Wednesday, July 28, 2010

James Jones

James Jones, 1975-2010

I received the sad news from Camarillo today that James Jones had passed away due to an acute asthma attack on July 24th.

James graduated from Rio Mesa with our son Michael in 1994. He was a huge teddy bear of a man who loved his family, life and his friends, you could not help but like him. He was married to his junior high school sweetheart, Kathleen, for 18 years and leaves behind four children ages 14 to 6.

He was an amazing athlete, quick, fast and agile, which just did not seem to fit his short, squat, 300
+ lbs. body. For the Spartans, he was a back-up fullback. Think Refrigerator Perry and a starting defensive tackle. Think very hard to block.

My favorite athletic memory of James came his senior season in the crosstown rivalry game at Camarillo H.S.

The Scorpions were kicking off to us and I was at the top of Camarillo's huge hillside stadium in the spotter's booth. James was positioned in our second line and the short kick wound up in his hands. You at first heard the Camarillo crowd almost chuckling as the "Big Boy" started to move up the field. Suddenly he put on a burst of speed and Scorpions were literally bouncing off of him left and right.

Later on the video tape of the game you could here the crowd's mood change from amusement to "What the . . . " to "Oh, my God!" I'll never forget that roar from the hostile home crowd in appreciation of having just seen something that they probably would never see again.

You must remember, James was like a booster rocket, made to be explosive but not for long. After about 40 yards on this fabled return, he ran out of gas and a couple of Camarillo players were able to finally bring down our now "wounded" Spartan hero.

We would go on to win that game and if memory serves me correctly, James scored one of his patented short yardage, goal line TDs.

James was one of the good guys.

1 comment:

momtrepeneur said...

What a great memory of a great person, husband and father. Do you know if anyone has the video footage? It would be a wonderful gift for his wife and children. It is something they would cherish.