Jones, Parsons mark friendships as top takeaway from all-star game
Intercepting a pass in the first quarter of the Oregon East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game was neat for Scappoose's Jimmy Jones.
But friendships he made with players from around Oregon were the top takeaway from his participation in the Aug. 4 game at Baker City.
The East defeated the West 20-8 in the 66th-annual edition of the game that featured recent graduates from Oregon Class 4A and smaller high schools.
Jones and fellow Scappoose High graduate Ross Parsons played for the West team. Jones played running back, safety and on most special teams. Parsons played several series at linebacker but was limited by a hip flexor injury suffered late in the week of practices leading up to the game.
Jones was one of three Cowapa League offensive players of the year last fall. Parsons was the 2017 Cowapa League defensive player of the year.
Parsons and Jones were disappointed they didn't get to meet any patients during their visit to Portland's Shriners Hospital for Children. Because the tour took place on the weekend before the game, there were no visiting hours. But each said he was impressed with the facility.
Getting to know players from around the state was also a highlight.
"Staying with them in the dorms (at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande) and building relationships with the other players was pretty fun," Jones said. "I really like practicing, so the whole week of practicing and hanging out with friends was pretty fun."
Jones, who this week began practicing with the Eastern Oregon University football team, said the game at Baker High School was well supported.
"It felt like I had a lot of support even from people I didn't know. It was really that hometown feeling," Jones said.
Parsons agreed, noting that it was the neat the way Baker City businesses posted information about the players to drum up interest in the game.
It was the last organized football game for Parsons.
"I just kind of prepared going into it that it was going to be my last game, but it's still sad to see it go," he said.
Jones shifted gears this week to begin his college football career with morning practices followed by weight training and meetings. Three days in he admitted it was challenging.
"The competition's obviously way higher. It's been hard getting used to that," Jones said. "I'm just trying to stay positive right now."