09/26/12 9:55 PM ET
Astros name winner of 'You Make The Call' contest
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Jones, who's majoring in communications while playing backup quarterback for the football team, was unveiled Wednesday as the winner of the Astros' "You Make The Call" radio apprentice contest. That means Jones will have a paid role on the Astros' broadcast team next year.
"I couldn't be happier, I'm just thrilled," he said. "I got here and signed up for it, not really thinking anything besides experience and it'll be good to get a feel for interviewing and broadcasting. To go this far and end up winning this thing, I'm completely blessed to be here."
Jones, 22, advanced through several rounds of competition, which included interviews with Astros players, as well as a three-inning stint during an Astros radio broadcast earlier this month. He beat out Nate Kurant of Florida in the final round, with the winner being selected by a combination of fan voting and a panel of judges.
"At the beginning, I told my mom that if I could make it to the Top 10, I think I can get far in this," he said. "I just kept thinking, 'If I make it to the next round, that's really big.' I finally got down to the last two and I said, 'Man, if I make it to the next round, that's it. There's no other rounds.'
"I felt good about it. I didn't think I had a lot of pressure on myself. It felt like I could go out there and do whatever I could, and if it worked out, great, and if it didn't, I was back where I was."
Jones will conduct pre- and post-game interviews, cover press conferences and serve as a roving reporter during home games next year, the Astros' first season in the American League. The role does not include calling games.
Jones, who's from Keller, Texas, began his college career as a business major at Houston, but changed his major to broadcasting after going to see a CBS news broadcast in Dallas. He was hooked on broadcast journalism.
"I just thought this was it, this is what I wanted to do," he said. "I thought I wanted to do more on the TV side, but I worked with SportsTalk 790 [radio station in Houston] over the summer. That was just the coolest thing I've ever done. This is pretty much a dream come true for me, especially coming straight out of college into this."
Jones would like to parlay his summer job next year into a full-time position in the future with the Astros or another organization.
"Hopefully, I do something well enough that maybe they'll think about keeping me on a little longer," he said. "If nothing else, I'm glad to have it on my resume and get the experience."