Local Football Coach Heading To Coach Team USA In China

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GREENWOOD (KFSM) -- A local football coach is heading to China this summer for an international football championship.

Greenwood High School head football coach Rick Jones said he will be one of ten coaches for Team USA, working closely with the quarterbacks.

“They (the quarterbacks) are all three from way far away from Arkansas, so I'm going to get to meet three new kids and I'm looking forward to getting ready to work with those guys and building those relationships and hopefully helping those guys get a little bit better,” Jones said.

The team will meet in New Jersey during the second week of June to practice, before flying to the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin.

He said he's hoping to teach the 45-player team some of the same lessons he has taught his team here at home.

“It’s more than just a football team, it's a family,” junior Caleb Fowler said.

The football player said he is proud to learn other Americans will have the chance to work with the coach he thinks so highly of.

“Almost like a father I never had,” Fowler said. “Someone I can trust, look up to, not just as a coach but as a person, somebody I might need to talk to, get stuff off my mind, there to help, encourage and teach."

Fowler is already looking forward to Jones’ return from China, after he seizes the opportunity to represent Greenwood on a global level.

“Everybody does everything differently. So he'll pick up new tips. He might give new tips -- everything, so I'm looking forward to learning new things,” Fowler said.

“When football coaches get together we have no shortage of things to talk about because there's always a new play, there's always a new scheme, there's always something we can talk about,” Jones said. “That's going to be the best part -- that and getting to meet 45 really talented kids.”

The team is made up of high school seniors and college freshmen from across the United States.

Jones said about half of the Team USA coaches going are from Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Team USA will spend a little more than two weeks in China, playing four games.