It’s no surprise that Elijah Jones has a propensity for leadership.
The Jordan football team captain is the oldest of four siblings and he helps take care of his immobile great grandmother Cilla Morales who lives with his family. Jones makes food for her, goes to the store for her and sometimes he’ll just sit there and watch television with her after he gets home from practice.
“We watch Walker Texas Ranger on TV,” Jones said. “She loves the old shows. I wanted to be a firefighter (when I was younger) because I like helping people.”
Lately, Morales has been giving Jones an hour everyday to read the Bible, and he said he’s really enjoyed reading and discussing verses with her. It’s also no surprise that his favorite verse is Isaiah 41:10 which reads, ““Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
“He’s a good, bright kid and a good role model who has a lot of responsibility,” Jordan coach Tim Wedlow said of Jones. “Every time I see him he’s got a smile on his face and he’s ready to work. I wish I had 10 more of him.”
Jones has been playing exclusively at the Varsity level for Jordan since he was a sophomore, and this year the senior team captain is playing wide receiver and defensive back. That experience and leadership helped on both sides of the ball last week when Jordan edged Kennedy in overtime.
“We feel good and I feel like we can carry this into the rest of the season,” Jones said. “We’ve got the size and people who are willing to try to win. We’re willing to fight. We’re tired of losing.”
The home opening win was the first in nine years for the Panthers, and Jones knows the pain of losing at Jordan. He said sometimes he’ll go back and watch the 2019 loss to Cabrillo for motivation.
“We’re willing to fight (this year) because we’re tired of losing,” Jones said.
Jones added that the Jordan coaches deserve a lot of credit for the team being ready for this season after all of the COVID-19 complications.
“The coaches care,” he said. “Even though we’ve had bad years they’re still with us and fighting with us. I like that.”
Jones grew up in Carson where he was a great Little League shortstop on his baseball team. But once he started flag football at 6 years old, and then tackle football when he was 11, Jones knew his true sports love was football as a wide receiver.
“When someone tries to hit you and break for 50 yards… making guys miss is still the best part,” Jones said. “I like catching passes and getting the ball in my hands.”
Jones is also a ball hawk in the defensive secondary where he’s getting better every week. The senior wants to continue his playing career, and said he’s willing to attend a junior college to make that happen.
“He’s working really hard to get a scholarship so he’s playing every play like it’s his last play,” Wedlow said of Jones.
We caught up with Jones this week before Jordan travels to JW North for its second game of the season…
Q: Are you excited to go back to school in person?
A: Yeah. I struggled so much online. You have nobody to keep you in check. I feel like if I’m in the classroom I have the will power to concentrate because it’s like a competition.
Q: What are your favorite classes?
A: I like science, English and history. To know about the people who came before us, a long time before us is very interesting. Even like fossils and stuff. Some people weren’t living past 30. Now some people live to like 106. That’s crazy.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows?
A: I like watching Anime on Hulu. My favorite character is Yusuke. He’s a leader and he doesn’t give up.
Q: Who is your favorite superhero?
A: Batman. Everybody else has powers, but not him. He’s just the Dark Knight.
Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be?
A: Super speed. Like Red Hood.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Domino’s Pizza. The BBQ pizza.
Q: What does your mom get mad at you for the most?
A: Leaving stuff open, like the cabinets. I just forget. And eating late, like cereal at 3am. I’m just watching TV. I try to go to sleep but I just can’t.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: I like everything except for rock. Pop, jazz, rap and even gospel music. Take me to the King. That’s a song, but I forgot who sings it.
Q: Whose album are you more excited for: Kanye or Drake?
A: Kanye. Drake gets on my nerves and Kanye is soulful. He’s just a different artist compared to others.
Q: Who is the funniest person on your team?
A: Damien Henderson because he just throws random jokes out of nowhere. Even when we’re in the huddle he’ll just say something stupid.
Q: Which teammate can eat the most?
A: Jeremie McGurn.
Q: Which teammate would you not let date your sister?
A: Jacob Hernandez because he’s too cocky.
Q: You said you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, so what do you think about the whole Aaron Rodgers situation?
A: He gets on my nerves sometimes. The decisions he makes are poor. Put in Jordan Love sometimes, with the way (Rodgers) plays.”