Hoggard High School senior Donovan Jones didn’t grow up with a lacrosse stick in his hands, but it didn’t take him long to fall in love with the sport.
“He played baseball first and we ended up going to lacrosse after he didn’t like baseball so much,” said Donovan’s father, Eddie Jones.
“I realized, I can’t be stuck in the back field,” said Donovan, who signed with Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. “I had to do something with my feet and hands. I was always moving so lacrosse was a perfect fit, the fastest game on two feet.”
Eddie grew up playing lacrosse, and before he knew it, his son was playing year-round for the Shamrocks, the club Eddie helped start.
“(The Shamrocks lacrosse club) started going up north to different tournaments, and they started to succeed,” said Eddie. “The first time we went up there, we lost 15 or 16-nothing to a Maryland team.
“Now, we are beating those teams.”
While Donovan’s skill level continued to grow, he realized if he worked hard enough, he would have opportunity to play lacrosse in college.
“(Eddie) asked me if we want to be a D-I athlete,” Donovan said. “Then if so, ‘I am going to have to push you.’”
At times, Eddie might have pushed Donovan harder than other players.
“He would say that I am pretty tough on him,” Eddie said.
“He said I had the worst lacrosse IQ, and he meant it out of love,” Donovan said. “From that point on, I have been watching lacrosse film and it’s helped me a lot.”
“He’s on the right path,” Eddie added. “He does a lot of the good things in practice. He does try to pay attention to what we are doing here, and does it off the field as well.”
Donovan’s hard work has paid off and signing day was emotional for both father and son.
“There was defiantly emotion in there,” said Donovan. “It’s really breathtaking that I am signing with a D-I college, and I always wanted to play D-I lacrosse somewhere, anywhere. He has always helped me get to the spot that I am. It’s unbelievable.”
“It’s very hard to talk about (Donovan),” said Eddie. “I love him, and I am proud of him as a lacrosse player, but it doesn’t compare to how proud I am as his father.”
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