Special Olympian driven by competiton, persistence

JIll smiles after a big win for her team

With her team trailing in the first set, Jill Jones, Area 22 volleyball Special Olympian, is up to serve.

"I consider myself very competitive," Jones said.

It is a good thing she is as Jones helps her Wolfpack team take control of their match. Itâ??s a team name sheâ??s fond of.

"Just because we play together and we all participate,â?? she said. â??Plus it keeps us out of trouble."

Jones suffers from chronic seizures and multiple learning disabilities. Her dad, Jim Jones, who also serves as her coach, said it does not stop her from being the competitor she is.

"She has a good personality and a strong heart and Jill likes the challenge of trying to do like other people do,â?? he said. â??She meets that challenge, as do all the kids."

Jim has helped Jill reach those challenges for 25 years.

"I feel very proud to play with my dad,â?? she said. â??It's an honor for me."

"Being a part of Special Olympics allows you to admire people who meet those challenges all the time,â?? he said.

â??Having a daughter who does it makes it that much more heart-warming to me."

After their first-round win, Jill had a message for all athletes competing with a disability:

"Just go out and do the best you can,â?? she said. â??And don't give up, no matter what you do."

The Wolfpack would fall in Saturdayâ??s championship game. They gladly took home silver medals.