January Student of the Month: Jovonte Squiers

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LONE TREE, Iowa (KCRG) - Jovonte Squiers has made a name for himself across Iowa in 1A sports. The 18-year-old senior from Lone Tree is a decorated athlete who channels his competitive spirit and love of family in everything he does. That includes band, where he leads the drumline. He says he loves to make his own beats and find the rhythm in each song.

Squiers is also a star on his football team, running 265 yards with four touchdowns in the first eight man football game in Lone Tree's history. In 2016, he led the Lions to an 8-1 season. “When in doubt, you come in as a leader and push everybody,” he says. “Everybody looks up to you here and there; they feed off of you in situations."

He's been First Team All-Conference in basketball three years in a row with all state accolades. And when it comes to track, Jovonte shines in the long jump at state. "Walking in my freshman year I got fourth place, sophomore year I got third place and I knew that going into my junior year, this has to be the year that I pop out a jump,” he says.

Squiers pushed past an injury last year to win the state championship in the long jump. His best jump was just more than 22’4”. He hopes to top that jump this spring. His love of sports comes from his dad and Lone Tree's athletic director and basketball coach, Tom Squiers, who raised him close to the court. "Everywhere I went, I was around sports, whether it's football, basketball, baseball, track; I was always at a sporting event."

His family supports his passion for playing almost every sport at Lone Tree. His mother also works in the school district. His sister, who attends college in Jackson, Mississippi, attends as many events as she can.

Lone Tree School Counselor Shelby Bryce has watched Squiers grow into the leader he is today. “He's been able to channel his competitiveness and his confidence into this awesome leader who helped us so much at our school,” she says. "We have an anti-bulling program called Olweus and he's been a leader in that. One goal that we had for this year was decreasing the number of students we have sitting by themselves in the lunch room and Jay's the first one to help out in that situation without even being asked.”

Squiers knows his classmates are watching, so he tries to set the bar high. “No matter what I do, there are going to be people looking up to me,” he says.

He’s keeping his options open for what he'll do after graduation. Right now, he's considering a future in sports, perhaps through athletic training and coaching.