Local girl has fought her way to the top, but needs your help getting to Nationals

© 2018-Mountain Statesman

GRAFTON—Local athlete Rylee Jones is once again on her way to the USA National Karate Championship.

Her mother, JoAnn Jones, shared that Rylee will be returning to Reno, NV, where she competed in the USA Nationals for the very first time five years ago.

Last year, the event was held in Greenville, SC, and Rylee took part as an 11-year-old Intermediate Female Competitor, where she was able to claim a gold medal for her performance in weapons (Sai) competition, and also received a bronze medal in the Kumite (sparring) competition.

Rylee is a hardworking and dedicated student of Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts and has been training under Sensei Eric Swick for several years.

Her record is sure to impress. As of 2017 she holds 95 first-place finishes, 49 second-place finishes, 22 third-place finishes and six fourth-place titles, along with three Grand Champion awards.

In addition, to her already impressive collection of titles, Rylee competed in the 2018 Connellsville Classic over the weekend and added four first-places finishes to her record.

Rylee’s family and friends are her biggest support system, noting that her dedication, enthusiasm and sportsmanship is unparalleled.

Her grandfather, Gary Jones, commented that to have a young Grafton lady not only competing at the National level, but dominating to bring home the gold, is something for the entire community to be proud of.

As one can imagine traveling for these events does not come cheap, and with this year’s competition being held on the west coast, the costs have skyrocketed.

Rylee doesn’t only make a name for herself, but also for young athletes in Grafton, and is hoping the community can support her and help her take this trip.

Her family and friends have organized a Thirty-One Bingo Fundraiser to help cut the costs of the trip.

Bingo is slated for April 7, at the Taylor County Senior Center, with doors opening at 1:00 p.m., and the first number being called at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Advanced tickets are currently being sold for $20 for 20 games. Tickets at the doors will be available for $25 for 20 games. Additionally, a coverall game is being offered for $5.

According to J. Jones, there will also be several chances for attendees to win a door prize or raffle. Concessions will be offered for a small fee, and a few home retail vendors will be on hand, as well.

Tickets can be purchased by emailing [email protected] and can be paid for with cash or card.

“Rylee is proud of all of her accomplishments, as am I. However, what we are both most proud of is her opportunity to be a positive representation for her hometown community that has been so willing to help her achieve her dreams,” commented J. Jones.


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