Mason County News
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Zavala Heads to Hardin Simmons
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 • Posted March 21, 2012

The MHS football program has been on quite a roll over the past four years. Three deep playoff runs in 2008-2009-2010 and Mason’s first State Championship in 2011. The program which has seen more then its share of talented players come through the system is now starting to see more and more players move on to the next level, which has laid the ground work for future MHS players to chase the dream of playing college football. Historically Class 1A football which carries the moniker, “Biddy Ball”, has not been taken seriously by college coaches. The diminutive size and speed of players at this level relative to the over all competition at the Class 3A-4A-5A levels appears to be the culprit. That opinion seems to be changing in the highly competitive landscape of college football recruiting, as eleven players from Class 1A high schools in Texas have moved on to play college football over the past two years, with three of those players moving on to Division 1 programs. This year alone three different schools from our district, (Goldthwaite, Mason, and Irion County) will all send a player on to compete at the collegiate level. Class 1A players names are now starting to pop up with regularity on the recruiting lists that all college football programs utilize. Chasing the dream of playing on the national stage on Saturday afternoon in lieu of Friday night may seem like a pipe dream to most when you look at the numbers. Only 2.4 percent of all high school football players across the county will go on to play college football.The shear number of players with healthy GPA’s, coupled with size and speed competing for roster spots is staggering. Being a stud in high school does not necessarily mean you have the goods to play with the men on Saturday, its like night and day. Recruiting high school football players has become a highly selective business at all five collegiate levels. Mason High School has had the good fortune of vaulting a handful of players to the next level over the past several years. Most of them quickly decided it was not for them, while others have made a mark for themselves. In 2009 Michael McCloud graduated from Angelo State University, where he roamed the secondary as a (5’11 190lb) Free Safety. In 2011 Garrett Rice received a scholarship to DePauw University where he lettered as a freshmen and has been cast as a (6’1 208lb) Strong Safety. In 2012 Korey Zavala brought his own personal recruiting journey to an end by accepting an offer to play football for Hardin Simmons University. Zavala, who played both ways during the 2011 season will be will be unleashing his (6’4 260lb) frame as an offensive linemen for the Cowboys, who play in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, with their most recent NCAA championship appearances coming in 2006 and 2008. Zavala will get his first taste of the frenzied atmosphere that is college football in week two of the upcoming season when he heads out to Oregon to bump heads with Linfield University, who is a perennial West Coast powerhouse and is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the country. Zavala looks the part of a offensive linemen, long arms, plays with leverage, can hook and seal, shows good pop and recoil characteristics, strong work ethic, and has excellent character. He will most probably put on an additional 30lbs when he experiences the freshmen jump as he moves his way up the HSU depth chart. (Congratulations Korey !! ) Does being a part of a winning high school program guarantee a college offer? No, however the visibility of being a part of one of the hottest Cass 1A teams in the state sure helps. Just ask Class of 2013 MHS running back / kicker, Rio Schmidt (6’0 185lbs) who is already getting press relative to the upcoming season. When you dig little deeper and you run down next years roster it even becomes more exciting with names like; Watson, Dutton, Bibb, Yonker, Graves, Silguero, Medina, Palacio, Castillo, Villarreal and yet another Zavala, all looking to become the next prime time players of the storied purple and white. When Coach Burns rode into town last year like Clint Eastwood with his Winged-T offense and Zone defense neatly tucked in his saddle bags you could feel the winds of change as he quickly put his stamp on our program. MHS football which has always been a symbol of pride in our community now resonates deeper then ever as the list of former Punchers taking their, “ A-Game”, to the national stage keeps growing.

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