Last year’s Tennessean boys soccer player of the year Michael Jones accomplished quite a bit in his time at Grace Christian Academy.
Jones, who — along with his seven younger siblings from Sierra Leone — was adopted by Mike and Hayley Jones of Thompson’s Station in 2013, shattered records at Grace Christian, amassing 152 goals and 52 assists in three seasons.
He scored 68 goals as a senior last spring.
Michael Jones, now a rising sophomore at Trevecca, never have to play in a state tournament. But he was in attendance on Tuesday at Richard Siegel Park as the Lions, who feature three of his siblings — junior defender Samuel and eighth-grade midfielders Levi and Malachi — made their state tournament debut with a 10-1 Class A quarterfinal rout of Douglass.
Malachi scored three goals and an assist. Levi added a goal and two assists.
“I tell (my younger siblings) that this opportunity might just come once, so you have to take advantage,” said Jones in photo, who led the Lions to region semi-final appearances in 2016 and 2017. “Just go out and be yourself with the chance to glorify God through the way you play the game.”
Michael Jones, who scored one goal and provided four assists as a freshman at Trevecca, may no longer officially be part of the five-year-old program, but that hasn’t kept him from supporting the squad every chance he gets.
“Every time that I don’t have a game or have stuff to do like homework I’m always at their games,” Jones said.
He has plenty to cheer about, too.
While none of his younger siblings has racked up goals at quite the same pace Michael did, Samuel, Levi and Malachi have certainly helped fill the void left by their older brothers’ graduation.
The Lions are far from a three-man show, though.
“Obviously when you lose a player of Michael’s caliber — 68 goals — that’s a huge concern,” Grace Coach David DeFatta said. “But when we looked at our team, we said in the beginning of the year that we’re going to have four or five guys that can score 15 to 20 goals, instead of all 68 coming from one player.
“We’ve done that.”
Photo: Samuel Jones from Grace Christian Academy in action against Douglass during their Class A boys soccer quarterfinals game at Spring Fling in Murfreesboro.
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Michael Murphy USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
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