Winners

Nathan Jones

National Athlete of the Year

Nathan Jones
High School: P. L. Dunbar
City: Lexington, KY
Team Name: Bulldogs
Grade: Senior
Sport: Soccer
Position: Forward, Midfield

Stats: 4 year varsity starter
Freshman: 5 goals
Sophomore: 14 goals
Junior: 14 goals
Senior 17 goals – State Champion
Max Preps National Rank: 13

Sports:
– Soccer – All American, All State, Kentucky State Tournament MVP

Academic Accomplishments:
– 3.6 GPA (Unweighted)
– ACT Score 25

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:

– Missions trips to Mexico and Belarus
– Lexington Youth Soccer “TOPSoccer” volunteer – organization that teaches kids with special needs how to play soccer.
– Angel Tree Ministries volunteer, High School Outreach Student Coordinator, Young Life Club

Highlights and Quotes:

Despite his accomplishments as a high school soccer player, Nathan has grown to understand where his true identity lies. He states, “I have been tested when it came to soccer when I broke my arm and couldn’t play. This was trying for me because I realized that soccer had become an idol for me. I had to place soccer below my Savior in importance. I realized that I would not have soccer if my Lord hadn’t given me the talent in the first place.”

As a child, Nathan served with his parents as missionaries in Minsk, Belarus. This is where Nathan truly met the Lord. “One night while we were there, I was being particularly disobedient and mean spirited towards my mother. She sent me to my room. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction for what I had done and how I had acted…Right there, I asked for forgiveness from my mom and the Lord and I prayed with my mom and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart to be my Lord and Savior of my life. Since then, I have been growing in my faith.”

Upon returning to the United States, Nathan’s new soccer teammates pressured him to participate in many sinful situations. However, eventually Nathan earned the respect of his teammates because of his pure lifestyle and turned the pressures into an opportunity to positively influence the lives of his teammates. “Over time, I had become such good friends with them that I was close enough to talk about spiritual things and in some cases, to share the gospel with them without fear of rejection. During my junior year, I started a bible study at my house. A former college athlete and spiritual mentor leads the study. I invited all of my teammates and classmates to attend. We have about 20 guys who consistently attend. As a result, several of my friends have come to know the Lord.”