As the fall season wraps up for Jones sports, the teams report their different experiences this year. This fall, Jones participated in six different sports: boys soccer, girls tennis, golf, girls volleyball, cross country, and swimming. Like every year, the athletes worked hard to put a good name for Jones in their respective sport and some even achieving incredible achievements.
This year, the soccer program had a year full of up and downs. Varsity had the biggest responsibility out of all the teams, as the team looked to get out of division three, the lowest division in IHSA soccer. The team ended with a 7-1-1 (W/L/D) record, enough to secure a promotion to the second division but not without controversy as a default from ASPIRA allowed promotion. “It wasn’t pretty but we enjoyed promotion. It’s hard to play in the worst division with such a talented squad so we enjoyed getting to second” said Junior midfielder Fernando Ortiz. Varsity then went on to City playoffs getting knocked out with a 1-0-1 record and then losing in the first round of regional playoffs against Fenwick High School, obviously resulting in discontent. “It wasn’t an enjoyable season despite achieving promotion. The playing style changed so much from last year and it resulted in us dropping from third in regionals 11th. Not enjoyable.” said Ortiz as Varsity wrapped up their season.
Meanwhile, JV had a different run this year as they broke records for the Jones soccer program. With a 10-0-3 record, the Jones JV team made the semi-finals of the city playoffs eliminating Whitney Young, Steinmetz and Solorio. JV then lost to Juarez 4-3, giving them third place in the city. Not a bad run as it set a record for the best spot in Jones soccer playoff history. “It was a great year and we were incredibly passionate on the field. We wanted wins and we got them by working hard” said an enthusiastic striker Kian Fayz ‘17.
Although many complain about the running through the stairs from building to building, Samantha Nathan ‘17 suggests that many people in fact like the running, as cross country received a large number of athletes this year.“25 new people have joined the girls cross country team this year.” The new flow of runners has helped a lot though, as the team broke previous school records. “we broke the jones record for all city finishers at the city Champs meet. Previous record was 10, now it’s 16. I mean we just honestly got a lot of fast freshman” said Nathan. The team finished in the top five at the city championships. Nathan thinks the team has put a lot of work and that they just keep getting faster “I don’t know, our team has just gotten faster as a whole!”
The boys cross country team also competed during the fall. The JV and Freshman teams won their city championship while the Varsity ended up in second place. Zach Benes, a junior runner, explains that running isn’t easy “[it is] Because I have not run any fast times yet. Running is 90% mental and 10% physical.” He also said that although he isn’t having a good year the team has and he feels proud of it “Well most of the team did well this season. I just didn’t have a breakout race.” The statistics both cross country teams put up fortified historical success from Jones in this sport.
The Golf team had their most successful season this fall, making a victorious run in the city playoffs. “It was a fun experience and I’m very happy to win city for Jones. I had a great time,” said one of the golfers, Jack Quinn ’17. Tom Smith, the golf coach, also showed happiness and admired the leadership that both Will Macellaio and Jack Quinn showed. “It was Will’s last year and he showed up and lived up to it. Jack was the best second man you can have.” Smith also mentioned the success the program has had, “This was our greatest season yet and I am sure more is to come.”
The girls swimming team was led this year by coach Mac Varilla. The girls competed in the IMSA invite, where Varsity won third place and JV ended up in second. At City, the swimming team took conference and later finished 4th. “The girls looked very strong and we ended up having the most girls qualified for A final,” said Coach Varilla. A final is the most important individual tournament and the city and Varilla thought the number of Jones alumni in it correctly resembled their season. “We had a great season and the girls should be very proud of it.”
The girls volleyball team were the last ones to finish the season, getting knocked out of Regionals by Northside. Being dubbed a tough ending by many, the volleyball team had noticeable moments throughout the season. At a non conference tournament ,they were able to beat big rivals Walter Payton and placed first place in a quad. Their Dig Pink event caught a lot of attention though, as they were able to raise $1000 for breast cancer. “These were all pretty major for us,” said a content Julissa Santoyo ’17. “The volleyball team tried their best throughout the year and experienced tough moments like not making city. We had a few bad games but I think this has been a pretty strong team.”
An energetic tennis team captain, Chloe Chan ‘17, called this fall season “the best Jones has had in awhile. Despite the so many different levels, the tennis team still showed solidarity as a team and placed fifth in city open in second doubles and second place in first doubles, also in city. According to Chan, the team is steadily getting more competitive and better especially with all the new additions. ” We have such good freshmen and the team is great!” As an entire team, the girls tennis team ended 5th in city meaning that they will not move up a division. This doesn’t discourage the team for next year though, “I expect us to win city next year and place a higher ranking for city in order to move up to the next division,” said Chan. Thus, the tennis program wraps up their season on a high note.
November 10 officially ended the season for all the fall sports. Jones hosted a banquet to congratulate the athletes on their season, having a very enthusiastic principal, Joseph Powers, give a speech in the auditorium. “Sports have always been something I cared about and seeing the Jones sports community grow so much in 8 years means so much to this school,” said Powers. The banquet also saw Arita Kalaba’17 introduce a new program called Sports Boosters. “This program is made for Jones students to support each other during each other’s games, by showing up and cheering on Jones,” said Kalaba. Sports Boosters should start for the winter sports, marking the end of fall and the beginning of the winter season.