VIBORG, S.D. (KELO) — Viborg-Hurley senior Chase Mason is looking to help lead the Cougars to a state championship next weekend, but just getting back to the track has been a remarkable accomplishment for the future Nebraska Cornhusker.
Viborg-Hurley was the defending 9AA State Football Champions and were favorites to repeat with senior Chase Mason leading an explosive offensive attack. But in their second game that all changed for the Cougars quarterback.
“Designed run for me going up the left side. Kid coming in at the same time I was going to do a spin move and him hitting me the same time I was going to spin. So it wasn’t really something I could’ve prevented, kind of just a freak accident,” Chase Mason said.
Chase was diagnosed with a torn ACL, ending his season. After having surgery soon after, the long recovery began.
“The first couple months were just terrible for me, mentally it was just super bad. I got to the point where I’m like I’m not going to be worrying about this. I’m not going to dwell on this for the rest of my life. It’s something I got to learn from and move on from,” Mason said.
Mason went through rehab three times a week and had to miss basketball season as well. He wasn’t even thinking of going out for track until shortly following the hoops season, when his physical therapist gave him the green light.
“He was like yeah, you’ll definitely be cleared to go to do track. Definitely no jumping or hurdles but I was definitely happy to be out and competing again,” Mason said.
On April 6th, Mason returned to competition for the first time since late August.
“I couldn’t believe how winded I was after my first 200, I felt like I just got done running the 400,” Mason said.
“We have some stuff on Facebook with the parents filming it. You could just see the people in awe watching him back on the track again. It was just a great sight to see,” Viborg-Hurley Track Coach Bill Hansen said.
Coming back from a torn ACL nearly 8 months later is a testament to the kind of person Chase is.
“He’s very dedicated especially to the weight room and the rehab. All through basketball season and all during the winter he was heading to Sioux Falls and doing his rehab. He was very dedicated to getting back to 100 percent. Hard work on his part, and it’s just true character of the way Chase is,” Hansen said.
It’s not the senior season he envisioned, but it has brought some perspective, and by this summer, Mason will get back to doing what he loves most.
“It’s definitely exciting especially getting back to track and competing and things like that. Baseball is different. I love baseball it’s been my first love so I’m excited to get back,” Mason said.
Following track season, Chase will play for the Harrisburg legion baseball team, and could potentially hear his name called during the MLB Draft in June. Mason is set to continue his baseball career next year at the University of Nebraska.