Nationals’ Jones powers through injuries, shines on and off the diamond
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -After missing football and basketball season for Maxwell during the 2022-23 school year due to a genetic knee issue, Easton Jones was ready to return to the diamond and make his presence know during the high school baseball season until he was sidelined once again.
“This spring I was playing with Maxwell-Saint Pat’s baseball and I went to throw the ball and it buckled and I got another knee injury,” said Jones, who is heading into his junior year at Maxwell.
Now sidelined for the rest of baseball season once again, doctors found signs of osteochondritis dissecans, the same genetic disorder found in Jones’ other knee.
“It’s really rare, only about 200,000 people have this in the world, and its the same on this right knee but it’s a little bit of Meniscus too,” said Jones, “same surgeries on both knees, they went in and removed a lot of things, and then they are waiting on a bone graft that I have to get here.”
Legion season began and Jones found himself on the mend again, he has found a way to grow himself in the game despite not playing.
“Easton Jones has showed up every day doing charts in the dugout,” said Ricky Holm, Head Coach of the FNBO Nationals Senior team, “talking to the guys about their swing, their tendencies, even though he hasn’t been able to play he has been able to help the team out.”
Even though the injuries take a mental toll on Jones, he takes solace knowing that his teammates always have his back.
“It’s been really tough mentally, but I just have to keep thinking to myself that everything happens for a reason and we are going to get through everything,” said Jones, “I just try to stay positive and keep my head up, and always think that everything could be worse. These teammates of mine they are more like brothers I mean, everything we go through as a team, it’s just hard to put into words, but when they are by my side I know I can do anything.”
And, for his hard work through the season, Coach Holm wanted to reward Jones with some time on the diamond.
“I told him, I was like ‘hey, do you want to get in the game either hitting or pitching,” said Holm, “I’m gonna get you in there’ just as a thank you for everything he has done with the team”
Jones got his moment against Ogallala on July 10th, when Coach Holm sent him to the plate in a 5-0 ballgame.
“That was something else, that’s for sure, got my lone AB of the year just for riding with the boys so coach kind of gave it as a thank you,” said Jones, “then I got in the box, knew I had seen two fastballs, and was going to see another one, and I just took advantage of it. That was one of the moments I will never forget in my life”
“Caden Joneson was in the on deck circle,” said Holm, “and he bat flips and was jumping around like a little kid, you just see everyone was so excited for him, because they all know how important he was for the team these last two years and how tough it is to come around and not be able to help your team on the field. I’m not a very emotional guy when it comes to crying, but that was a day where I was happy I had shades on because there might have been a tear or two.”
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