Perry All-Ohioan to play foot­ball at Lake Erie

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Sports - By John Kampf jkampf@news-her­ @nh­preps on Twit­ter

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

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