Looking Back and Catching Up With Jonathan Raines ’15

Photo Courtesy UGA Athletics.


UGA Track & Field Member and FPD Alum Jonathan Raines took some time out of his busy schedule to catch up with us recently.

Raines, began attending FPD in the 6th grade and was a two-sport athlete participating in Viking Football and Track.:

He earned Regional High-Point Award as a sophomore, junior and senior…Finished second at the 2015 GHSA Class A Private State Championship in the 110-meter hurdles (14.92) and was third in the 300m hurdles (39.88).

While competing in track he would set at the time FPD school records in the triple jump, 200m dash, 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. His personal-best marks of 22.0 (200m), 14.56 (110m hurdles) and 38.9 (300m hurdles). Raines, still holds all of those records except the 110m which was recently topped by Samford-Track-Signee Titus Moore.

His highlights at UGA include for Track & Field include:

2017: Outdoor – Ran a 10.85 for 10th place in the 100-meter dash at the Yellow Jacket Invite…Was a leg on the Bulldog 4x100m relay team that won the Yellow Jacket meet with a 40.06…Competed at the NCAA Championships and finished 23rd in the 4x100m relay with a 40.00.

Indoor – Ran a 6.95 in the 60-meter dash prelims and a 22.28 in the 200m prelims at the Orange & Purple Classic.

Outdoor – Took seventh in the 100-meter dash at the Spec Towns meet with a 10.73 and had a season-best 200m time of 21.77 for 13th.

Indoor – Took 16th in the 60-meter dash at the Blazer Invite (7.01)…Clocked a 7.08 in the 60m for 21st at the Vulcan Invite…Finished 21st in the 60m at the VT Elite Meet (7.17)….Ran a season-best 22.42 in the 200-meter dash for 16th at the VT Elite Meet.

Raines, is currently actively seeking a college summer internship to finalize his degree from UGA in Finance and Sports Management while competing in Track & Field in the SEC.

Here is our entire conversation.

1. When you look back on your time at FPD what teachers, and coaches come to mind?

I don’t know where to start. There have been so many teachers and coaches that have played such a positive role in my life whom I can still go back and talk to today.  I was fortunate to have many of my coaches as teachers too, which worked out great for me. Looking back, I was so blessed to have each of these people in my life to help me grow and mature into the person I am today.

During middle school, I remember being coached by Coach Cassell, Coach Veazy, Coach Morton, Coach Turner, and Coach Thompson. Each of them has been with me from the very beginning until the end.

Coach Cassell was my middle and high school track coach. She was my first track coach because I didn’t started running until sixth grade. She pushed me to become the best track athlete I could be even at times I didn’t want to be pushed. Her motivation and coaching inspired me to continue running track today.

Coach Veazy and Morton were my Bible teachers throughout high school as well. They both challenged me spiritually in the classroom, as well as, physically when out on the field.

Coach Thompson was also my football coach but ended up being my college counselor later down the road. He really helped me academically prepare for college as well as made sure I had the necessary tools to attend UGA.

Shout out to Eric Lattimer as well, he also had to deal with the headache of getting me into college.

Some middle school teachers that come to mind are Mrs. Hattaway, Mrs. Massey, Mr. Kitchell, Coach Casey Jones, Coach Spear, and Dean Rabun.

Mrs. Hattaway brought out my love for math at an early age which later helped me pursue a finance degree.

Mrs. Massey was my home room teacher.  She was an amazing woman with a good heart and was very passionate about her job.

Mr. Kitchell, at one point, was my middle school geography and civics teacher until he got promoted to be the head honcho of high school. I loved having him as a high school principal. I remember in middle school, he used to ride his bike to school most days. Once he became the principal, seems like he just threw the bike away and found a new toy. He started driving a Benz to school then.

Throughout high school, many coaches and teachers come to mind. Some include: Coach Moore, Coach Garvin, Coach Sy Jones, Coach Collier, Coach Self, Coach Walton, Coach A, Coach Griffin, Mrs. Robertson, Mr. Childs, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Funk.

Most of those I just named were football coaches, but they meant much more to me than that. They were always fun to be around and were there for me no matter what. If I was dealing with something in my personal life, I knew I could always go to any one of them to talk to.

My football coaches played a major role in my success. They taught me the importance of hard work on and off the field. They instilled in me the mental and physical toughness I needed to go out and face the world and overcome any obstacles set before me.

Coach A was really someone I looked up to in high school. I was fortunate to have him as both a coach and a teacher. I remember him asking me to meet him after class one day towards the end of my freshman year. We started off talking about the upcoming football season. He stated how I had the potential to start at cornerback my Sophomore year if was able to really work hard. He then shifted the conversation toward academics and expressed how gifted I was in the classroom. He saw a lot of potential in me, even when I didn’t sometimes see it myself. He knew I would do great things and I’ve never told him this, but I spent a lot of time academically and athletically trying to make him proud.

Another coach I would like to highlight is Coach Walton. He arrived my junior year and in the short time we had together, we became so close. Our friendship has continued throughout my college years. Knowing that he was once a college athlete, I sometimes go to him for advice when I’m having struggles athletically or need to get things off my chest. He has been a mentor to me and someone I look up to.  I’m very thankful to have him in my life.

I know I may have left some people out, but I could write a book on the number of people who have been there for me at FPD. It is a place I can call home and I’m very thankful for the entire staff and FPD community.

2. Did FPD prepare you academically for college?

Yes, I feel as though FPD prepared me academically for college. Due to rigorous AP courses, I was able to exempt a few of my college classes. Lucky for me, these were classes where freshman students tended to struggle.

Also, in a few of my math classes, I discovered that a great deal of students were never introduced to basic calculus. Having took a few years of calculus at FPD, I was able to do well in those classes.

3. What does a typical day in-season look like for you academically and athletically?

A typical day in-season can get busy at times. I attend three classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:05-12:05. I don’t have Tuesday, Thursday classes.

I then have practice typically from about 12:30-2:30. Practice is then followed by a weights session from 2:45-4:15.

After weights, I get treatments to help my body recover from the workouts. At night, I may have a tutoring session in a class or two for help with homework or to study for an upcoming test.

4. What course of study are you pursuing at UGA?

I am currently majoring in Finance with a minor in Sports Management.

(I’m looking for summer internships, so if you’re reading this and would be willing to help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. You can shoot me an email at

5. Do you have any favorite memories as a student or as an athlete while at FPD?

I have so many memories from FPD, good and bad.

There are two memories that absolutely haunt me. One, was losing to Aquinas in the playoffs my Junior year by one point. Aquinas went on to win the State Championship that year.

Another moment was my Senior year at the State Championships for track. I came in seeded as the number one hurdler and ended up placing second.

On the other hand, my favorite memories as a student came from my senior year. Just the whole experience of having fun with my classmates in our last year of high school.

Whether it was spirit week, having fun in the senior lounge, or any other senior activities, I just loved being around an amazing class of people. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and sometimes wish I could replay it all.

As an athlete, I miss simpler times. I miss the camaraderie between my teammates, I miss walking out on the field on Friday nights and having an entire school cheering you on, I miss it all.

College athletics is tough and sometimes I want to go back in time and take more advantages of the moments I experienced in high school.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a college career in track?

I didn’t discover that I wanted to pursue a college track career until my senior year. Though I played multiple sports in high school, I was always more of a football guy. Track was a gateway I used to help me get into my dream school. I could not pass up the opportunity of attending one of the best schools in the country with an amazing business program.

7. Did your time at FPD help you pursue this? If yes how?

Yes, my time at FPD helped me pursue this.

FPD taught me to pursue my dreams and use my talents to glorify God as well as put me in a position to impact others.

8. What is your lasting impression of FPD?

A verse that immediately comes to mind when I think of FPD is Proverbs 27:17.

“As iron sharpen iron, so does one man sharpen another.”

I am reminded of this verse daily whether it’s on the track with my teammates or just in my everyday routine. I am reminded to not only be the best I can be, but to also help and encourage others to be their best as well.

9. If someone were to ask you why they should choose FPD what would you tell them?

I would choose FPD because of the community. It’s a very loving environment where everyone there felt like family to me.

Every staff member, coach, and even parents I encountered while at FPD were very supportive and encouraged me to follow my dreams and have a lasting impact.

It’s an environment where my faith continually grew, and I was also challenged to be a better person than I was the day before.