TIM HAYES Bristol Herald Courier
Brody Jones had spent many hours at Virginia High’s Margaret H. St. John swimming pool rehabilitating the fibula in his right leg that was fractured November 12 in a VHSL Region 2D playoff football game against the Lee High Generals .
During one such session, shortly after receiving good news about the progress of his injury return, VHS swim and dive coach Woody Van Nostrand struck up a conversation with Jones.
“We talked about swimming and events where I thought he might be competitive,” Van Nostrand said. “He was open to trying.”
Jones is always up for a challenge.
“I definitely missed the competition,” Jones said. “So I decided to join the team.”
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior received a crash course in the intricacies of the sport before his debut in pool with the Bearcats on Jan. 19 during a five-team meeting.
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“The first time I jumped off the block was the day before the meeting,” Jones said. “I still can’t make a turn but I’m working on it. … It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.”
Jones made a splash with first-place finishes at both events he competed in.
He joined Carter Kerr, Coleman Austin and Adam Harosky in the 200-medley relay team that arrived with a triumphant time of 2:02.86.
Jones touched the wall in 26.42 seconds to prevail in the 50 freestyle, edging out Patrick Henry’s Hunter Wright (26.77) in the race.
“I was a little nervous,” Jones said. “I had butterflies like I usually get before a competition.”
Jones is joining a team that ranks among the best in Southwest Virginia, and the Bearcats should add more points to their team with the addition of Jones.
“Brody is a very athletic person and has excelled in several sports on VHS,” said Van Nostrand. “He’s a hard worker and focused on doing well.”
The Virginia High boys swam to third place at last year’s VHSL Class 1/2 State Meeting.
“Those years [girls and boys] Teams do very well with a mix of new and old,” said Van Nostrand. “It has been exciting to watch them compete from the beginning of the year until now. Some had never been in a meeting or on a team before and it’s exciting to see the improvement. I am excited and optimistic to see how we will hold our own in the district and in the region. Our region is traditionally very well represented at the national meeting with high team results and I expect the same this year.”
Jones plans to play baseball for the Bearcats this spring, where he’ll throw the ball hard and hit it even harder.
He will then continue his career on the gridiron at Virginia Tech as he is currently projected as a linebacker for the Hokies.
Last weekend he visited the campus in Blacksburg.
At the moment he is enjoying being a beginner swimmer.
The Bearcats have a home meeting tonight.
“I hope swimming will help me get stronger and faster for football,” Jones said. “My leg is great. I’m not sure I’m 100 percent, but I’m getting there.”