Monday, April 20, 2009

Jones officially puts pen to paper on Siena deal

Troy High School senior Shannon Jones beams for the cameras after signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Siena College on Monday afternoon in the athletic office at Troy High School. Troy High Athletic Director Paul Reinisch looks on and Shannon's older sister, Kellie, is in the foreground. (Mike McMahon - The Record).


Jones takes a familiar stance in Troy's home field batter's box (above) and poses with first-year head coach Casey Halloran (below). (Photos courtesy - http://www.troy.k12.ny.us)



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A four-year member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams at Troy, Jones has been a part of three Big 10 softball championship teams - and they Flying Horses are looking to make it four in a row.
She was also named the 2008 volleyball MVP, leading Troy to its first league title since 1992.

Jones had her choice of Division I programs and initially considered destinations a long way from the Capital Region to play college softball. The Siena coaching staff, however, made a powerful pitch and Jones quickly saw the virtues of being able to play 10 minutes from home.

"At first I thought I wanted to go away but then after a while, I decided I wanted to stay close to home," Jones said. "The coaches at Siena were really nice to me and they made a really good offer, too."

Halloran, who was a standout at Columbia High School before becoming the University at Albany's female athlete of the year in her senior season, 2006-07, offered plenty of advice to Jones, having traveled much the same path only six years ago.

"I was the same way," Halloran said. "I went and looked at a bunch of different schools and I had offers and all of a sudden I said, ‘you know what, I want to stay local.’ We’ve talked a lot about it - the decision was all hers - but we did talk."

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Jones has made the switch to shortstop this season after playing a tremendous center field for the Flying Horses over the past few seasons. Siena head coach Deanna Parks isn't quite sure where Jones will fit in next year, but that's a good problem for the Saints' manager.

"We see that stick in our lineup and we’re not going to pigeonhole her into one spot in the field," Parks said by telephone on Monday. "We’ll find a place for her to play, whether it’s a corner infield position or in the outfield. We have a highly athletic group of players coming in and she is right there in the mix."

The Siena program has really made an effort to keep the top talent from the Capital Region close to home in signing Jones as well as Shenendehowa's Mandy Ferro to the Class of 2014.
Jones will reunite with former Troy High teammate Courtney Brinkman and that also factored into her decision.

We will see how the signings of Jones and Ferro turn out for the Saints in the long run - they are one game out of the fourth and final MAAC playoff spot with two conference series to play in the 2009 season - but it certainly signals a good trend for a local Division I school making an effort to keep the best high school talent in the area at home.

"Shannon has been on my radar screen since I first saw her hit as a sophomore," Parks said in a press release. "She has a beautiful swing, with an unwavering confidence and is just a tenacious competitor. Shannon will be an impact player for us immediately, wherever she ends up playing defensively. Shannon and Amanda (Ferro) are the top two seniors in Section II and we are thrilled that they decided to stay close to home."


Siena College’s Section II softball alumni
Class of 2013
Mandy Ferro, Shenendehowa
Shannon Jones, Troy
Class of 2012
Lindsey McKeever, Mechanicville
Class of 2011
Courtney Brinkman, Troy
Sara Gallacchi, Schenectady
Kat Seeber, Holy Names
Class of 2010
Courtney Mahan, Catholic Central

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In other softball news on Monday, Lansingburgh's Erin Glikes struck out 14 Holy Names hitters en route to a no-hitter and a 6-0 victory for the Lady Knights.

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