In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company named Sophie Jones of Menlo School (a partner of PCA-SF Bay Area) and from San Jose Earthquakes Academy as its 2018-19 Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Jones is the first Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Menlo School.
The 5-foot-6 senior midfielder led the Knights to a 20-2-2 record and the the Central Coast Section Division I sectional tournament championship this past season. Jones scored 18 goals and recorded 16 assists despite missing the final two games of the season while training with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team. She also played in the 2018 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Uruguay.
Jones has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics and as a youth soccer coach. Jones has maintained a weighted 3.65 GPA in the classroom and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Duke University this fall.
Sophie Jones, pictured above, donated her $1,000 award to PCA and her dad, Warren Jones explains their involvement with PCA below:
What was Sophie's past involvement with PCA workshops?
"When Sophie was playing with her first local club team, the Menlo-Alpine Strikers, the parents were all encouraged to attend a Positive Coaching Alliance workshop. I volunteered to coordinate communications and collect money from parents for the materials. Essentially I helped facilitate attendance for two seasons of workshops, and the coaches and the parents were the target audience."
What did Sophie learn from her PCA workshop(s) that she has carried forward?
"Sophie, and hopefully the other kids on her teams, learned the lessons of PCA through the behavior of their parents. Essentially it boils down to approaching the experience of competition with a positive, respectful disposition. When you play any sport, have as much fun as possible. It's a game! So try your hardest to improve, and help those around you improve, whether you're practicing or playing in a game, but always keep a positive mind set, and have fun! Treat everyone with respect: teammates, opponents, coaches, referees. Don't make excuses. No blaming others. Work hard, and trust your coaches decisions. Sophie's mother and I would practice this approach by never asking about the score, or how many goals were scored, or any other game specific questions. Instead we'd ask open ended questions like "Did you have fun today?" and just let Sophie take the conversation wherever she wanted."
Sophie Jones on why she chose to support PCA:
“I really believe the core principles of PCA are a big part of my positive approach to playing sports, and I want other kids to benefit from PCA as well. The impact parents have on their kids is huge, so the more those parents can be encouraged to subscribe to the PCA philosophy, the better."