BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Jeron Jones is one of 43 coaches with teams in the 2018 Big Atlantic Classic, the same tournament he competed in as a player throughout his career at Woodrow Wilson.
“Tradition is big here in Beckley,” Jones said. “You always want to come back and give back… and keep Beckley as the city of champions.”
Now in year four as varsity head boys coach at Beckley-Stratton Middle School, Jones enjoys leading a team among an even playing field because of the fierce athleticism from all teams in the classic, not just a selective few.
“Everybody’s competitive,” Jones said. “There’s no more days where one or two schools are dominating. You have to prepare for each team every week because they’re that competitive.”
Eighth grade forward Maddex McMillan says his past experience in the tournament has calmed his nerves in playing under the arena lights.
“I’ve played here last year,” McMillan said. “So that helped this year more,”
Nonetheless, high school and college teams witnessing the future of their programs is still a sight to see.
“If you love to work on your game and play, somebody will see that work ethic and someone will take a chance on you,” Jones said.
“It feels good just to know that there are other coaches watching that get to see my skills,” McMillan said. “It’s crazy because I’m usually the one watching them.”