PREP FOOTBALL: ‘Have character when nobody’s looking’: Good Hope’s Kaleb Jones looks back on Raider career

Good Hope’s Kaleb Jones. (Maddie McKenney/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to Good Hope senior football player, Kaleb Jones. Kaleb made so many great football memories during his time as a Raider and feels blessed to have played alongside a group of teammates during his career.

“Some of my favorite memories were the summers and the playoff atmosphere we experienced. The summers were hard with workouts and coach Alan Scott made sure we were disciplined, but we had fun doing team challenges and just being around each other. Playoffs were always exciting, seeing everyone come together, win as a team, and pick each other up. You could see how determined everyone was. Some more of my favorite memories were the three years we made it to the second and third round of the playoffs, seeing Colton Bagwell run over everyone, and Cole and Drew Maddox steal catches from defenders. The locker room after winning games were the best: blasting music and everyone dancing and celebrating as a team.” Jones said. “You develop a bond while playing together. You go from not knowing much about these guys to doing anything you can to help them out, on and off the field. You make a bond with your teammates that you’ll have the rest of your life. You learn from each other, and you help each other out.”

He added,

“For me personally, I remember being a freshman and the seniors taking me under their wing and showing me the standards that have been set at Good Hope. As a senior, I tried to do the same for the younger guys to show them what Good Hope football means.”

Kaleb was blessed to get a chance to play for coach Scott and a great coaching staff. He learned so much from them and he talked about his football career.

“Playing for coach Scott definitely had its high and low moments, but every Friday night, we prepared to go to war against the other teams and we had faith in his coaching skills, just as he had faith in our playing abilities. Every Thursday, we did morning walkthroughs of exactly how the game was going to go. If he didn’t like how walkthroughs went, we were back at the field at three, doing them again, until we got it right. He believed that you reap what you sow, and he made it known that this wasn’t just his team; it was our team too and it was up to us on how far we wanted to go. He taught us the values of not just football, but how to be young men and how a young man should carry myself.”

He added, “

After practice, he was adamant that if we didn’t know Christ, we should talk to him. It wasn’t just coach Scott, but the entire coaching staff was always full of great examples of men and how men should be. I’m grateful to have been able to play for them.”

“Growing up, playing football is something everyone has done in my family. I think I would best describe it as a miracle. Before my eighth-grade year, I tore my left ACL, fractured my femur, and tore my lateral meniscus. I came back freshman year ready to play, but not knowing if I was going to be better than I was before. It turned out I did just fine. Then the week before our first playoff game this past season, I tore my right ACL, my MCL, and partially tore my meniscus. I’m about a week away from being cleared. I think that without football, I wouldn’t be who I am today. It taught me discipline, toughness, to have character when nobody’s looking, and most of all, that no matter how big or small you are, if you are willing to work harder than those around you and you truly believe you deserve something, you can achieve a lot more than you think is possible.”

Kaleb got to play alongside some great seniors and learned a very important lesson from them. He talked about some of his favorite high school memories, plus what made Good Hope a special school to go to.

“It set the stage for how I needed to train and the mentality I needed to have if I wanted to be like them or better. It was great seeing them accomplish so much and I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of those teams and play with such great guys. I learned to be tough and in a locker room with older guys, you have to be,” he said. “My favorite high school memories were the pep rallies. The blackout pep rallies were always my favorite ones and also, sitting in class, goofing off with my friends. What made it a special place to go to was how well-connected everyone is. Everyone knows everyone and the teachers were great.”

Kaleb will deeply miss being a Raider next year and talked about what will he remember the most about going there, plus some advice that he would give the upcoming students that will be starting high school in August.

“I’ll definitely miss the welcoming atmosphere the teachers and administrators made you feel when you went to school. You could tell they were there to help you succeed,” he said. “I will definitely remember the people I’ve met. I made some of my greatest friends while I was in high school. Some of them, I may not talk to after school, but the moment I see them, it’ll be just like it was yesterday when we were talking. Some advice that I would give them is to have a plan, stay on top of your grades, and have someone to look up to.”

Kaleb looked up to another former Good Hope running back when he was younger, plus he talked about the best advice that he was ever given.

“My biggest role model was Ethan Anderson. He was a grade above me, and I felt like our styles of running were similar. He was very humble and never talked about how good he was, but everyone knew it because it showed on the field,” he said. “The best advice that I was ever given was to get in the weight room. That’s the fastest way to get an edge over your opponent.”

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