PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - As the Topsail Pirates prepared for their Week 4 matchup with White Oak, senior Andrew Jones could care less about filling the stat sheet this season.
"I just want to do what's best for the team and win games," Jones explained. The offensive lineman fights in the trenches every day, doing what it takes for the team. His willingness to make sacrifices, however, dates farther back.
Jones started playing football at eight years old and didn't look back until the sixth grade. His football career was put on hold so he could live with his family in Vietnam as his father served in the Marines.
Football and friends were left behind for the next two years. The Jones family made it back to the states just in time for Andrew to start his freshman year at Topsail High School. He had to get used to a new school and new friends -- but change followed him to the football field as well.
"I knew I was going to come back after two years living in Vietnam," Jones explained. "But I never expected to go through this many positions."
Jones terrorized quarterbacks as a linebacker freshman year. Come sophomore and junior year, he transitioned to connecting with QBs as a wide reciever/tight end. Jones said his tall, lanky frame finally started to fill out.
"I was 170 freshman year," Jones said with a grin. "Now I'm 230." A huge growth spurt meant in his fourth and final year it was time for a fourth new position.
"In the beginning when they moved me to guard I was skeptical I was still wanting to catch the ball," Jones explained. "But I think I'm a lot better at guard." Jones said his years as a wide out made him quicker on his feet in the trenches.
Coach Wayne Inman said Jones never questioned the position change and has played an integral part in the Pirates hot start. ""I just like hitting people pretty much every play," Jones said. "I'm a silent leader, I like to lead with my actions."
After three games, the the team is rolling as well. The undefeated Pirates are searching for their first winning season since 2012.