This may be one of the wildest stories of the year in today’s Spring Sports Report. You may find this to be the one of the most interesting and detailed stories that you will ever read at this site.
Many of you who follow along here at the site each day know some of the details already. Aaron Jones was a lefthanded pitcher for the Grimsley Whirlies last year. Aaron also played some at first base for Grimsley. Aaron’s family with dad Robbie Jones, mom, little brother Clint the cowboy, and Aaron’s grandad had come to Greensboro after living in Virginia and they wanted Aaron to attend Grimsley because they knew that the Whirlies’ program was undergirded with a solid foundation with Alan Ashkinazy as the head coach.
The Jones family is a good family and they were very supportive of the Grimsley program and felt like it was the right fit for Aaron. Aaron had spent some time at Gospel Light Christian in Walkertown before he came over to Grimsley. As a lefty with a nice curveball Aaron showed much promise on the mound and he was a big help last year at first base and Aaron could hit the ball and get on base, plus he drove in some key runs in Grimsley’s run to the Metro 4-A conference tournament championship.
Aaron did well enough to draw interest from several area colleges and he received a scholarship offer from UNC-Wilmington which he accepted. Aaron played summer Palomino ball with many of his Grimsley teammates on the Shockers, coached by Lester Rivenbark Sr.
Well when the fall of the year rolls around, the fall of 2007 to be exact, Aaron decides not to return to Grimlsey for his senior year but he makes the move to go back to Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown and to play baseball for the Lions.
This caused more than a few eyeballs to start rolling and a ton of questions came up. For starters why leave a program like Grimsley’s that helped get you crucial college attention to go to Gospel Light where you won’t even be on the baseball map?(Unless you have AD/Andy Durham following the story) How will pitching for Gospel Light get you ready for the rigors of college ball when you head off to UNC-W for the fall of 2008? How will the coaches at UNC-W handle this news of the move back to Gospel Light? These are just a few of the questions that were being tossed around.
This all takes us up to the present and to Thursday April 10, 2008. The Gospel Light Christian Lions vs. the Vikings from Vandalia Christian School. The lefty Aaron Jones has taken the step down to the lower level of play and he is the starting pitcher for Gospel Light and guess what? Gospel Light loses to Vandalia 5-4 and Aaron Jones is the losing pitcher…. How’s that gonna look on your college baseball entry records? Aaron did have some impressive individual stats; 12 strikeouts in 7 innings, but he lost to Vandalia, and that’s a far cry different from say losing to East Forsyth or Northwest Guilford. This is not meant to degrade Vandalia. I was conference coach-of-the-year in softball a couple of times back in the 80’s while coaching at Vandalia and once had 7 of the 10 members on the all-conference team so there are some good things going on out there at VCS and at Gospel Light.
My only thoughts are how do you get better and how does it prepare you for DI college ball when you transfer to a private school on Christian school competition levels and you leave a public school that is competing on the highest level in the state at the 4-A classification? One year at Vandalia we had a kid, Mike Wilson, that had been at Smith and Greensboro Day School and he came in to play baseball and he later got drafted by the Braves and played briefly in Atlanta’s farm system. There are some rare occasions.
Bottom line here is that Aaron Jones leaves Grimsley to go back to Gospel Light and his team loses to Vandalia Christian and Aaron is the losing pitcher. How’s that going to look to the baseball coaches at UNC-Wilmington?
We mentioned Aaron’s numbers in the game and credit goes to Vandalia’s Nick Taylor who was 4-4 and scored 3 runs in the VCS 5-4 win over Gospel Light. Also from yesterday, Dudley beat Page for the second time this season by the 12-4 final. Frankie Johnson, Rueben Torelles, and Eric Kimber led Dudley and Nick Jones along with Zach Kornblum paced Page. High Point Central topped Smith 10-4.
On tap for today we have:
SWG at WS Carver
Eastern Randolph at Ragsdale
WG at NEG
HP Central at East Forsyth
SG at EG
SEG at Asheboro
Grimsley at Smith
NG at Bartlett Yancey
Rockingham County at Dudley