By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (June 13, 2017) — It appears Stephenville will not have Easton Jones back at quarterback this season, after all.
The Yellow Jackets very likely will not have him for basketball or baseball, either.
Jones was initially diagnosed with a torn ulna collateral ligament in his right elbow Tuesday after reportedly hearing a pop and feeling pain in his throwing arm following seven pitches in a select baseball game.
The name of the surgery used to correct a UCL tear of this significance has become two of the most feared words in baseball, perhaps all of sports – Tommy John. He will receive a second opinion next week from a physician affiliated with the Texas Rangers.
“We’ll get a second opinion from the Texas Rangers’ team doctor and then we’ll have the surgery as quick as we can,” said father Troy Jones, an associate athletic director at Tarleton State University, and a former coach, whose wife, Pamela Jones, is a longtime teacher and coach at Henderson Junior High. “Then we’ll get him in rehab and hope and pray for the best.”
Jones passed for more than 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, completing 57.2 percent of his attempts with 13 interceptions. He passed for more than 4,100 career yards and would have been a third-year starter this fall.
Jones was having a behemoth summer in 7-on-7, passing for 24 touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Yellow Jackets to a state tournament berth with four straight wins at the Gatesville qualifier in May. He was turnover-free again the following week, seeing limited snaps while Stephenville was 3-0 in pool play of the Brock qualifier.
No. 2 quarterback Tyler Schouten, a junior, has put up good numbers when relieving Jones in 7-on-7, giving Schouten suddenly-valuable opportunities to work with a talented receiving core led by 4A high jump champ Blake Aragon and Kyle Lindsey.
Jones was selected for a regional recruiting showcase as part of Nike’s The Opening. He performed at the Dallas Regional, held in March at The Star, the stadium at the new headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys in Frisco.
Jones was one of two primary pitchers for the Region I-4A quarterfinalist Yellow Jacket baseball team this spring, posting a 0.88 earned run average while striking out 87 batters.
“We have received an outpouring of support from teammates, friends and family,” said Troy Jones. “All we can do is pray and trust that God has a reason for everything.”