Unbeaten Jones High ranked No. 16 nationally by USA Today

Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel
·2 min read

Jones High football hit another milestone under head coach Elijah Williams this week, climbing to No. 16 in the USA Today Sports Super 25 national rankings, up three spots from last week.

“It’s good to be there and it’s good to be recognized, but you’ve gotta keep it in perspective,” Williams said.

Keeping that perspective this season, Williams said, has been easy with his current group.

“”We have a great bunch this season. They’re just amazing,” he said. “We don’t have any all-American-type kids. We’re got some really good kids. Like [Javonte] Gardner is going to Florida and Rickey [Smith] is going to Purdue, but we don’t have those Power 5, Five-Star type kids.

“Now they play like they’re Five-Star players, but they just don’t get that kind of exposure right now. This team is different. We don’t have to keep things in perspective for them too much.

“We have a great team. We’ve had better players in years before, but this is a better team.”

In the five seasons Williams has been at Jones, the Tigers have won their first-ever Metro Conference title, become the first Jones team in the 125-year existence of the school to win 13 games (2019), the first to advance to a Florida High School Athletic Association state championship game last season and the first to go unbeaten during the regular season.

Jones is 6-0, with two games cancelled due to COVID-19, heading into Friday night’s Class 5A Region 3 state quarterfinal home game against Brooksville Hernando (6-1) .

“I think one of the reasons we get so much credit in our own state is that they look at our losses. Every loss we’ve had was to a team in the Top 100 n the nation,” Williams said. “That holds some weight, I think. So we’ve played some tough teams.”

During his five seasons at Jones, Williams is 48-8 and has not lost more than two games in any season.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Chris Hays can be reached by email at chays@orlandosentinel.com.


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