John Henry (Johnny) Jones graduated from Taylorville High School in 1941 and earned twelve varsity letters during his athletic career. Nicknamed “Racehorse Jones” by the media, Johnny Jones set the Taylorville Invitational Track Meet and Taylorville High School record in the 100 yard dash with a time of 10.0 seconds. That record stood for twenty five years. Lettering all four years in track, Jones also ran the 220 yard dash and the low hurdles and in many meets was a one man track team scoring most of the teams points. In the spring of 1940, Jones finished won both the 100 and 220 in the Pana Open and finished second in the 100 yard dash in the Decatur district and as a result advance to the state finals in Champaign.

    As a football player, Jones earned varsity letters each of the four years he participated. He was a running back and he opened the 1940 season scoring three touchdowns in a 25 -0 win over Clinton. Probably Jones’s most memorable game came against Nokomis, when he scored on runs of 65 and 90 yards in a 39 to 0 trouncing of the Redskins.

    An all-around athlete, Jones contributed to Dolph Stanley’s basketball Tornadoes making the varsity squad his freshman year and contributing a career total 201 points. The 1939-40 team with a record of 21 and 11, was the first Tornado team to Advance to the State Tournament in Champaign. It was in the first round of the state tournament that Jones made his most memorable point. A free throw with time running out tied the score with Paris at 34 sending the game into overtime. A frustrating overtime gave the victory to Paris 36 to 35.

    Jones received an athletic scholarship to attend Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana but World War II interrupted his college career and Jones joined the US Air Corp serving until the end of the War in 1945. Following the war, Jones moved back to Langleyville, where he lived until his death in 2004.