Name: Daryn Mason
Fall Sport: Football
Position: Right Tackle
Years on Varsity: 3 years
Height & Weight: 6’1”/270 lbs.
Playing Experience: 8 years (began playing youth football at the age of nine)
Favorite Subjects: During the RO’s exclusive interview, Mason proved through his vernacular and responses that he is a very intelligent student and individual. Mason has always enjoyed math class and working with numbers, and has seen his passion grow with the help of Mrs. Kim Floyd, a math teacher at Richmond. Currently at RSHS, he’s enrolled (or has already completed) several advanced placement classes in preparation for college.
In describing his own dislike for history classes when he was younger, Mason credited several teachers for sparking his knack for the subject he never knew he had. He’d like to thank Mrs. Suzanne Hudson, Mrs. Kelly Russell and Mrs. Cherice Washington for their support.
RSHS Sports: Halfway through his junior football season, Mason suffered a right knee injury which resulted in a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The severe injury required surgery and sidelined Mason the rest of the year. But he’s since made a full recovery and been with the football team all summer and fall.
During his sophomore year, Mason was a force to be reckoned with on the Richmond track and field team, participating in the shotput competition. With his knee back to being healthy, he plans to throw again this spring.
RSHS Extracurricular Activities: For as busy as he is with football, Mason still finds time to participate in several school clubs and organizations. He’s a member of the National Beta Club, and has been all four years of high school (he served as the Club’s vice president in ninth grade). Mason also is a member of National Honors Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
While he was a junior last year, Mason also served as a junior marshal.
Hobbies: Mason has several commendable “hobbies,” each of which involves him volunteering and helping others. Last football season, some of Mason’s teammates were struggling in math class, so he offered to tutor them. He now enjoys tutoring several students, which range from elementary to high school students.
Following a “volunteer when you can” attitude, Mason also volunteers through his church. As a worship leader at Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, Mason is responsible for setting up and participating in several events that give back to the community. Some of his favorite things to do are highway clean ups, preparing and serving food for local homeless shelters and assisting with “vacation bible school” during the summer to give children a chance to eat and attend worship services.
College Aspirations: Perhaps one of the most academically-gifted students at RSHS, Mason boasts an impressive 4.90 GPA as college application time envelops him. Admitting right away that he, “hasn’t made up” his mind concerning playing college football (because of his knee), Mason isn’t discarding the idea yet. He said that there have been several schools that have expressed interest in him playing.
The sciences have always intrigued Mason, and he wants to attend a four-year university to study neuroscience. He is currently a candidate for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His true aspirations lie in attending UNC or the University of Miami, both of which have great football programs, Mason noted.
Interesting Fact: When asked this question, most of the Richmond County Official Athletes of the Week need some time to think about how to answer. But Mason knew right away of two things he wanted to share. The first thing is, even at the age of 16, he loves watching SpongeBob SquarePants every morning before school. And he enjoys watching anime cartoons, too.
His other interesting fact is that he never imagined himself playing football at all, let alone at the high school level. In what he described, with a wry smile, as his dad’s “urging” him to play football, he took up the sport and ended up being naturally talented at it. He’s glad that he decided, with a little help from his dad, to pursue the sport.
Mentor: New to this week’s edition, the “mentor” segment asks who in the lives of our athletes’ lives makes a difference. For Mason, it was a no-brainer.
“My dad (Daryl Mason) is my biggest influence and mentor,” Mason said. “He’s somebody you want to grow up to be. Everything about his is great, from the way he treats his wife and kids, to the helps other people. My dad is my biggest role model.”
Player of the Week Stats: As the Raiders’ starting right tackle on Friday nights, Mason’s primary responsibility is to hold off the opposing defense and provide protection for the running and passing game. There aren’t many “flashy” stats that offensive linemen can rack up, but it’s what they do that isn’t tallied on the score sheet that proves their worth.
In Friday’s 28-7 blowout win against rivaled-foe Pinecrest, in what was a spectacular night for both the offense and defense, Mason’s versatility and dependability to play any position on the offensive line proved to be enough to earn him this recognition. Along with key blocks and a grinding mentality, Mason helped balance the Richmond offensive attack.
What’s your senior season been like, considering your knee and the team’s 4-2 start?
“It’s been up and down,” Mason said, mentioning his knee. “It’s been a tough year (personally) to try to get back from my ACL injury. But I’m working hard to get better and where I need to be.
“There have been a lot of ups this season for the team,” Mason continued. “I’m just glad to have the opportunity to start and play each game.”
“We can do anything we want to do,” Mason said. “We just have to do what we’ve been coached to do. And we have to play our brand of football.”
Explain what has been working so well for the offensive line this season. What’s your relationship like with your line mates?
“We really aren’t doing anything different to be more successful this year,” Mason said. “But we have this new ‘determination’ factor to be better than 9-4. We have state championship aspirations, and we don’t want to disappoint. We’ve really worked on stepping our game up.”
“I love all my teammates,” Mason said with a grin. “But the relationship that my linemates and I share is special. We’re like a family. And we’re tighter with each other than anyone else on the team.”
In his first season as the varsity head coach, Bryan Till noted that the Raiders played all-around good football Friday night against Pinecrest. He nominated Mason as the Official Richmond County Athlete of the Week presented by the Richmond Observer for lots of reasons, but none more than for his dependability on the front line.
“Offensively, we played very diverse against Pinecrest,” Till said. “Because of our offensive line, we were able to run and pass the ball. It’s the versatility of guys like Daryn that makes out offense click.
“Daryn was one of many offensive players Friday who helped take care of all phases of the game,” Till continued. “Offensive linemen are often the unsung heroes of an offense, and Mason (and the others) were selfless Friday night.
Look for Mason on the Richmond Observer’s flagship news program Live at 5, as he’ll be in studio for Wednesday’s edition.