Havasu’s Gabbie Jones to play soccer in Coos Bay, Oregon
At the end of the month, Lake Havasu’s Gabbie Jones will be the newest resident of Coos Bay, Oregon and playing soccer as a defensive midfielder for Southwest Oregon Community College.
When Gabbie Jones was first deciding where she wanted to go to college, soccer was the last thing on her mind. It was finding someplace where she would feel at home that was most important. That place happens to be Oregon.
“When I was younger and my parents brought up the whole idea of college, they told me I need to find somewhere where I belong,” Gabbie Jones said. “So I went online and I looked up top-10 hippy colleges and Oregon popped up. So we flew out there a couple of months later and it felt like home.”
Initially, Gabbie Jones said her plan was to attend school in Oregon and work towards building a life there.
However, since the cost is more expensive due to out-of-state tuition, she decided to look for different ways to help her pay the way.
“When I found this school I realized it had a soccer team,” Gabbie Jones said. “The team does not really help pay for anything. But after talking to the coach I realized our playing styles were so similar. Her focus and everything she wants us to play for is pretty much why I play soccer. So it seemed like it was meant to be.”
Meant to be, is a bit of an understatement. Gabbie Jones said the Racoons coach was looking for someone specifically to play defensive midfielder. While she has played every position on the field, the No. 6 position is the one she excels in. It was a match made in heaven.
Gabbie Jones played varsity soccer all four years at Lake Havasu High School and was also voted one of the team captains all four years by her teammates. She is also the daughter of the varsity girls head coach Nic Jones.
Being the coaches daughter comes with its own trials and tribulations but that was nothing compared to the back injury Gabbie Jones sustained her freshman year. She suffered four fractured vertebrae and an over-rotated hip among other things threatening her future in playing soccer.
Gabbie Jones said she was told she might not be able to get back to the same level of play she was at when the injury occurred. According to her though, she was not only able to get back to her old self but is better than she ever was.
“I was just playing too much soccer. I was not working my hips and my core enough to sustain the movements I was using to play,” Gabbie Jones said. “Physically I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to get on the field and make a starting spot. When I was able to get myself healthy and back out on the field, it just made me realized how much I love this sport.”
It is her ability to bounce back in the face of adversity and her knowledge of the game that her father and coach, Nic Jones, said Lake Havasu girls soccer will miss the most from Gabbie.
“Her knowledge of the sport is what makes who she is as a player,” Nic Jones said. “So it was was a big asset to have her out there. When it comes to communicating with her team on plays or communicating with referees, she just always had that natural instinct for leading.
“It is kind of rare at the high school level to have a kid with the knowledge of the sport to communicate the way she did and to do it naturally. So it is going to be a big hole to fill. As a coach, you’re always looking for someone to step up and take that on.”
While Gabbie Jones plans to take her knowledge of the game and mold it into the playing style of the Racoons up in Oregon, one thing she really hopes to recreate is the bond her and her teammates had at Lake Havasu.
“The experience I’ve had with the soccer team (in Havasu) really comes down to the bond made with all of the girls and what it has brought me socially and emotionally,” Gabbie Jones said. “I’m really hoping that when I go to Oregon, that I’m going to find that family, that team, again up there.”