On the Mat with Brent Jones
Do you have a nickname?
“Red Fury.’ My teammates also call me B-rone.
Do you have any brothers and sisters?
I have two brothers. One is 19 years old and the other one is 15.
Do you have any childhood heroes?
Indiana Jones and Dan Gable (a well-known American amateur wrestler who is considered one of the greatest American wrestlers of all time)
What is your major and why did you choose it?
I’m in a Master’s program for exercise physiology and kinesiology sports medicine. Because I’m pre-med, this program is a great approach to medical school. Plus, it’s a fall back on physical therapy, so I can become a doctor and work with athletes.
What advice do you have for other wrestlers?
You’ve got to go hard. You have to fight through all the pain and nasty feelings. You’ve got to keep going hard and pushing yourself. Things might get nasty at some point, but you’ve got to ride the roller coaster because it will eventually come back up.
What is the most important thing you have learned in college?
Things are going to be tough, but there is always a plus side to the down side. You have to keep going and give it everything you’ve got, and things will turn out the way you want.
What are your thoughts on the coaching staff?
Our coaching staff is great. They’re awesome. Coach Garland was the 2005-06 NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year for Cornell. Matt Pell was a two-time All-American, and then you have Josh Walker who wrestled at Penn State. Scott Moore wrestled here, and he is one of nine UVa All-Americans all-time. They’re a good group of young guys who can still wrestle with you and push you in the practice room. They were just where we are now not too long ago, so they know what is going on and how to push us and help us improve. It’s a great atmosphere with them.
What is the best wrestling match you have been a part of here at UVa?
I would have to say it would be during my first year when we had to wrestle against Maryland for the ACC regular season championship. It was a real close match, and I drew the last match. The championship was relatively close coming to my match, so my match decided who won. I went out there, got a pin and the place went nuts. It was an awesome feeling to take that ACC season crown.
What are some of the reasons that you wrestle?
Wrestling teaches you discipline and moral factors. It teaches you to push yourself to your limit and keep going. It teaches you that things might be hard at first, but if you keep pushing yourself and doing what you do best, then you’ll eventually come out on the plus side. It doesn’t matter what adversity you’re going through. You are going to be set. I also coach a national wrestling team for high school, and I see how wrestling is a group atmosphere. It keeps a lot of kids off the streets and away from bad things. It gives you a certain discipline about your studies. It gives you time management skills. I really don’t know where I would be without wrestling.
What are your personal goals for the year?
I would be lying if I didn’t say the national championship. Everybody wants to be a national champ, but I think it’s a little more realistic for me than that. Especially this last off season, I was winning against the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the country, and it came down to a little mistake where I messed up and ended up losing to him. My goal would be to become All-American and to win the national championship as well. I personally want to help bring this team into the top 10, and somewhere down the line, when this program becomes national champs, they can look back and see who all started it.
What are your expectations for the team this year?
I want our team to make a lot of noise on the national level. Definitely, the top 10 is where I want to be this year, and the top five next year. Eventually, being national champs will be our goal.
You redshirted last season. How did that help you and how does this season compare to last year?
It was good for me in that you get better, more confident and have the time to build yourself up for next year. I didn’t like going to matches and watching my teammates compete instead of me because I want to be representing UVa out there as well. Last year, we had a good squad, but this year is even better because of the freshmen. They make the atmosphere in the wrestling room so much more exciting because we have so much talent and depth. You can definitely feel that we are going to do great things this year.
What do you anticipate your role is on the team this year?
I hope I can fill some sort of a leadership role. I want to set an example by how I wrestle on the mat, how I get ready and how I go after people. I’m really aggressive, and I hope our team picks up that style a lot more, and that I can go out and wrestle and come through on the clutch. I want to show the younger wrestlers how they need to be wrestling.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
When you are feeling bad and you want to quit, you have to keep going. Things will definitely turn out better for you.