SJS Senior of the Year
MASON HURST, DEL ORO
Del Oro two-way standout and Prep2Prep CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Senior of the year Mason Hurst didn’t have the top numbers in the section as either a wide receiver or defensive back, but he was
close. However, what he did have was pretty much everything else anyone could want in a football-playing student athlete.
“Not only is Mason a great football player but he was a great leader for our team, on campus and in the community,” said former Del Oro coach Casey Taylor.
“He’s the hardest worker and one of the most versatile players I’ve ever coached. A three-year starter that set the standard for what a Del Oro player looks like. He will be missed,”
continued Taylor, who also will be missing at Del Oro after taking the head coaching job at Capital Christian-Sacramento.
“I definitely wanted to lead the team but not just statistically, but as a captain as well,” Hurst remarked. “Just like we did as a team I set high goals for myself and met some but not all of them.”
Being the Golden Eagles team leader on a team that made two straight CIF Bowl Game appearances, and only missing a handful of downs between offense and defense in two seasons does take its toll,
and Hurst acknowledged it with a slight chuckle.
“Oh yeah, I got totally beat up throughout the season," he said. "The whole week would be spent recovering just to get beat up again the next week, but you know every part of it was worth it.”
Hurst may have taken a beating but he dished a whole bunch out as well on both sides of the ball, particularly in the playoffs.
In a 13-3 season Hurst was second-leading wide receiver in the SJS in catches and yardage with 78 receptions for 1,615 yards. Despite hardly being used in a blowout of Antelope, in six playoff
games he had 34 catches for 790 yards and 10 of his 16 total touchdowns.
In the disappointing 22-17 loss to San Clemente in the CIF Division 1-A Bowl Game Hurst always had double and sometimes triple coverage, and still managed a season-high nine receptions for 116 yards,
though the Tritons did keep him out of the end zone.
As a free safety Hurst had a huge number of tackles after finishing with 75 this season of which 54 were solo. He had two interceptions a fumble recovery and forced two fumbles.
Mr. Versatility also rushed for 165 yards and one score, threw 18 passes this season mostly on trick plays and not including two-point conversion attempts, returned punts and kickoffs at times,
scored two of his 20 total TDs on defense and special teams, and finished with 134 total points after getting seven 2-point conversions, including one against San Clemente.
Teammates and coaches
“The best thing about this team was the amount of chemistry we had from playing together for so long at such a high level,” Hurst said. “Plus, we had a smart group. Our overall GPA was around 3.45.”
Our ultimate goal was to win another state championship and we came as close as we could,” continued Hurst. “We still met a lot of other team goals like not losing a fumble until the state championship game.”
“What I’ll miss the most is all the time I spent with all my friends, and the relationships with the coaches and my teammates."
Planning for the future
At 6-1, 190-pounds Hurst knew he wasn’t going to get major D1 college offers, but despite admitting he dreams of playing past college, he took an offer from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo because it had the
whole package for a whole package-like 3.2 GPA student-athlete that likely will see action on both sides of the ball.
“I thought Cal Poly was a great fit for me academically and football-wise – and I love the coaching staff,” said Hurst, who plans on studying industrial technology with an eye on a career in business.
Lots of awards
Besides the Prep2Prep honor, Hurst has had his share this season. With Cal-Hi Sports all-state awards in categories he’s eligible in still pending, he’s already snagged the Sacramento Bee All-Metro MVP,
the MaxPreps NorCal All-Purpose MVP, SportStars NorCal Player of the Year, and the Sac-Joaquin Section All-Purpose and Defensive MVP.
“It’s awesome. Really cool,” was Hurst’s response to winning so many awards. “To know all the teams and players there are out there, and to be chosen is really cool.”
How does Hurst sum up the season?
“It ended with a bad loss but beating Bakersfield was a highlight. It was a really fun season and we played some really good teams. Coming off last season we had a target on our back but we
still did really well in the playoffs.”
Congratulations to Mason Hurst on being named the Prep2Prep Sac-Joaquin Section Senior of the Year and all the other awards he’s won.