THIS WEEK IN PRINT: Hard to Say Goodbye, but Remember Hunter with a Smile

THIS WEEK IN PRINT: Hard to Say Goodbye, but Remember Hunter with a Smile

PHOTO: On Friday, April 28th, Crossville lost a great kid and future sports star, but the family asks for us to celebrate his life and be happy, as Hunter always was. (Leah A. Jones)

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor

CROSSVILLE, Ala. — Sometimes, as a Sports Editor, you see a young athlete and you know, without a doubt, that they have great potential and you look forward to seeing what they accomplish. Hunter Jones, of Crossville, was that athlete. I had the privilege of meeting  Hunter, while covering his brother, Blanton Jones, in football and basketball. Tragically, on Friday, April 28, 2017, Hunter was involved in a fatal ATV accident. A young star taken too soon.

Hunter excelled in sports. Hunter was an All-American young man, playing basketball for Crossville Jr. High, baseball, traveling baseball with the Bearcats, Jr. High football, soccer, golf, skateboarding, fishing, hunting, the Crossville 4-H club, and was a member of the Crossville First Baptist Church where he was involved in the youth group. He loved life to the fullest. He was in the sixth grade at Crossville Elementary. He was already talking to head soccer coach, Will Brock, about playing on the Crossville Soccer Team as a seventh grader.

The community has rallied around the family that Hunter leaves behind. The soccer team dedicated their 2-1 victory over Madison County, in the first round of AHSAA boys soccer playoffs, to the memory of Hunter Jones. The No. 10 soccer jersey has been retired in memory of Jones.  The Crossville Lady Lions softball team played their area games, at Guntersville High School, in memory of Hunter.

Also, Aki Ishiwatari, fitness instructor at Body Vision in Rainsville and avid runner, ran in honor of Hunter on Saturday, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Nashville. The 9th annual Cody Renfroe Rod Run, that will be held on May 13, 2017, changed their artwork, for their benefit t-shirts, to the artwork that Hunter submitted in kindergarten. The artwork that Jones submitted from years past, was one of three that car show coordinators saved.

Photo: Shirts for the 9th Annual Rod Run with Hunter's Artwork. (Crossville Fire Department)

Funeral services for Hunter will be 1 pm Saturday at Crossville High School Gymnasium. The family will receive friends Saturday from 10 am until the 1 pm hour of service. Graveside services will follow at Collinsville Cemetery. The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Liberty Bank of Crossville for a memorial for Hunter to be determined later.

Hunter is survived by his parents, Brent & Leah Blanton Jones; twin sister, Riley Jane Jones; brother & sister-in-law, Peyton & Jacque Jones; brother, Blanton Jones; grandfathers, Jack Blanton, and the late Mary Blanton and Benson Jones and the late Woneta Jones; Special cat, Ralph; uncles, Tim Blanton and Kent & Gina Jones; cousins, Tatem & Pierce Jones.

I will never be able to write a sports story about my friend, Hunter Jones. A precious life taken too soon. We do not always understand why bad things happen to good people. In times like these, we have to turn to God’s word found in John 13:7, Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

In honor of Hunter, I dedicate my sports section to him, because I know that if it were not for this tragedy, he would have graced these pages often. In honor of Hunter Jones, we must be, “One town, one team, one family, #crossvillestrong."

3 Responses
  1. Marla Jones I have enjoyed watching how you have become a good writer and photographer. This is a great story for a sad time. The way this paper and people are not afraid to show Bible verses and speak of God is the BEST! God bless you all.

  2. Too many of Crossville’s youth have met with tragic, untimely deaths. I know no other small town which has had so many tragedies over the years.

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