Many teams over the years have had relatives and siblings pair up on the same line or team. When was the last time anyone saw a set of brothers as the goaltending tandem? This is what Long Beach State has had all year and it has gotten them to the College Roller Hockey Championship event again. When you ask the team about it…most joke around and say that they are all completely confident in whatever stops the pucks for them. To ask Brandon and Corey Jones about their job, most say you can’t get much of a response.
Brandon is a very soft spoken sophomore that is humble, yet confident in his role between the pipes. He is looking to pursue a career in the mechanical engineering field. Corey is a little more outgoing. He appears to be a young professional, though only a freshman. Like his goaltending he is working beside his brother and majoring in the same field.
“It was about 9 or 10 years ago,” as Corey recalled, that they got started. They started out skating and playing as forwards to check out roller hockey. When most parents think about hockey the general question isn’t “What is it?” it’s more like “How much?” Mr. and Mrs. Jones always supported the boys in whatever they decided to stick with. First they bought them some gear and when they enjoyed it they said, “Let’s do this.” Mrs. Jones is here and supporting her boys all the way. Some have even dubbed her “Team Mom”
As a pair both recall playing for various teams over the years at every level. They would, “…play game for game, ” Brandon recalls, ” and if one is playing better, we know and just go with it.” As they got to this season, both complimented 49ers Coach Bill Burrows. “He tells us who’s starting before the games,” Brandon says. “It’s normally split, but it’s (the decision) always (coach) Burrows.”
As for this event Corey says, “The team is doing better, we’re getting are passing and we played a lot better this game.” (a tie against Penn State) Brandon says, “The team’s playing well, I was a little sloppy, but we’re doing good.” Looking ahead they both feel great about the game against Missouri State. When asked about who will start, both replied simply, “That’s (coach) Burrows.” Brandon added, “He normally lets us know before the game and we go with it.” Corey thinks, “The team has a lot of potential come the elimination round,” and also that, “we can go far.” My favorite quote was Brandon’s for the same question; he said that “…we don’t want to fail out.”
So far so good…They defeated Missouri State with Corey in net this time. He stopped 20 shots en route to the teams 5-2 win. They now head into the elimination round. Who will start next? Who will the team ride? I think either way, you’ve got two calm and collected young student athletes as a strong backbone for the future, either way.