Ed. Note: The summer feature series continues this week with a look at senior Mason Pence. Next week will be the final feature series of the summer before beginning fall sports coverage.
Mason Pence has been active in playing football ever since he can remember, suiting up for the first time in fourth grade. Now eight years later, it has all come to pass for Pence, as he prepares to step onto the football field at Tippecanoe for his final season with the Red Devils, and he plans to make it his best season yet.
Pence and the Red Devils are looking to put together a season that will allow them to contend for a GWOC North title, and keep their streak alive of making the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season.
“I come from a family of football players so I have always had interest in the sport,” Pence said. “I have also wrestled since eighth grade when I joined the team to stay busy during the winter and be in great shape for football. My parents have been huge influences in my life by sparking my interest in sports and supporting me in everything that I do.”
Over the years, Pence has enjoyed several highlights on Friday nights with the Red Devils, including a certain game last year that sticks in his memory.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is our game last season against Fairborn when we won by a field goal in the last seconds of the fourth quarter,” he said. “However, I also really like team dinners and just spending time with the guys on the team. Thursday night bonfires with the team are also a lot of fun.”
“When I am not in a sport I am in the weight room lifting to get stronger and quicker,” he added. “I also keep a strict diet both in and off season to make sure I am performing at my best physical shape possible.”
Not only does he need to be productive on Friday nights, but not that he is entering his final year at Tipp, it adds another responsibility onto his shoulders.
“The one thing that I want to improve the most on is becoming a strong leader,” he said. “As a senior I now have younger guys looking up to me and I need to be able to earn their respect and teach them how to play the game while also pushing them to be better.”
“Individually I just want to do the best that I can and as a team, I want to win the GWOC North as well as keep our 12 year playoff streak. At the end of my last game I want to have no regrets as I take off my helmet for the last time.”
While enjoying his time on the varsity wrestling team since his sophomore year, he also started on both sides of the ball last season. If he has his way, football will not end when he steps off the field for the final time as a Red Devil. But grades come first.
“I have thought about continuing football into college but after being realistic with my goals I have decided to focus on studying and getting a good education after high school.
Outside of sports, Pence is very involved with his church, in particular his youth group where he recently took a mission trip to Haiti. He is also in National Honor Society and the interact club where he does community service.
“I love helping people and that is why I am planning to go Pre-Med at a four-year university after I graduate high school,” he added.