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Senior Profile: Lady's got some Brave ambition
Audra Jones is an athlete, an academic — and affable to boot.
Given her above 4.0 grade-point average, her position of Hamilton FFA chapter president and ASB vice president, no one would fault the Hamilton High senior if she chose "only" those pursuits, but Jones also holds the role of leader on the Lady Braves volleyball team.
Jones took the leadership role after fellow star-athlete Aubrey Bekendam graduated in 2012, a role that didn't require any second thoughts for Jones, who said with an ever-present smile, "I've enjoyed stepping up, and doing well for my team. I like being a leader not a follower, and I'm trying to lead by example."
Having started playing volleyball in fifth grade, Jones' ultimate goal is be a collegiate player, something she said is her dream, before continuing that despite not applying to schools specifically known for their volleyball programs, she just has the desire to keep pushing forward. "I feel that if I was a part of a team at any school I've applied to I'd try and help them to win. I just want to play," she said.
Despite her love of sports, (Jones excels in basketball and tried her hands at softball last year as well) all pales in comparison to the focus Jones has on her studies, having wanted to become a large-animal veterinarian since her youth.
She views academics and FFA as other avenues to benefit her future plans, commenting, "I've wanted to be a vet since I was five, before sports. I'd like to play a sport (in college) but at the same time, I'd like to be preparing myself well for what's ahead for me in vet school."
As a person in the direct spotlight for her teams, Jones' goals - weather it be volleyball or otherwise - are remarkably humble. "The team winning is more important than me worrying about how many kills I have for the night, or my personal numbers. It's about our team and how we are doing." she grinned.
Similarly, she desires team-oriented goals for her FFA chapter, in order for it to remain "The best FFA chapter in the county," with her focus being to draw in and get more members to join, before she added, "We're doing really well."
Jones is a true competitor however, revealing that she has set team goals, and that is for both her volleyball and basketball teams to win the sections this year, though she was unaware of her kills tally, which rests at 386, despite still having five regular-season games left on the schedule. Jones also leads the Northern Section and is third in the state in kills percentages, at 61.8 percent.
Lady Braves volleyball coach Erin Johnson has plenty of positives to speak of regarding her middle hitter, and sums Jones up well, saying, "Audra is great student and athlete. She is a young lady that deserves a scholarship in either volleyball or basketball to play at the next level."
Johnson continued, "Any coach would be lucky to have her play for them; in that she never stops striving to get better, and is a very coachable athlete. Audra's education is the most important thing to her, as she wants to go into veterinary medicine. I just hope she can do both!"
CONTACT Emily Saint-Evens at 824-7990 or firstname.lastname@example.org