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Jones to attend Air Force


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 21, 2001

NEW PORT RICHEY -- After back to back 41-goal seasons, some might say Lindsey Jones flew to the net.

Now, the River Ridge senior forward plans to fly in the U.S. Air Force.

Jones, the Royal Knights' record-holder with 108 goals, has chosen to play soccer for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. In her free time, she plans to fly over moguls on a snowboard in the Colorado mountains and take flying lessons.

"I want to get my pilot's license," said Jones, who will major in either aeronautical engineering or biology.

An honor student throughout high school who carries a 3.75 grade point average, Jones also considered the Naval Academy, Birmingham Southern, Florida State and Central Florida. Having skied in Colorado on family vacations and considering a military career, she selected Air Force.

"Choosing to go into the Air Force Academy I knew I wouldn't have to worry what I'd do after I graduate," Jones said.

Jones netted 26 goals as a sophomore after training with former University of Tampa coach George Fotopoulos.

As a junior, Jones set a school record by scoring 41 goals and helped lead the Knights to the Sunshine Athletic Conference championship. She also earned Times All-County Player of the Year honors.

Jones duplicated that scoring feat this season.

The first time Jones scored 41 goals, however, "just shocked me," she said. "To this day, I don't know how I did that. Then I did it again."

Jones figures playing soccer at the next level "will take a lot of hard work."

She has a head start in that department by competing in four events for the River Ridge track team and lifting weights at the Trinity YMCA. That, she said, should prepare her for six weeks of basic training that starts in June.

Jones, who began playing soccer as a second-grader, came up through the ranks in the Upper Pinellas and West Pasco youth programs. Currently, she plays for the under-18 Countryside Lightning.

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