VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – Joe Jones told his wife that his first day of practice at Ocean Lakes High School was his “last day at a new school.” After eight seasons as head football coach at King’s Fork High School in Suffolk, Jones takes over the Dolphins.
“The drive over here to practice is a little bit further than I’m used to,” said Jones, who still lives in Suffolk. “But once I hit the express way to get here, that last 30 minutes of the drive, I’m excited and ready to get cranked up.”
His practice mirrors that excitement.
Jones faces the task of keeping the Dolphins atop the food chain in the beach district, and maybe even in the national spotlight. At the very least, the expectations at Ocean Lakes is to compete for state titles.
“We told them from the get go that when I got hired February 8th the expectations don’t change,” said Jones.
Under former head coach Chris Scott, who’s now the head man at Bishop Sullivan, the Dolphins won the 6A state championship over Centreville in 2014, and compiled a record of 86-10 over the previous eight seasons.
Making things a little more difficult for Jones, a number of players, including both of last year’s primary quarterbacks, top receiver Tahj Capehart, and All-American running back and Florida State committ Khalan Laborn have transferred to Bishop Sullivan.
Jones will still have Army All-American defensive tackle Eric Crosby, and he’s not worried. “We have our football program set in stone,” said Crosby, who’s committed to play at the University of Tennessee.
“Now it’s just time to get our offense in, defense straight, and go out here and win these games.”
Jones will make his Ocean Lakes coaching debut against Salem.