Tonkery Wins First Curtis Jones, Jr. Award

  • By Mike Montoro
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  • January 10, 2014 01:40 PM
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Wes Tonkery, pictured here with football academic services staff members Kelli Hinton and Amy King.
Dale Sparks/All-Pro Photography photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that junior linebacker Wes Tonkery has been selected as the first recipient of the Curtis Jones, Jr., Award, named in honor of the late Curtis Jones, Jr., an associate athletic director for academic support at WVU, who died suddenly in September.
“Curtis Jones was an outstanding person, leader and role model to our football program and always stressed to the players about achieving the best in all areas of their daily life,” Holgorsen said. “We stress the importance of these areas to the team, not only to be good on the football field, but in the classroom and in the community. This award is a great way to honor the memory of someone who stood for so much and had such an impact on the Mountaineer football program. I can’t think of a better person who has embodied the traits of what this award stands for than Wes Tonkery. He is consistent in his every area of his life, he is a good football player, excels in the classroom and gives of his time in the community.”
The Curtis Jones, Jr., Achievement Award is presented annually to the Mountaineer football player who demonstrates excellence in all facets of his collegiate career, including academics, athletics and community service.
“It’s an honor to be named as the first recipient of this award, which encompasses so many different areas of life,” Tonkery said. “Curtis was well respected by not only me, but our entire team, for the impact and leadership he provided academically and socially to us. He always was there to give us advice and oversight to ensure that we were making good decisions and heading in the right direction.”
Tonkery, a redshirt junior linebacker, played in five games this past season, before suffering a season-ending hand injury at Baylor. He finished with nine tackles, including six solo stops. He had a season-high four tackles at Oklahoma and also had two stops at Baylor, before sustaining the season-ending injury.
Tonkery, who hails from Bridgeport, W.Va., is an industrial engineering major and has been a member of the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and has been named to the Big East Academic All-Star team. He has taken an active role in the football team’s community outreach program, including making visits to the WVU Children’s Hospital, serving as a mentor for the kids of the Bridgeport Little League, participating in the Three Rivers Festival and traveling with his teammates to southern West Virginia to take part in the “Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative”, where in conjunction with the boys scouts, donated many hours of community service to refurbish the community center and playing fields.