Every week during each sport’s season, the MIAC announces individual and team awards based on nominations by the schools’ sports information directors and selected by the league staff. Hamline junior Jevon Jones of Woodbury was the conference’s first Football Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 5).
The six-foot, 200-pound linebacker led the Pipers with nine tackles, eight solo and one tackle for loss, forced two fumbles, and snatched an interception in his team’s 45-13 season-opening win over Crown on Sept. 2.
A St. Agnes graduate, Jones was an all-conference player and his team’s defensive MVP. He also played basketball, made the Dean’s List, and is a National Honor Society member. But he told the MSR that his nerves almost got the best of him when he arrived on campus.
“When I came in as a freshman,” recalled Jones, “I was really nervous.” Such nervousness forced his brother to offer some needed advice: “My brother came up to me and said I was just trying so hard,” said the junior.
Jones took the advice to heart and saw things get better for him on the field: “I kept overextending myself. Coach [Chip Taylor] told me to fix that. I’m gonna fix this.”
Jones played nine games as a freshman in 2021, finishing with 34 tackles, including twice registering a season-high six tackles. Next season, as a sophomore, he played in all 10 games for Hamline, finishing third on the team with 71 total tackles (40 solo), including a season-high 15 tackles, two of which resulted in loss yardage against Carlton.
When we first met last month after a preseason practice, Jones pointed out that he used the off-season to improve in several areas. “I was working all summer to study my playbook, studying my plays, watching more film and breaking it down.”
After winning the league’s first individual award of the fall season, both Jones and Hamline are off to a great start, now 2-0 after last Saturday’s 49-28 win over Minnesota Morris. “We had two solid opponents and I am excited about the start,” Coach Taylor told us after the win. “We have a lot to clean up before we play in the MIAC.”
The Pipers head coach is proud of Jones, “We knew this kid very well,” recalled Taylor since he also recruited his older brother. “He does a great job on and off the field.”
“The progression for me is I always get one percent better every day,” said Jones. “Thank God for that and my family. It’s amazing to be here.”
In August, the MIAC launched the MIAC Sports Network, the official streaming home of all MIAC events and championships. The digital streaming service is now available on the web (miacsportsnetwork.com), as well as most streaming apps for television and mobile devices.
The app can be found and installed free of charge by searching MIAC Sports Network. It is just one of several MIAC-specific opportunities for fans and others. The conference is partnering with Game One for its online apparel and merchandise store, which is open year-round by visiting miacathletics.com/shop.