Evan Jones, a senior captain of West Hartford’s Hall High School boys soccer team, has been named All-American.
By Ronni Newton
While COVID-19 may have put a damper on some aspects of Evan Jones’ senior year at Hall High School, the dreams he’s had for his soccer career since shortly after lacing up his first pair of cleats as travel player during elementary school, have come true.
One of Jones’ longtime goals was realized Monday when he received official notification from the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association that he was named an All-American for 2020. The honor comes on the heels of earning All-Conference as well as All-State honors for the second year in a row, and All-New England honors for the 2020 fall season.
Soccer is in Jones’ blood. “My dad played soccer as a kid, and played semi-professional in Wales,” he said.
Growing up in West Hartford, Jones said he actually started playing at age 4 or 5. He played in the West Hartford Travel Division, and then as part of FSA’s premier club under coach Dave Kelly, as well as for Hall.
Jones said he followed and looked up to the Hall High School program for years, long before he was a student.
“I already knew a lot of the guys on the [Hall] team going into my freshman year.” And while playing for the Oakwood Academy in Glastonbury was an option, that route would not have permitted him to play for the high school team.
“I did not want to miss out on high school,” Jones said. He has been playing with several of his classmates, seniors Drew Seguro and Jamie Cowan, since their elementary school travel soccer days.
“I really looked up to Jack Monnes,” Jones said. “He was the last guy [from Hall] to get All-American.”
Monnes, who graduated from Hall in 2015 and went on to play soccer for Marist and then Ithaca, also held the school’s single-season goal record – and that was also a motivation for Jones. The 35 goals Jones scored during the 2020 season put him at the top of Hall’s record book.
High school sports in Connecticut were suspended in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the state, and the spring sports season was canceled. The summer was filled with uncertainty and the start of fall sports was delayed several times.
“It was definitely difficult coming into this year,” Jones said.
Hall boys soccer won the Class LL state championship in 2019, and while it would have been the jewel on the crown of his high school career to have a chance to compete for a back-to-back championship, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “I was grateful just to get the season,” Jones said.
Jones will continue as a student-athlete at the college level, playing for Division I College of the Holy Cross next fall. He committed in March.
“They were one of the first schools to really look into me, and to reach out. After visiting and speaking with the coaches, I committed a couple of days before school shut down. I really didn’t know what would happen,” Jones said.
Hall head boys soccer coach Zeke Seguro, who surpassed 300 wins this year, said Jones is one of two All-Americans he has had in 26 years of coaching the Warriors. He has had four All-New England players during that time – two of them this year. His son, Drew Seguro, also a senior captain, earned All-New England Honors along with Jones this year.
“Evan has worked extremely hard to become the impactful player he is today,” Seguro said. “He will go down as one of Hall’s most successful players.”
Seguro said he is confident that Jones will have a successful career at Holy Cross. “Evan has scored 67 career goals which is third all time at Hall, while adding 34 assists,” Seguro added.
Holy Cross, a member of the Patriot League, had its fall 2020 season canceled. As a result, several of the Class of 2020 commits deferred and will join next year’s freshman class, Jones said. He’s hopeful there will be a full season in the fall of 2021.
Jones hasn’t yet decided what he will study at Holy Cross, but said if his soccer career goes well in college, he may look into continuing to play beyond that.
Right now he’s savoring the moment, the goal that his goals helped him achieve. “I want to thank my team, and my family, and my support system for motivating me,” Jones said. “I would not have this award without them.”
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.