Jones to run track for Thomas University

Former Port St. Joe track and field coach Scott Gowan wasted little time in adding another Tiger Shark to his Thomas University roster by signing Amani Jones to a scholarship on Friday, June 10. 

Thomas University, located in Thomasville, Georgia, competes at the NAIA level in the Sun Conference as the Night Hawks. 

Jones, who averaged 11 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game on this year’s state semi-final basketball team, won silver in the triple jump at the 2021 state 1A track meet as a junior, with a leap of 36 feet, a personal best.

“I was looking forward to her coming back her senior year and being state champion in the triple, and running on the 4×100 (relay team) that possibly could have been state champion as well,” said Keion McNair, Port St. Joe track coach. 

With the passing of her grandmother following basketball season, “it was hard on her, and she couldn’t bring herself back (to run track),” said McNair. “But toward the end of (the season) she started coming back out and being around the team.” 

“Just (from) what she did as a junior,” said McNair, “her numbers were good enough to have (college) coaches notice her” and consider her for a scholarship. 

Gowan, as McNair’s high school coach, had the inside “track” in winning a commitment from Jones.. 

“I told (Gowan) how much I believed in her, how bright her future could be in the sport and in the classroom,” said McNair. “And after seeing her and knowing how she did her junior year, he said ‘I need her’.” 

After visiting the campus and talking to Gowan, Jones felt like she had found her next home. 

Thanking Gowan, her parents, and her teammates, Jones reserved special praise for McNair, “an amazing coach who never gave up on me and was always teaching me.”

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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