East Ridge Alum Johnny Jones Donates $100,000 For a New Weight Room Facility


East Ridge, TN-(WDEF-TV) Facilities are a major part of athletics…even on the high school level. And East Ridge high school is getting a major facilities upgrade thanks to a six-figure donation from a Pioneer graduate.

What a way for East Ridge to end their football banquet on Wednesday.
Alum Johnny Jones Senior presented the school with a check for a $100,000 for a new weight room facility.
Said Jones:”When I’m looking out at these folks, and thinking about what it feels like to be able to be in a position to give back to them. It touches me.”
Said head football coach Tim James:”I’m in shock and awe of just his enormous generosity.”
Let’s just say, East Ridge needed a new weight room.
They refer to their current facility as the dungeon, complete with a pipe in the middle of the room.
Reporter:”How would you describe your current weight room facility?”
Said James:”Really bad. Really bad. Outdated. Antiquated.”
Back in 2015, the East Ridge football stadium was condemned.
The stands were torn down, as well as all of the coaches offices and locker rooms which were underneath the home stands.
Today Hamilton County is building a new field house for the Pioneers on the scoreboard end of the stadium, which will also house the weight room.
Said James:”It’s going to be a 6,000 square foot building. So the weight room is going to be just a little bit under 3,000 square foot. Have eight half racks. Eight squat stands. Sprint turf down the middle.”
And the new weight room should build more than just muscle.
Said Jones:”You know a weight room is going to support that athletic side of things. I think it’s going to be a great catalyst for folks to learn how to achieve things throughout life.”
Said James:”Going to have to give you a sense of pride to walk in a new locker room or new weight room that’s outfitted as good as any in the nation. It’ll be second to none, and we’re going to be proud. Thanks to Mr. Johnny Jones Senior.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.