Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2004

BHS’s Mason signs with Baker

February 12, 2004

By Jeff Myrick

Baldwin City Signal Editor

Micah Mason won't be taking his considerable football talents very far when he goes to the college level.

The standout Baldwin High School tailback signed a letter of intent at 10 a.m. Thursday to play football at Baker University. He'll be covering the same turf at Liston Stadium for the Wildcats that he churned up for four years while becoming BHS's all-time leading rusher.

There was plenty of interest in the 6-foot, 211-pounder who danced through Frontier League defenses for a record-setting 5,311 yards during his four years as Bulldog coach Mike Berg's main weapon. But, he said new Baker coach Mike Grossner won the recruiting battle.

"I think Baker did the best job recruiting," said Mason. "I am excited about playing on the field I grew up on. The coach reminds me a lot of coach Berg, so hopefully it will be a smooth transition from high school."

Grossner was named as Baker's new coach several weeks ago. Mason becomes the first player to sign under his short tenure and isn't a bad place to start.

"We as a football program are excited to have Micah," said Grossner. "He has stuck with Baker through the coaching change. There were a lot of schools interested in him, but he waited for me to get on board and I think that speaks very highly of him.

"We are anticipating a great football player coming to Baker," he said. "It's a pretty good start for my first week at Baker."

Berg, who is also a Baker graduate, was pleased by Mason's choice on many accounts.

"I'm ecstatic. I'm happy for Micah," said Berg. "I think he's made an awesome decision and Baker is going to get an outstanding student-athlete. It's great to see him stay close to home.

"I just wanted him to make a decision that was best for him and I think he did," he said. "He did a good job of weighing all options, which is what you have to do in that situation. He found the best school for him."

Baker won out over such colleges as Washburn, Emporia State, Pittsburgh State, the University of Kansas, Tabor (where Micah's brother Caleb plays football), MidAmerica Nazarene, Bethany, Avila, Central Missouri State, Southwest Missouri State, Kansas Wesleyan, Northwest Missouri State, Southern Illinois, the University of Missouri, Buena Vista (Iowa) and many junior colleges. Mason also had letters of interest from Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas State and Colorado.

Mason's signing is also considered a major step between the BHS and Baker football programs.

"Baldwin High School kids should be coming to Baker, especially with Mike over there. I've talked to him a lot and he's got a lot of pride in our program and his program and that this is the pipeline we need," Grossner said. "This is absolutely great public relations for the university and for Mike Berg who is a Baker graduate."

Grossner also hopes the signing of Mason will aid in recruiting the top players from around the Frontier League and the rest of the immediate area.

"There's no doubt we need to take care of this area first and go from there," he said.

Mason gained just about every honor possible in addition to all the rushing yardage in high school. He was all-league, all-area and all-state as a senior. As a sophomore and junior, he was all-league and all-area.

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