Senior LB Jones an important leader for Polytech

WOODSIDE — Montrell Jones can almost hear the clock ticking away.

High school football doesn’t last forever. The Polytech senior linebacker has three games left in his career.

“It’s getting closer,” Jones said. “I want to have as much fun as possible. You get 10 games a year. Have fun, don’t waste them.”

And while things haven’t gone as well this year as the Panthers hoped, Jones’ impact will be felt long after he is gone.

Jones is one of a handful seniors for a Polytech team who is 1-6. The Panthers play their final home game tonight against Dover at 5:30 p.m. and the seniors will be honored on the field prior to kickoff.

Jones is one of only two returning starters on defense, along with D.J. Rawley, from last year’s squad which went 6-4.

Coach Kevin Smith said he leaned on Jones heavily to bring the younger players along — that was made even more difficult after the Panthers experienced four longterm injuries to starting players this year.

“Yeah we’re not where we wanted to be this season,” Smith said. “But as far as the future goes, we’re right where we want to be and a lot of that has to do with Montrell.”

Jones moved to Delaware from Las Vegas in November of 2014 and enrolled at Polytech.

While he wasn’t from the area he connected with the rest of the team right away. Smith doesn’t assign captains, rather the players vote, and Jones was elected as a captain his first full season on varsity as a junior.

“He was new to the community and he was voted by his peers as a captain last year,” Smith said. “That says a lot about him as a kid. He’s a great kid, always in the weight room and is the type that’s the first one there and the last to leave.”

Jones was voted a captain again for his senior season.

He leads the defense in tackles but Smith said it’s his leadership which the Panthers need to the most.

“I have to be the figure that shows the younger guys what to do,” Jones said. “Show them what’s right, tell them what’s wrong. I make sure they’re mentally prepared for every game and make sure they’re mentally tough. If they ever get down, I make sure to pull them back up. I hope they can take it for the rest of their four years or however long they play football.”

“I want to do all I can is to help the team out,” Jones added. “Even though things haven’t gone our way, I have to do whatever I can to help the team get better every week.”

Jones wants to keep playing the sport in college. He has had interest from some Division II and Division II schools. Jones hopes to decide on a destination after the high school season.

Jones is one of 12 seniors who will be celebrated on senior night and Smith credited them with keeping the team together despite the losing season.

“Our senior class have done a great job,” Smith said. “None them have left the team. None of them have ever missed a practice. They’re having fun at practice and are still practicing hard as if we were 6-1. They’re doing a great job holding it together and are proving to be great leaders for the younger guys.”

Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at tmastro@newszap.com or 741-8224.
Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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