Vaught's Views: Perryville mom loves sports - especially when her son is playing

May 09, 2004

If Sherry Jones could design the perfect Mother's Day, she probably would be either on the golf course or at a basketball game watching her son, Blake, play. Or she might be watching him sign a college scholarship.

However, the perfect Mother's Day for the Perryville woman absolutely would involve her son participating in some type of sports activity.

"That probably would be perfect for me," said Jones. "I just want him to be happy and he's always happy when he's playing and I'm happy when I'm watching."

Jones, a second-grade teacher at Perryville Elementary, has gotten to watch her son, a Boyle County senior, play plenty of sports. Not only did he play basketball and golf, but he also played baseball until he reached high school.


When he played, Sherry Jones or her husband, James, were always there. Most of the time both of them were there.

The way she watched her son play makes her perfect for Mother's Day

That doesn't make Sherry Jones unique from a lot of mothers who enjoy watching their son or daughter participate in sports. However, what makes her seem like a perfect Mother's Day subject is the way she watched her son play.

She never criticized him. Or his coaches.

She never expected miracles from him when he did play. She was loving, but realistic.

She never got jealous of teammates or opponents. Today she can still rattle off a long list of names of players her son has enjoyed playing with that includes not only Boyle teammates, but also former Little League teammates who now are at Danville High School.

"Sports has just been such a big part of our family," she said. "I know Blake is not a great player, but he has a big heart. I just hate to see his sports career winding down. He's played all his life. Everything has revolved around his practices, games or summer tournaments for so many years that I won't know what to do when that ends."

Blake Jones developed into a productive player this year and likely will play both golf and basketball at Campbellsville University.

"James was just praying that Blake would get his coordination, not mine," Sherry Jones, a Louisville native, said. "I didn't play any sports. I can't walk and chew gum at the same time."

She's joking about her athletic ability. However, there's no denying that she was a sports fan long before she met her husband after moving here in 1980 when she got her teaching position.

Sherry Jones has always liked basketball, especially the Kentucky Wildcats. She still fondly recalls a trip she made from Bowling Green to Austin Peay to watch the Western Kentucky-Austin Peay basketball game when she was a student at Western.

"There were five of us that loaded into a Gremlin and drove four hours in the snow to watch a basketball game," she said. "That probably was not the smartest thing I ever did."

Her father taught her the value of watching a game

Her father had taught her the value of watching a game. "He didn't even like the cheerleaders," she said. "He thought they were just a distraction. He went to see the game and did not even allow me to walk around at halftime. When you went with him, you went to see a game. Maybe that's why I pay such close attention to everything now."

She certainly always had her eyes focused on her son. She might have been nervous watching him play, but she never let it show.

It's not unusual for her to mention her son while teaching her students and use something he did as an example for her class.

Like most mothers, she also has a scrapbook noting her son's accomplishments. That even includes an old clipping from The Advocate-Messenger when Blake Jones was a guest expert in the weekly basketball contest as a 7-year-old. He had sent me a note asking to be a guest expert because he won the contest a year earlier and had started entering when he was only 4. His letter even included some advice for then-UK coach Rick Pitino on what his best lineup would be.

"Blake has just always loved sports, and I've loved watching him play," she said. "He's been playing since he was 5. It's been so much fun and we've had so many good times as a family. There's nothing I like better than seeing him play."

But there's also nothing better than seeing a mother who provides positive support, is always there and keeps a smile on her face like Sherry Jones always has.

So on this Mother's Day, if you play a sport or have ever played a sport, stop and think about the sacrifices your mother made for you and find a way to tell her thanks for all she did.

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