Sahmir Jones is a busy 17-year-old.

The Pleasantville High School senior is a football, basketball and track and field standout.

He maintains a 3.8 grade point average.

“Anytime I’m not playing sports,” he said, “I’m just really bored.”

Jones and his Greyhounds teammates will play at Atlantic City 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the traditional Battle by the Bay finale. Jones averages more than 16 points and has scored more than 1,000 in his career.

On the football field, Jones quarterbacked the Greyhounds to an 8-3 record and a spot in the South Jersey Group II semifinals.

On the track last spring, he won the state Group II 100- and 400-meter dash and helped Pleasantville win the state Group II team title.

Who are the best high school athletes in the area since 2000?

This debate has raged on for decades: Who is the best athlete at a particular school?

The Press’ longtime high school sports reporter, Michael McGarry, attempts to answer that age-old debate. Leading into and throughout the scholastic season, McGarry will rank the top athletes from the 2000-01 school year on at high schools in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southern Ocean counties.

So far we have ranked Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Holy Spirit, Absegami, Saint Augustine Prep and Mainland.  More are scheduled over the next couple of weeks. 

These lists are not perfect — let us know who we forgot or overlooked.

At Noon Wednesday, McGarry and Sports Editor Nicholas Huba will host a Facebook Live chat about the list at So send your comment and questions. 

Jones will attend Boston University on an NCAA Division I track and field scholarship. He has four younger brothers and a younger sister.

“I like when my younger brothers come to my games,” Jones said, “and I get to high five them after good games. I want them to be better than me.”

Jones is the son of Antwan Dozier and Samirah Jones. Dozier is one of the top basketball players in Pleasantville history, graduating in 2001 with 1,922 career points.

In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Jones discussed several topics, including his affinity for fruity pebbles.

On playing Atlantic City in the Battle by the Bay

The whole experience is fun. The game is packed. We came close to winning last year. We let the game fall away. This year, we want to finish the game out strong. A win would bring a lot to our team.

On the recent success of Pleasantville sports teams

All our teams are doing pretty good. It means a lot to our school. It shows we’re resilient, and we can persevere through tough times. It means a lot to our community.

On attending Pleasantville High School

It’s fun. Any time you walk the hallway you see a lot of friends. The teachers are easy to talk to. They care about us. They give us extra help if we need it. They’re there to support us. It’s a good community.

On his decision to attend Boston University

I like that it’s not too far away from home, but it’s not too close. I liked the environment.

On why he chose to run track and field in college

I felt like there would be no pressure in track. I could just go be myself and enjoy myself. I ruled out football. I don’t think I would have liked football without playing with my best friends. Basketball, I would have had to wait (for a scholarship offer) and nothing was definite. Track was certain, so I just went with it.

On his college major and career plans

I don’t really know. I kind of want to be a lawyer, so I might major in criminal justice or political science.

On what accomplishment has meant the most to him in his career

Being inducted into the National Honor Society. It shows that I’m not just an athlete. I’m good in the classroom, too.

On his dad’s success at Pleasantville

When I was younger, I was like, “He wasn’t that good.” But when I got older, I realized he was “The Truth.” I wanted to model my game after his and be as good as he was. He tells me a lot of the same stories over and over (laughs).

On his favorite cereal — Fruity Pebbles

I love eating cereal. Any time I need a break, I get my favorite cereal and just listen to some music.


Who is your favorite athlete and why?

James Harden — I wear No. 13 because of him. He’s lefty (like Jones), and I like the way he plays.

What was the last television show you binge watched?

‘You’ on Netflix

Favorite food to order when out to eat

Chicken tenders

What was the last book you read?

‘Survival in Auschwitz’

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Contact: 609-272-7209 Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

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