James River High School senior goalkeeper Jordan Junot grew up in a household centered around college sports.
Like father, like son
MIDLOTHIAN - James River High School senior goalkeeper Jordan Junot grew up in a household centered around college sports.
BY NEIL FULLER
Published: Monday, May 25, 2009 4:11 AM EDT
Junot's father, Jim, is the award-winning sports information director at Virginia State University. The Junot patriarch has also supported his family by working as a sports journalist and serving in the sports information departments at both Louisville and Virginia Union.
Now the son is ready to take his place in the NCAA's spotlight.
Jordan Junot has signed a National Letter of Intent and will continue his soccer career at Belmont-Abbey [N.C.] College next season.
And the pride Jim Junot currently feels is obvious.
"Isn't it great? It's really satisfying," Jim Junot said through a wide smile during his son's senior day at James River - a 6-0 victory over Dominion District rival Manchester on May 14. "I always thought Jordan had the talent [to play on the collegiate level]. This moment is just very satisfying."
Jordan Junot helped lead the Rapids to a 6-6-3 overall record during the regular season and is expected to compete for the starting job at Belmont-Abbey as a freshman.
Belmont-Abbey, a member of the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas, was 9-10-3 overall last season.
Of course, Jim Junot is happy his son elected to play for a program so close to home - Belmont-Abbey is located near Charlotte, N.C. - but concedes that scheduling conflicts could become a factor in seeing Jordan play on many days.
A typical day for an SID usually begins at 8 a.m. - and can last until midnight or later.
"I'm hoping to get down there for several games, but my job keeps me busy," Jim Junot said. "It's going to be kind of hard. But [Belmont-Abbey] could play a few games up here. They might play [Virginia Commonwealth University]. They might play the University of Richmond. I don't know their schedule yet. They did play Virginia Tech this past season - and beat Virginia Tech."
Wins over Virginia Tech aside, Jordan Junot believes Belmont-Abbey is the right fit for him.
"Having the chance to play for Belmont-Abbey on the next level is exciting for me," Jordan Junot said. "It's DII, so it's a smaller school. I'll be able to enjoy my time there."
Jordan Junot is also pleased that he's carrying on his family's rich tradition in college athletics.
"Obviously, I'm around my dad a lot. Sports is the usual topic," he said. "We've always talked about sports a lot. I've been offered a lot of support during my life."
That support has paid off.
Jordan Junot picked Belmont-Abbey over Kentucky Wesleyan, Southern Indiana and Longwood among other programs.
"It's not just about the quality of the soccer program at Belmont-Abbey, but the quality of the education," Jim Junot said. "The quality of life Jordan will have during his time at Belmont-Abbey was really attractive."
VSU does not have a soccer program. That fact could not stop Jim Junot from trying - even in jest - to lure his son to Ettrick.
As a kicker for the football team.
"I would've loved for Jordan to come to Virginia State," said a laughing Jim Junot. "He didn't have to play soccer. He could've been a kicker for our football team. You know, he could've been a punter. I would have loved the chance to see him play each week.
"But Jordan is all about soccer. He doesn't want to play football. He wants to play soccer. I have to respect that."
Another Junot joins the ranks of college athletics. It seems natural - and why not?
The Junots have college sports in their blood.
- Neil Fuller may be reached at email@example.com.