Kaleb Jones has been through a lot as the quarterback at Murray County High School.
From a sophomore season that saw him seize the starting job midway through an 0-10 campaign to a junior year that saw the first-time full-time starter lead the Indians to a 4-6 record, Jones has seen the Indians struggle to win.
Now, he’s ready to lead Murray County to victories.
“Sometimes it just hasn’t been there for us. We’ve worked hard, and sometimes the other team has just been better,” Jones said. “The goal has always been to make it to the playoffs for the whole team, and we’re ready to try to do that.”
Reaching the playoffs is a rallying point for the program. The Indians haven’t reached the postseason since 2005.
Murray County head coach Chad Brewer said Jones’ improvement as a player has helped the Indians get better since he became the starter.
“A good season sometimes just goes hand-in-hand with good quarterback play,” Brewer said. “He’s a dual-threat guy that can throw and run. I think he’s set up to have a great season.”
With the Indians’ triple option offense, Jones’s ability as a runner is set to be showcased, as he can read the play and decide whether to hand the ball off to a running back, keep it himself or pitch it after drawing a defender near him.
Jones worked on his passing game during the offseason.
“That’s something I’ve been working on more is my pocket passing,” he said. “I think before, I could kind of panic and start to scramble too early when I got pressured.”
Jones is a part of a senior class of 23, and one of 14 starters returning from last season. He said that senior class is ready to be the group that ends the playoff drought.
“We have a big class, and we’ve all been playing together since we were little,” Jones said. “I think we’re ready to try to make it happen.”
Murray County opens the season Friday at 7:30 when the Indians host Southeast Whitfield.