Metro Pacesetter -- Moline's Adarios Jones: Only ranking that matters to Maroons' mat star is his own


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Posted Online: Dec. 05, 2012, 7:25 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
Freely admitting that a state wrestling championship is an expectation and not a dream, Adarios Jones does not shy away from the pressure.

About the only thing he avoids are rankings.

Still unranked in the Illinois Best Weekly Class 3A state poll, there is no concern in his voice as Jones, a Moline 285-pound junior wrestler, talks about the lack of statewide attention. It's nearly impossible to discuss rankings when you have not even seen them.

"I don't look at them at all," said Jones, this week's Metro Pacesetter for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus. "I did it a lot my freshman year because I was dreaming of being up there. I know for a fact I'll be up there."

To some, that seems like a far-fetched thought. Those who create the polls seem to feel that way.

Sensing that provides fuel in his quest.

"Being an underdog has always been a favorite of mine," Jones said. "It doesn't bother me one bit."

The big picture is Jones' lone focus, a journey that is starting strong. So far this season, he is undefeated in nine matches with four falls and a team-high 18 takedowns entering Wednesday dual against Geneseo.

Three of those nine victories are against ranked opponents.

"A pretty good start," Jones said. "I haven't looked into the significance of it yet because the big thing I'm trying to do is win state. You can't focus on individual matches. I've got to go out and wrestle how I've wrestled."

A quarter of the way through the season, Jones is rolling. Whether it be a pin or decision, he handles his business each time he takes the mat with a quiet confidence that overshadows any number.

The belief is there that a state title can be reached. During a brief chat inside the Moline wrestle room, Jones stops chatting about the season and gazes at one sign hanging above the mat honoring every state medalist in program history.

"Everyday I'm looking at that," Jones said. "A.J. Lavender is the last person (to win a state title, doing so in 2003). One day, I envision him walking in here and congratulating me because I was going to be the next person on the board."

Each time Jones takes the mat, he's thinking that way.

"He's made it clear that he thinks he can beat everybody in the state," Moline coach Todd Thompson said. "I want him to be up for every challenge put in front of him. He doesn't back down from anything."

Two reasons put that chip on Jones' shoulder.

A history of health issues have limited his career, including a concussion that knocked him out the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships in July. On top of that, he was disqualified from the sectional last year after allegedly biting his quarterfinal opponent.

Those alone serve as motivation.Being unranked adds to it as well.

"I don't believe any of them are better than me," Jones said.

The start to this season validates that statement.

"I guarantee you every heavyweight knows who he is," Thompson said. "He knows he can beat the kids who are ranked. The rankings don't mean anything at this point."

The only ranking Jones worries about is the one that comes in late February.

"First," Jones said. "That's all I have."


Metro Pacesetter - Moline's Adarios Jones

Favorite food: Chicken alfredo
Favorite movie: "Remember the Titans"
Favorite color: Maroon
Favorite TV show: "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
Favorite team: West Virginia Mountaineers
Parents: John and Joellyn Schott, Moline

In the running
Brandon Mizlo, Geneseo:
The 182-pound junior won the Rockford East Invitational after four victories, including two pins.
Trey Sigel, Rock Island: Scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting during the Rocks' 74-39 Western Big 6 Conference win at Alleman.














 



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  Today is Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.






(More History)