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  • Writer's pictureDREAMKINGFILMZ

Aaron Rocket Jones Taking Off

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

Jacksonville, Florida

Aaron AJ Jones III or as many call him in the 904 due to his blazing speed "Rocket" quietly put together a stellar sophomore campaign for the Bartram Trail Bears. With players like QB Tai Lavatai (Creekside), ATHs Kenny Logan, Tye Edward (Menendez) and teammates Gunnar Hitzeman, Griffin Helm, and Devin Ellison who currently have 50 total TDs inked next to his name all graduating, Rocket is poised to become arguably the best returning player in St. Johns Co. next season.

Following a record setting, 8th grade season for the Swiss Point Raiders where he rushed for an eye popping 1634 rushing yards and scored 37 TDs that helped propel the Raiders to a 2K16 St. Johns County Middle School Championship, Jones was selected, and landed in the coveted Top10 section on the DKF's Top50 Players list of 2016. After torching the middle school scene, Rocket moved on to join the loaded Bears led by All-American Joey Gatewood (Auburn), Ga-Tech commit RB Devin Ellison, WRs Xavier Hutchinson (Blinn), and New Hampshire commit Griffin Helm. With Head Coach Darryl Sutherland having a keen eye for spotting talent, Jones was selected to play varsity for Bartram Trail.

As a freshman Rocket's 461 all purpose yards and 3 TDs would be the extra spark needed to boost the Bears into the 2K17 7A State Title game where they ultimately fell short 37-24 to the Venice Indians. Although Jones played on a loaded offense, he would find a way to stand out enough in some key district games to garner the attention of recruiters and landed a scholarship offer to Howard University (Bison). Against the Oakleaf Knights Rocket would make a huge splash carrying the ball 11x for 80yds which included a 40yd TD run, and logged 51 return yards in the 48-14 win. In a victory over Buchholtz, Rocket's 9 carries, 43 yards and 1 TD wouldn't be the last time he'd be a pain for Bobcats' Head Coach Mark Whittemore.

Rocket wouldn't rest on his laurels, and the excitement of earning a scholarship as he came back noticeably bigger, faster, and stronger for his sophomore campaign.

With a mid season injury to QB Chad Dodson, Rocket stepped to the plate and helped launch the Bears back into playoff contention with some major performances. Against 7A district rivals Fleming, Rocket took off for 394 all purpose yards which consisted of 218 rush, 105 receiving and 71 KOR yards and 3 TDs in the 51-42 win. Against Creekside Jones helped the Bears earn a 34-21 victory with 58yds rushing, 1TD, 10 receiving yards, and 75 KR yards. Against county rival St. Augustine, Rocket helped the Bears beat the Yellow Jackets for the 1st time in school history by rushing 3x for 56yds which included a 41yd Td run, Jones also tacked on 2 receiving TDs on 2 catches for 55yds in the 44-14 romp. In a high scoring affair vs district rival Oakleaf, Rocket blasted off for 249 all purpose yards and 3 TDs. VA-Tech commit KeShawn King would put the Knights on his back and rush them to victory as he logged 251 rushing yards and 5 TDs in the 69-53 win over Bartram Trail. After dropping the crucial district game against Oakleaf, Bartram Trail's playoff hopes hinged on a must win final regular season home game over the Buccholz Bobcats.

The Bobcats and their hurry up offense came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as they took a 14-0 1st quarter lead on a Jakhai Mitchem 7yd TD run, and a EJ Cason 1yd score. With the Bears needing a score quickly, QB Harry Bowker would hit Griffin Helm for 30yds on a crucial 3rd 19 play to extend the Bears ensuing drive. On the 1st play of the 2nd period, Rocket's 12yd TD blast would give the Bears their 1st score of the game. Bartram would pin the Bobcats down on the ensuing kickoff and force them to start from their own 1yd line. The Bobcats would be forced to punt from their own 5yd line, and playmaker Gunnar Hitzeman would log 17yds on the return, and after a facemask call the Bears would set up shop at the Bobcats 17. Buccholz's defense would stand up and force a 27yd Fg attempt in which Bartram would miss wide left. The Bears' defense would begin to slow down the Cats' offense and force a 2nd straight punt attempt in which they would fake and fail to convert. The botched fake would give the Bears the ball at the 20. For a 2nd straight series the Bears would fail to reach the endzone with short field position and would have to settle for another Fg attempt in which they'd connect on to cut the Bobcats' lead to 14-10 with 6:41 to play in the 1st half. The Bobcats's would extend their lead to 21-10 just before halftime.

To start the 3rd quarter the Bears' 3 play 64 second, 65yd drive would be capped on a 30yd Harry Bowker TD toss to Gunnar Hitzeman. The Bears would trail 21-17 with 10:56 to play in the 3rd period. On Buccholz ensuing drive they would march it to the 37yd line but a Bears' tackle for loss on 4th and 1 by Ralph Hamilton would give Bartram Trail the ball a the 37yd line. Harry Bowker would find Devin Ellison on a 13yd pass, and Griffin Helm on a 14yd pass to convert 1st downs. Another 1st down conversion by Bowker and a person foul call on the Bobcats would give the Bears the ball at the 2yd line and Ellison would punch it in for the Bears' 1st lead of the game at 24-21 with 5:28 to play in the 3rd period. On Buccholz ensuing drive, Trent Whittemore would again torch the Bears' defense as he hauled in a 47yd pass from Camden Orth. The Cats would retake the lead at 28-24 when Camden Orth found Trent Whittmore for a 4yd TD toss with 2:43 to play in the period. On the Bears ensuing possession, Devin Ellison's 30yd run would set up Rocket's 2nd TD. The Bears would retake the insurmountable 31-28 lead with 10.5 seconds to play in the 3rd. Both teams would claw and scratch at each other in the 4th quarter but Bartram Trail would pull away after Rocket picked up 10yds to convert a 3rd down at the Bobcats' 24. Harry Bowker's 12yd TD run would seal it for the Bears and give them the 38-28 win. The Bears would improve their record to 6-3,3-1. Rocket finished the game with 107 all purpose yards and 2 rushing TDs.

With district 3-7A being in a 3way deadlock between Oakleaf, Buchholz and Bartram Trail, the Bears were in a 2nd consecutive playoff game so to speak vs an ailing Nease Panthers team. Rocket's 5 carries for 84yds, and 2 rushing TDs would help Bartram Trail get the 53-24 win to keep their playoff hopes temporarily alive. The Bears' 2k18 state championship run would rest with the FHSAA and their mathematicians, as they were set to release all playoff pairings the following Sunday morning at 11am. With Fletcher upsetting Mandarin in overtime, Rockledge rolling over Cocoa, Bradwell defeating Brunswick and Tallahassee Chiles finishing the season out strong with a win over Deltona, the Bears sat on the edge of their seats Sunday morning as their chances were lessened with those teams winning. The Bears, along with several other teams from around the state would all feel heartbreak, and disappointment with the FHSAA when the committee failed to mention their names. The Bears felt snubbed out of an opportunity to make another title run as they finished the regular 7-3 for a 2nd consecutive season. Both the Bears, and the Buccholtz Bobcats finished with the same regular season, and district records. The FHSAA received the most backlash over its rule that allowed an 0-9 Gadsen Co. team to win a coin toss opportunity vs 4-5 Jackson Tigers (Duval). Both teams were tied for the final 6th spot in 4A region 1 with the same amount of playoff points. Rocket, and the Bears will now head into the offseason and prepare for another state title run.


#8 Fletcher @ #1 Columbia

#7 Edgewater @ #2 Buchholz

#6 Oakleaf @ #3 Lincoln

#5 Lee @ #4 Hagerty

Rocket and Howard Alumni & WJXT Sports Anchor Brian Jackson at 2018 northwest classic


5'9 - 165 pounds


3.2 gpa

Aaron Jones has blazing speed and has been clocked at a 4.50. Jones is a very versatile player and can score from anywhere on the field. Jones had a 64yd rush, 75yd kick return, and a 84yd reception all go for a TD. With already an offer from Howard University, and a lot of interest from University South Florida, Jones will certainly gain some more traction with recruiters this spring after finishing the season rushing 70x for 753yds, 11 TDs, and hauling in 22 recs for 400yds and 5 TDs. Rocket also logged 314 kickoff return yards and 1 TD. His 2 year career all purpose yards are 1,928 and 20 TDs.

Aaron Rocket Jones Highlights

Jones vs Bucholtz

Jones vs Fleming

Jones vs Brunswick

Jones vs Clay

Jones vs Oakleaf

Jones vs St. Augustine

2K18 stats 753 rush 400 rec 314 kor 17tds

career stats 1928yds 20 tds

-Pictures courtesy of Aaon Jones for Eagles Eye HD Photography and Melisa Muley Photography

- Stats via maxpreps

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