By Joe Morgan and Joe Murphy
Jamesville-DeWitt High School's golf powerhouse senior Alanna Jones has dominated the course this year. With five undefeated golf seasons under her belt, the veteran senior, and future Long Island Post University athlete is in the middle of a 6-0 season, and is looking to finish her final high school season on a high note.
On April 15 Jones was named as the Athlete of the Week by News Channel 9. Although this is a great testimony to her talent, Jones says she can't get comfortable with the skills she possesses now, and that she is “going to have to work to do better.” If she wants to achieve her ultimate hope, which is to display her talents in the LPGA, post college graduation.
This lack of satisfaction with her current excellence, which Jones displays on the course, and has won her kudos from the press, is the exact work ethic she says she carries into the classroom, and that’s why Jones is going to LIU Post to study to become a high school teacher. This fulfills two lifetime goals: to play collegiate level golf, and become a teacher like her late grandfather Ernie Jones, who co-founded the Syracuse Golf Association and taught sciences at Central Tech and Fowler high schools. Jones’s teachers can vouch for her work ethic. Senior English teacher Joe Dechick, says he has seen Jones’s Confidence and her ability to “take care of business” grow from her junior year to senior year. “Quite frankly she is a leader in a class of 28 students… and I know her golf coaches notice it, too,” said Dechick
Jones started on her journey of following in her grandfather's footsteps at a young age. “When I could first walk, my grandpa put a club in my hand and pretty much after that I fell in love with the game,” said Jones, and fall in love with the game she did. Since childhood, Jones has competed in countless tournaments, like the Junior LPGA, and five varsity golf seasons.
Jones’s impact extends far outside the course. Like her grandfather, she has given back to the community, and hopes to continue to do so. “I plan on being in Syracuse in the summers, and continue volunteering at camps run by the SGA,” said Jones. Jones wants to continue not only teaching the game of golf but teaching children “values of the game” like “honesty and integrity.”
On top of spreading values like honesty and integrity, the senior captain has handed her skills and golf IQ to more inexperienced players on the Varsity Girls Golf team. Sophomore teammate Sophia Pluff can attest to Jones’s leadership, saying that she has helped her personally in becoming a more confident player and person as a whole. “I have more confidence in myself and my swing,” said Pluff.
Confidence is no issue for Jones, said sophomore teammate Zoe Pipines. She says a player of Jones’s confidence level brings a presence to the course. “It’s very intimidating to play with Alanna, because she is just so good. When Alanna is having a good day she brings a great presence to the course, (and) she can still play with a smile on her face.”
So far the Varsity Girls Golf team is off to a 6-0 start. They hope to continue that streak as they face East Syracuse-Minoa May 1, and Christian Brothers Academy and Chittenango in the first week in May.
The girls consider their match against CBA on May 17, their most competitive of the year.
The team’s goal according to Jones is to finish yet another season undefeated. “I just want to finish off my years here at JD with the undefeated record we’ve worked so hard to maintain,” said Jones.