Zach Mason, a 2012 Big Walnut High School graduate and soccer standout who went on the play for The Ohio State University, has won 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.
Mason, selected through nationwide balloting, is the second Buckeye in as many years to receive the award. Mason follows 2014 winner Alex Ivanov as the second consecutive Buckeye to win the Senior CLASS Award for men’s soccer, marking the first time since the 2001 inception of the award that student-athletes from the same university have earned back-to-back awards in the same sport.
“It’s amazing to be the first team to win this award two years in a row,” said Mason, the 18th Senior CLASS Award winner from the Big Ten Conference. “Ivy (Alex Ivanov) set a great example for me to follow, and I tried to continue his legacy. It’s a testament to the high standards of Ohio State Athletics.”
Mason, who said he was extremely humbled and happy to receive the award, dedicated it to his grandfather Timothy Boylan, who recently passed away.
“Being a student-athlete at The Ohio State University has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Mason said. “I’ve learned so much about myself and grown tremendously over these past four years. I’ve learned the importance of commitment and persistence, two values I will carry with me into the next chapter in my life. I’ve felt so much support from countless individuals and the entire Buckeye community, as well. This award is a win not just for me, but for all of Ohio State.”
Mason holds himself to high standards and 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.
Mason, the 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