Pleasantville High School experienced a sports resurgence in 2018-19.
Sahmir Jones was at the center of it.
Jones quarterbacked the Greyhounds football team to the South Jersey Group II semifinals and its first playoff win since 2003.
He led the Pleasantville basketball team to 20 wins for the first time since at least 2001.
He ran on the Pleasantville 4x400-meter relay team that qualified for the Championship of America race at The Penn Relays Carnival.
Jones is The Press Male Athlete of the Year.
“We just wanted to shine a light on the bright spots of Pleasantville,” Jones said. “You can make it to college from anywhere and do whatever you put your mind to.”
He will continue his track and field career at Boston University.
“I like the city (of Boston),” he said. “It wasn’t too far, and it wasn’t too close,” he said. “When I went on my visit, I liked the team, and I liked the coaches. It was just a great fit.”
Jones could have had an even better senior year but a knee injury cut short his track and field season this spring. Speed is what sets him apart in all three of his sports.
“He just had a ton of natural ability,” Pleasantville football coach Chris Sacco said. “He plays loose. He practices loose. You never see him pressing no matter how big the situation is. He had a lot of friends that looked up to him and enjoyed being around him.”
In a telephone interview earlier this month, Jones discussed several topics, including his most memorable moments of his senior year.
On his graduation from Pleasantville
It’s kind of surreal. I’m graduating with all my friends that I’ve been with since I was 4-years-old. I’m kind of excited to start my new chapter.
On playing three sports
I always played three sports. I wanted to dominate in three sports. It wasn’t that hard. I take care of my body. I eat well. It’s fun. It’s not a lot of pressure. I’m just out there doing what I love.
On his favorite sport
It’s probably basketball. I put a lot of hard work int it. I wasn’t that good when I first started playing it. I just fell in love with it. I’m going to miss basketball.
On what he remembers most about his senior year
In football, it was the playoff game against Cedar Creek (a 57-0 Pleasantville win) and in basketball, it was our playoff game against Cinnaminson (an 80-68 Pleasantville win). We dominated in both games. I had a big game against Cinnaminson (29 points). The football game was supposed to be a close game but we ended up running away with it because of all the hard work and preparation we put in in practice that week.
On why he will pursue track and field in college
I had the best (scholarship) offer in track and field. I love track and field. I feel like I can make it to the next level in track and field. I feel like that was my best choice. I feel like focusing on just one sport is going to be scary. I’ve been working just during the season on track and field. (With) work during the off-season, the sky’s the limit.
On what he’s going to major in at Boston University
I’m going to major in political science. I like politics. I want to know what’s going on and why things are happening. I want to be a lawyer.