After Nate Jones earned top accolades from the San Joaquin Athletic Association this year, it was a short step for him to gain Tracy High’s most prestigious football award.
The 86th annual Peter B. Kyne Award was given to Jones, a junior in his second year of varsity football at Tracy High, on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
During an awards luncheon at the Tracy Community Center, Don Yerian, chairman of the Peter B. Kyne Committee, cited Jones’ numbers — 1,174 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns — alongside the Bulldog team statistics for the year. Tracy was 10-2 overall and 5-0 in the SJAA, and Jones was selected as the SJAA’s most valuable player.
Jones was proud to represent the team that made the Peter B. Kyne Award possible for him.
“Shout out to the Line Dogs,” he said to the offensive linemen in the crowd. “We had a great year. I loved playing with this team.”
He said afterward that the team’s enthusiasm for the season started well before the Bulldogs set foot in the reconstructed Wayne Schneider Stadium, which opened at the start of the season.
“We started in the summer complaining about how hot it was, but we knew that once we put on those new gray jerseys that we’d have to handle our business,” he said.
“My teammates made it happen. What they did, I had to give back, so I gave back and I got blessed. I just want to thank everybody and thank God. It’s a really humbling experience.”
Tracy coach Matt Shrout said Jones quickly adjusted from playing wing to playing fullback and became the team’s most dynamic player.
“To his testament, he grinded down and learned what we wanted him to do and did what we wanted him to do,” Shrout said.
In addition to the Peter B. Kyne award, the ceremony was Shrout’s chance to hand out four trophies for the Weeks Cup award for scholar-athletes. Juniors Cole Stroup, Conrad Njamfa and Nick Tobeck and senior Eric Hawkins all carry 4.0 GPAs.
Shrout also recognized junior Michelle Hagelston and seniors Jill Finney and Daesha Brown, the team’s equipment managers, for their contributions during practices and games.
The Tracy Breakfast Lions, co-hosts of the luncheon with Tracy Rotary Club, presented Tracy High Athletic Director Gary Henderson with a check for $11,563.80, representing proceeds from the Lions’ snack bar.
Lions treasurer Roy Patterson said it was the biggest donation from the snack bar he could recall. The Lions raised the money during six home games, including the grand opening of the new stadium, the annual Crosstown Classic against West High and two playoff games.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.