SHINER -- Basketball can humble those who play it. Even when a player is forced to take time away from it.
Shiner High School sophomore guard Evel Jones passes the ball to a teammate during the team's practice on Wednesday. Photos by Angeli Wright, Victoria Advocate
After missing most of his freshman year due to grade issues, sophomore shooting guard Evel Jones is back where he wanted to be, where he most missed being last season.
"It was real fun to be able to play with all my teammates," Jones said. "It was just fun."
Jones only played four games for the Comanches last season before having to sit out the remainder of the year.
Shiner went on to finish second in district and lost to Thorndale in the first round of the playoffs.
Jones is averaging 10 points and six rebounds in what is his first full varsity season with the Comanches.
Shiner High School sophomore guard Evel Jones goes up for a shot against a block from coach Wendall Boner during the team's practice on Wednesday.
Shiner basketball coach Wendall Boner said Jones has a lot of potential and the best way to work on his game is to stay on the court.
"He's got all the tools to be great, he just needs time and preparation," Boner said.
Jones brings an extra dimension to the Comanche offense they lacked last year, one that will help them beat a pressing team and they hope go farther in the playoffs.
"We've got an extra guard now to handle the ball," said senior post Kenneth Coleman.
Jones is known for his speed and the Comanches are hoping to catch District 28-1A, Div. I opponents off guard this year with Jones, a two-guard that can take it to the hole.
"That's something special. You don't find that every day," said junior point guard Matt Pohler. "He really helps with ball handling and he can score."
Shiner High School sophomore guard Evel Jones smiles while waiting for instructions from his coach during the team's practice on Wednesday.
Jones added: "I always have been fast and I always used my speed."
Jones credits upperclassmen like Pohler and Colman with helping him get re- acclimated to the game and showing what type of leadership is expected in the future.
"They get up on me to do the right stuff," Jones said.
Boner sees a difference in Jones' game that cannot be measured, but has been valuable to the Comanches.
"You can see a lot of maturity in Evel this year," Boner said.
Jones doesn't just have fast legs, he has quick hands that help him average more than three steals a game.
Boner said that although his team is a work in progress, he likes the direction and the leadership provided by Jones, Pohler and Coleman.
Shiner High School sophomore guard Evel Jones takes a short rest on the side of the court during Wednesday's team practice.
"All three work as hard as anyone else on the team," Boner said.
Like many seniors, Coleman said he wants to make the most out of this season and help the basketball team reach a level of recognition in the community where it is not seen as a filler between football and baseball season.
"We're trying to get it on the map a little bit," Coleman said.
Although this is Coleman's final season, the Comanches will go the rest of this season and all of next season with the Jones-Pohler backcourt.
Jones said the team has a lot of potential the next two seasons and looks forward to, hopefully, a longer playoff run.
"I'm excited to play with all of them," Jones said. "I like playing with them."