Most Big Walnut area soccer fans remember Zach Mason.
The 2012 Big Walnut High School graduate was a member of the varsity soccer team all four years, and went on the play for The Ohio State University. A senior captain and midfielder on the No. 18 Ohio State men’s soccer team, Mason is one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award.
The Senior CLASS Award is the nation’s premier award for NCAA senior student athletes. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
“It’s truly an honor to be a finalist for the Senior CLASS award,” Mason said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Ohio State, and extremely humbled to be considered for such a great honor.”
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university, and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.
“This is a fantastic and well-deserved honor for Zach,” OSU men’s head soccer coach John Bluem said. “He has been an incredible leader on and off the field for our program since the day he arrived on campus.”
Mason is in his second year as captain for the Buckeyes and started in all 75 games the last four years. He was named to the 2012 Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and he was one of two players to start in every game his sophomore season.
Mason has played 6,920 minutes during four years as a Buckeye, more than 115 hours on the soccer field.
Mason was the 2014 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner. Mason also has made a difference in the community. He was a part of the Race for Cure in summers of 2012 and 2013, and Kids Kicking Cancer clinics in the falls of 2012-14.
This past spring, Mason was involved with Meals on Wheels, and participated with Habitat for Humanity this past summer. Mason also volunteered at local youth soccer teams during the past four years as a Buckeye student-athlete.
In the classroom, he is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and NSCAA All-East Scholar.
The 10 finalist names are placed on an official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.
To cast a vote for Mason, go to seniorclassaward.com/vote/mens_soccer_2015/. You can vote one time each day through Monday, Nov. 23. Fan votes, counting one-third of the final selection score, are added to coach and media polls.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2015 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup championships in December.
Mason, son of Mike and Mary Mason of Galena, is pursuing a career in radiology.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093