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Amber Picks NCWC
RED OAK -- Responsibility and reliability are two keywords then describing an effective backrow soccer player.

And Northern Nash’s Amber Jones has lived up to those lofty standards during his standout four-year career for the Lady Knights.

Jones has started in each of those campaigns, and he’s already earned two All-Conference awards -- and is well on her way to a third this spring.

Jones’ talents were noticed by college recruiters -- especially North Carolina Wesleyan College head coach Beverly Biancur.

Biancur has been at plenty of Northern Nash’s matches, and she recently offered Jones an opportunity to join the Wesleyan program.

Jones accepted the offer, and she signed her letter-of-intent during a ceremony last week at the NNHS Media Center.

“Beverly has really been out here recruiting (Jones),’’ said Northern Nash girls soccer coach Joe McCarthy. “Amber understands the game very well -- she makes good choices along the back, and has good anticipation.’’

All of those qualities are imperative on the back line, as one ill-fated move can result in a goal being put in the net for the other team.

Jones makes seamless decisions with the ball, knowing when to clear off a turn, or when to keep possession before dishing the ball at the perfect opportunity.

Playing with her back often turned to a rushing foe, Jones has the ability to use her instincts to guide her.

“I like the fact that I can face my teammates -- that I can help them, and they can help me,’’ Jones said. “If my back is turned, I know my teammates will be there to give me direction. Helping people out is basically what my position does.’’

Jones will become the second Lady Knight to currently compete on the four-year level -- former teammate Kimberly Williams just enjoyed a successful freshman campaign at Meredith College in Raleigh.

Current NNHS junior keeper Ally Glover has verbally committed to continue her career at East Carolina University, but she can’t sign with the Pirates until the Early Signing Period in November.

Jones and Glover are long-time friends who have built the cornerstone of Northern’s strong defensive group. Now, Jones hopes to make a seamless transition to the college soccer level.

“I love the idea that I can keep playing soccer -- I have a passion for the sport,’’ Jones said. “I’ve played since I was nine years old, but the passion really started at Northern Nash.

“Since my freshman year, Coach McCarthy has pushed me forward. He never put me down -- he always tried to raise my self-confidence in the sport.’’

At North Carolina Wesleyan, Jones plans to major in either criminal science or criminal justice, with the hope of one day become involved in forensics.

Pictured (Above): THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE. Northern Nash High School girls soccer standout Amber Jones signs a letter-of-intent to continue her career at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Also pictured at the signing are (back, l to r) NNHS head soccer coach Joe McCarthy and Robert Jones (father); (front, r) Hope Jones (mother). (Graphic photos by Geoff Neville)

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