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Jones A Huge Addition For WHS PDF Print
Written by Mike Kelly   
Saturday, 07 July 2012 11:21

As the old cliche goes, one man's loss is usually another man's gain. And that will be the case for Watauga High baseball coach Pete Hardee when Ryder Jones, a rising senior, makes his way from Stillwater, OK., to Boone this coming school year. Jones' father, Billy Jones, was named the new baseball coach at Appalachian State University on Friday.

Jones was an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State before he took over the Mountaineers' baseball program. Jones, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 185 pounds, plays baseball and basketball. He was one of 40 players selected to the USA 18-and-under Baseball Team in Cary, N.C., before he failed to make the cut for the final 28 on the national roster July 1. He's been ranked among the top 50 players in the country by; he's been highly recruited and he has not made a verbal commitment to a school just yet. However, Stanford has been mentioned as a possible choice. Billy Jones projects his son to be a third baseman down the road.
Jones is a shortstop, third baseman, and a pitcher. Jones primarily pitched and played shortstop for Stillwater last season. He bats left and throws right. He has a 92 mile-an-hour fastball. His younger brother, Utah, will be a rising sophomore this fall. According to Baseball America, Jones, who played at Stillwater High the last three years, is very athletic and a strong two-way player. He also hits with power. He has good feet with a loose arm.  Jones displayed his power last spring with three home runs in his first four games with the Pioneers (that's the Stillwater Pioneers). He showed off his talents in a 7-4 against Enid back in April. Jones was 4-4 with a three-run homer. He also defeated Muskogee in regionals vaulting the Pioneers into the Class 6A state tournament for the first time since 2005.
Jones will join a WHS baseball team that was 16-9 last season, finished second in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference and lost to T.C. Roberson in the second round of the state playoffs. And he joins a team that lost 12 seniors to graduation, including its ace pitcher Ethan Greene, who will attend Pfeiffer University this fall.

Meanwhile, the search for a new head coach at UNC-Greensboro continues. According to Skippers Dugout, Matt Heath, an assistant coach at College of Charleston, is scheduled to be interviewed this coming week. Brevard College coach Matt McCay was interviewed last week.


Photo Courtesy: Ryder Jones, PHOTO SUBMITTED

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