Ruthie Jones has a lot of competition to be the best athlete just within her own immediate family.
Her father, Steve, played football at Washington & Lee University. Her mother, Becca, played basketball at Davidson College.
All three of her siblings were or are also college athletes as her older sister, Becca, 23, played field hockey at Davidson, while her oldest brother, Daniel, 21, has been the Duke’s starting quarterback (football) for the last three years. Her older brother Bates, 20, is a sophomore forward on the Davidson basketball team.
Daniel Jones is projected to a first or second round pick in the NFL Draft this week by multiple publications.
The youngest of four siblings, Ruthie Jones, has lived up to family’s billing as an all-state goalkeeper for the Charlotte Latin girls’ soccer team, who was also in the U.S. National team pool (U15 and U17) for three years.
Ruthie Jones, who is also all-state basketball player for Latin, will play college soccer at Duke University.
“From the perspective of being the youngest (Jones) watching my parents and older brothers and sister really shows you how and the right way (to being a college athlete),” Ruthie Jones said. “But it also shows me how I can do it differently, but accomplish the same things. It’s definitely been a lot of fun growing up, competing with my family. We played a lot of two on two basketball games, with Bates and Becca taking on Daniel and I.”
Jones pauses and laughs before she continues: “Obviously,” she said, “Daniel and I won most of the time. That competition has really made each of us the athletes we are today.”
Ruthie Jones did not play for the Charlotte Latin girls’ soccer team last season as she focused on her roles on the U19 Charlotte Soccer Academy (CSA) developmental, club team and in the U.S. National team pool.
But this year, Jones decided to return to the Charlotte Latin soccer team, where she has nine shutouts in 15 games, while recording 82 saves.
Jones had three straight shutouts in CISAA play against Cannon School, Covenant Day and Charlotte Country Day, respectively (going into Providence Day game Tuesday).
Jones finally got her chance to be the full-time starter in goal after splitting time with former all-state keeper Claudia Dickey, who now plays for the University of North Carolina.
Jones has made the most of her opportunity as a leader and co-captain (with fellow seniors, Anna Calloway, Caroline Juckett and Sully Williams) on what is a younger Charlotte Latin team overall.
“I always joke that you can’t keep up with these Joneses’,” said Charlotte Latin soccer coach Lee Horton, who has won more 1,000 games and 19 state championships in 33 years. “It’s been great to have Ruthie (Jones) back this year, because she makes a huge difference for this team, because you know when she’s in the goal, you have a chance to win in every game.”
Jones often makes the spectacular save look routine.
Coach Horton says a great example of that came in the first half of the Charlotte Country Day game April 18. That’s when Jones snatched the ball out of the air on a point-blank Bucs’ shot from six yards away.
“That save against Charlotte Country Day was ridiculous, but it’s something she does all of the time,” Horton said. “As a forward on the opposing team, you have to be thinking ‘What do I have to do to be able to score on this (goalkeeper)? Having that type of goalkeeper changes the game.”
While Jones and the rest of the Charlotte Latin team are focused on making a run at their fifth straight NCISAA state championship in a row next month, she knows she will miss one more game this year.
Jones will miss the Charlotte Christian game Thursday when she and her entire immediate family will attend the NFL Draft in Nashville, hoping to watch Daniel Jones get selected.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity that Daniel (Jones) is going to have to get drafted and play in the NFL,” Ruthie Jones said. “It’s inspiring for me to see how much work Daniel (Jones) has put in at Duke and it has all paid off.”
Jones will follow in brother’s footsteps at Duke starting this summer when she starts her collegiate career for Blue Devils’ coach Robbie Church.
“I can’t wait to get to Duke and obviously I’m nervous because there’s so much I don’t know (about college),” Jones admitted. “But just the opportunity I have to go to school at Duke and play soccer in the ACC is a dream come true.”
Helen Summerell, West Iredell Soccer: The West Iredell senior set the school-record for assists in a career, dishing out her 47th assist to open the scoring in a 7-0 win over Bunker Hill April 17. She had three goals and three assists in the win.
Summerell, who has 148 career goals, broke the career goal-scoring mark as a sophomore, and owns the Iredell County scoring (goals) record for a male or female player.
Summerell, a Catawba College signee, has 36 goals and 17 assists for the West Iredell (14-3, 9-1 in the Northwest Foothills’ 2A conference) this season.
Nicole Cristy, Porter Ridge Soccer: The Porter Ridge junior defender/midfielder had two goals including the game-winner to lead the Pirates to 3-2 overtime victory over Hickory Ridge April 17.
Cristy scored her second goal with one second left in the second overtime to give her team the victory.
Cristy has 14 goals and five assists for Porter Ridge (10-5, 6-4 in the Southwestern 4A conference (SW4A)) this season.
Taylor Barrineau, East Lincoln Soccer: The East Lincoln junior scored five goals and had two assists in two big South Fork 2A conference victories last week.
Barrineau had two goals in a 3-1 win over Bandys April 16.
Two days later, she poured in three goals and had two assists in an 8-2 victory at Maiden to put East Lincoln in second-place in the league standings (12-4, 10-2).
Barrineau, who has 25 goals and nine assists this season, is three goals shy of the East Lincoln single-season record, with three more regular season games to play.
Regan Weisner, South Caldwell Softball: The South Caldwell sophomore had a monster week at the plate, going 7-for-9 with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in three wins.
Weisner started her week going 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two doubles and six RBI in a 12-2 win over West Caldwell, Apr. 15.
Two days later, she came back with another home run and four RBI in a 14-0 win at Watauga.
Weisner, who already has a school-record 12 home runs this year, is batting .556 with five doubles, 12 home runs, 41 RBI and 30 runs scored for South Caldwell (15-3, 14-0 in the Northwestern 3A/4A conference).
Maddy Hanson, Charlotte Catholic Softball: The Charlotte Catholic senior led the Cougars to three straight victories with three shutout wins on the mound last week
Hinson started her week with a four-hit, seven-strikeout effort in a 1-0 win at Marvin Ridge April 15.
The next day, Hinson pitched led Charlotte Catholic to wins over Weddington and Sun Valley in the same day.
Hinson had eight strikeouts in three innings allowing no hits in 13-0 win over Weddington.
Hinson came back later that night and had 13 strikeouts, allowing just three hits in a 7-0 win over Sun Valley.
Hinson is 12-4 this season with 130 strikeouts in 95.2 innings of work while boasting a 1.17 earned-run average (ERA) for the Charlotte Catholic (13-4, 8-4 in the Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC)).
Anna Blume, South Rowan Softball: The South Rowan senior had a big week at the plate, going 5-for-7 with a single, a double, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI last week to lead the Raiders to three straight wins. South Rowan had won only two games all season previously.
Blume started her week with a double, triple and RBI in the Raiders’ 15-0 win over Thomasville April 16.
Blume added two home runs and five RBI in the second game of the doubleheader with Thomasville that same night in a 24-5 win.
The next day, Blume was 1-for-2 with two more RBI in a 19-2 win over Lexington.
Blume, a Lenoir-Rhyne signee, is batting .500 with five home runs, four doubles, 21 RBI for South Rowan (5-12, 5-11 in the Central Carolinas’ conference) this season.
Devoria Boykins, East Rutherford Track: The East Rutherford sophomore won the 100 and 200-meter dashes while helping the 4 X 100-meter relay team to victory at the Rutherford County Championships on her home track April 17.
Boykins set personal-records in winning the 200-meter dash (27.54) and finishing as runner-up in the shot put (29-3). She also won the 100-meter dash in 13.24 seconds, and teamed with Ashleigh Jones, Janiah and Saniah Tutt, to claim the county 4 X 100-meter relay title in 53.8 seconds.
Boykins’ efforts also helped the Cavaliers’ girls’ team to a Rutherford County runner-up finish.
Charlotte Observer Boys’ Athletes of the Week
Cameron Rose, Hickory Ridge Track: The Hickory Ridge junior won the 100- and 200-meter dashes while anchoring the 4 X 200-meter relay team to victory to help the Ragin’ Bulls win the Cabarrus County Championships at Mount Pleasant April 17.
Rose won the 100-meter dash (10.90), the 200-meter dash (21.55) and teamed with Jaylen Nicholson, Garrett Williams and Isaiah Littlejohn, to win the 4 X 200-meter relay (1:29.53) to earn the Cabarrus County Championship’s boys’ most valuable player (MVP) honors.
Rose also finished third-place in the 400-meter dash (50.29).
Marcus Woods, Charlotte Country Day Track: The Charlotte Country Day senior pulled off a rare sprint triple, winning the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes at a Cannon School meet April 17.
Woods, a Yale University signee, set school and personal records in winning both the 200-meter dash (21.71) and 400-meter dash (48.61) at the same meet. He ran the 100-meter dash in 10.96.
Josh Parks, A.L. Brown track: The A.L. Brown senior set a new county, school and personal record in the 400-meter dash, running a 47.48 to win the even at the Cabarrus County Championships at Mount Pleasant, April 17.
Parks’ 400-meter time (47.48) was also the No. 1 time run in the state this season, according to milesplit.com.
Parks, a UNC Wilmington signee, also won Cabarrus County titles in the 110-meter hurdles (14.28), high jump (6-2), while finishing third-place in the 200-meter dash (21.86) to help the Wonders’ team to a runner-up finish.
John Miralia, Providence Day Baseball: The Providence Day junior had another big week on the mound and at the plate to help the Chargers to three straight wins in as many days at the Jack Sink Invitational.
Miralia’s best game of the week came on the mound as tossed a four-hit, complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts to lead the Chargers to a 2-0 win over South Mecklenburg, Apr. 17.
Miralia, a Duke University commit, also went 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI combined in wins over Olympic (14-0 on Apr. 15) and Butler (5-2 on Apr. 16).
Miralia is 5-0 on the mound with 63 strikeouts in 34 innings while boasting a 1.03 ERA for Providence Day (13-5, 4-2 in the CISAA) this season.
Blake Efird, Brendan Barrows, Matthew Broadway, Porter Ridge Baseball: The Porter Ridge pitching trio allowed just one run on eights in 2-0 sweep of Hickory Ridge last week, giving the Pirates’ (12-7, 10-2) sole possession of second-place in the SW4A conference standings.
Efird, a sophomore, got things started going all seven innings, allowing five hits and no runs with nine strikeouts in a 4-0 win at Hickory Ridge April 17.
The next day, Porter Ridge junior Brendan Barrows started the game going five inning with one run on three hits, while Pirates’ sophomore, Matthew Broadway, finishing the game, allowing no runs over the last two innings in the 8-1 victory over Hickory Ridge.
Efird, Barrows and Broadway have been big on the mound as they are a combined 6-4 this year with 74 strikeouts in 73.1 innings of work.
Porter Ridge has won eight of their last 10 games after a 4-5 start.
Drew Hackett, Charlotte Catholic Golf: The Charlotte Catholic senior had another big week on the golf course, helping the Cougars to their second straight SCC title.
Hackett started his week with a two-under par 34, to earn medalist honors in the SCC match at Firethorne Country Club April 16.
The next day, Hackett fired an even par 72, to help Charlotte Catholic win the SCC (team) championship at Stonebridge.
Hackett has a nine-shot lead in the individual, SCC standings right now, which makes him the favorite going into the final league match of the season April 29 (rain makeup).
Hackett also shot 71-73 (four-over par) to finish third-place individually last weekend April 18-20, in the Palmetto High School Championship at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club in Pawleys’ Island, SC. Charlotte Catholic finished as team runner-up to Mater Dei (CA) in the same event.
Hackett, a UNC Wilmington signee with a 4.5 grade-point average, is ranked No. 11 in the state, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA).
Noah Bumgarner, West Caldwell Golf: The West Caldwell sophomore earned medalist in both of his Northwestern 3A/4A conference matches last week.
Bumgarner started his week with a 3-under par 68 at Silver Creek Plantation in Morganton win the NW3A/4A match April 15.
Two days later, Bumgarner shot a two-over par 73 to win medalist honors and NW3A/4A conference player of the year for the second straight year at Boone Golf Club.
Thomas Tyson/Christian Miller, Charlotte Catholic Tennis: The Charlotte Catholic tennis duo came up big to help the Cougars to a 5-4 win over rival, Marvin Ridge April 15.
Tyson, playing No. 1 singles, knocked off the Mavericks’ No. 1 Rish Reddy, 7-6, 3-6, 10-2. He also teamed with Nicholas Clementi to win in doubles.
Tyson is 13-3 in singles’ play and 14-2 in doubles this season.
Miller also helped win two critical matches to beat Marvin Ridge, including at No. 4 singles, and with doubles’ partner, Gabe Elder.
Miller is 16-1 in singles’ play and 14-2 in doubles this season for Charlotte Catholic (14-2, 12-2 in the SCC), now in second place in the league standings.
** Information published today includes statistics through April 21. Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.