he returns, Preston Jones will become Preston Jones the football player for the rest of the fall.

Columbian High School Sports Reporter
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