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SHS senior Jones provides leadership on her team

It doesn’t take long to figure out who the unselfish player is on the Straughn softball team.

Senior Shelley Jones has been on the Lady Tigers softball team for the past five years and has occupied a somewhat quiet role.

On Friday, Jones will try to help her team succeed at the Class 3A state finals in more of a supportive role.

“I’ll try not to look at how much playing time I get, but all that matters is how far we get and how well we do,” Jones said.

Last year, Jones was not able to play most of the season due to a knee injury, watching from the bench as her team made it all the way to the state championship and finished as runner-up in the state.

“I learned it took a lot of hard work and dedication to get that far,” Jones said. “But, it was all worth it in the end even though we didn’t get in first. I still wish I was out there last year.”

Jones grew up in the Straughn community and plans on attending Enterprise-Ozark Community College in the fall. After her stint at EOCC, Jones said she wants to attend the police academy.

Jones said the game of softball has helped her “open up” a little bit while at Straughn.

“I’m more kept to myself and it’s helped me to open up,” Jones said. “To us, we started out as being friends, but right now we’re a family.”

Straughn coach Ray Wilson said Jones has contributed a lot to the team the last five years.

“Her leadership has been a tribute to the team,” Wilson said. “She’s been very unselfish. She’s been a reliable member for our team now for five years on varsity.”

Jones is the daughter of Larry and Kay Jones of Andalusia.