Josh Jones rises to new challenge


Josh Jones rises to new challenge

Located in Wilmington, Hoggard High School is one of the top high school football programs in North Carolina.
Under Scott Braswell, who has been the Head Coach for 18 years, the Vikings are 6-0 this season after going 12-2 last year. Hoggard also won the Class 4A state title in 2007 with a 15-0 record.
A few years ago, Josh Jones made the 2 ½ hour drive from his home in Washington, N.C., to Hoggard H.S. to attend a football camp. Over the summer, Jones’ family moved from Washington to Wilmington, and Josh is now a freshman at Hoggard.

If this season is any indication, the Vikings’ powerhouse program is going to be in very good hands over the next few seasons.

“It’s been great,” Josh said. “We moved in June and I got here right when football workouts were starting. It’s a bigger school – Washington is Class 2A – but it’s been great. I love it. Probably the biggest challenge was coming into a new town and meeting everybody, being the new kid. But it all came together really well.”

Even though he’s a freshman, Jones is the starting quarterback for Hoggard’s JV team. He’s fared very well, passing for over 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns and rushing for 2 more scores while leading the Vikings to a 4-2 record.
“Our team is great,” Jones said. “We have a lot of talent and we really work well together. I have great receivers and a great offensive line. They give me a lot of time to sit back there and read the defense. My goal is for our team to get better and for us to win as many games as we can. I just want to help the program out.”

Nod to NFA

Jones has gotten a lot of help from NFA the past two years in his development at quarterback. “NFA has been a tremendous help,” he said. “Not only have they helped me become a better quarterback, they’ve really helped me a lot with my leadership skills. Overall, they’ve helped me improve with everything.”
In July, Jones attended his second Duel and placed second among incoming freshmen. “I went for the first time two years ago and really liked it,” he said. “To do so well this year, it really boosted my confidence up. It also showed me what I’ve been doing right and what I need to work on.”
As he prepares to take his game to the varsity level, Jones is already taking advantage of his good size. At 6-foot, 160 pounds and still growing, he already stands out in JV competition.
“Being pretty tall for my age, it helps me see over the line and it just gives me a bigger presence on the field,” Jones said. “I just try to use that to my advantage and it’s been working out pretty well.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University