Perry All-Ohioan to play football at Lake Erie
The Lake Erie College football team is getting a two-time first-team AllOhioan — and he’s from the Storm’s back yard.
Nick Mason, a defensive lineman from Perry, has announced he will sign with the Storm.
A 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive tackle, Mason had 90 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a senior. That came on the heels of a junior campaign when he had 92 stops, nine sacks and 22 TFLs.
Perry athletic director T.J. Rockwell confirmed Mason’s commitment on Feb. 14.
Mason’s late commitment meant he missed out on a special signing ceremony earlier in the day at the school.
While many, if not most, schools held national signing day ceremonies on Feb. 7 — the first day of the current period when studentathletes across the nation can sign with their prospective colleges — scheduling made that impossible at Perry.
Not to worry. The school district made up for it on Feb. 14, holding a signing ceremony to pay tribute to 11 student-athletes who are moving on to play at the college level.
With a CVC league meeting during the day and then having the Pirates’ boys basketball team playing at Quicken Loans Arena later in the afternoon, a signing day ceremony might have been lost in the shuffle on Feb. 7.
That’s what made the Feb. 14 event that much more important, said Rockwell.
“I feel it is important when any student-athlete goes on to the next level. Less than 5 percent (nationally) get to do that,” Rockwell said. “We wanted to honor them in a first-class way. They’ve given so much effort for our school. The least we could do is have a banquet to honor them in front of their classmates.”
Each of the 11 signees sat at a head table in the school’s auditorium with balloons highlighting the set-up. A full complement of family members and students from the school took in the festivities, which included comments from each student (if they wanted to speak) and thoughts from their coaches.
The local Dairy Queen even furnished cake and ice cream for all in attendance.
“They took care of us,” Rockwell said of Dairy Queen. “We had 200 ice cream cups and two sheet cakes. It was pretty sweet.”
The list of Perry studentathletes who are moving on to play at the college level isn’t yet complete. Some haven’t made their choices yet, Rockwell said.
Those who have decided and were part of the Valentine’s Day ceremony were:
• Cody Baranauskas (football), Baldwin Wallace
• Stephen Bastian (golf) John Carroll
• Philip Bentley (football) Lake Erie College
• Claire Dolan (basketball) Mount Union
• Taylor Hradek (softball) Wheeling Jesuit
• Tyler Horvath (football) John Carroll
• Alex Koppel (soccer) Lake Erie College
• Megan Locke (golf) Point Park
• Hayden Makad (football) Saginaw Valley State
• Madeliene Pierce (swimming) Baldwin Wallace
• Jake Zimnoch (soccer) Notre Dame College