A natural love for lacrosse and motivation to do his best has driven Arcadia High School sophomore Mason Wilson to one of his most exciting accomplishments yet: a spot on the West Coast Starz competitive lacrosse team.
As the premiere national club lacrosse program in the western United States, West Coast Starz is known for producing NCAA players and Mason has his sights set on being one of them.
More than 300 players from 10 states tried out for the squad and Mason was one of only 15 who earned a coveted spot. This result comes after years of hard work, focusing on developing his skills and becoming a stronger athlete.
Mason first started playing the sport in sixth grade after his friends invited him to an Arcadia lacrosse clinic. He quickly embraced the game, finding the team atmosphere and intense competition rewarding.
Taking the field for his club high school team at Arcadia was the next step in his budding lacrosse career, and he says his experience has been great.
“The team camaraderie is awesome, and we enjoy spending time together on and off the field,” Mason said. A tight bond with his teammates helped them beat close rival Chaparral last season in double overtime, a memory Mason says he won’t forget. Other highlights of his freshman year include travel tournaments and a spot playing in the all-star game.
With his first year of high school in the books, Mason turned his attention to the West Coast Starz. He was determined to do whatever he needed to do to secure a spot.
After spending much of the summer practicing his game and traveling to camps, clinics and tournaments, Mason tried out for the team in San Diego and made the cut.
“It was an extremely intimidating tryout. I truly wasn’t sure what to expect,” Mason said.
Mason and his family were elated to learn he made the team, being selected as one of four players in his position as a face-off midfielder.
As part of the West Coast Starz, Mason will be traveling to Delaware, San Diego, New York and New Jersey over the next several months. At the same time, his high school team will be playing fall ball, keeping Mason’s lacrosse schedule very busy.
Even with so much lacrosse in his life, Mason focuses on his studies, including his favorite subject, math.
“I know I have to do well in school, so I get my schoolwork done right away and then play lacrosse in the evenings,” Mason said.
Mason credits professional lacrosse player Trevor Baptiste, who plays for the newly founded Atlas Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League, as one of his favorite athletes.
His role models also include his parents and Arcadia Lacrosse Head Coach Dan Hayman. While Mason can usually be found on the lacrosse field, he also enjoys surfing, wake boarding, fishing, dirt bike riding and welding.
No matter what he’s doing, he keeps his main goal in the back of his mind: to play lacrosse in college. He’s looking forward to going along for the ride as the sport he loves so much continues to grow. “I would like to see lacrosse become an AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association) sport, and I’d also like to see Arcadia Lacrosse get another state championship.”
As Mason takes on his new adventure with the West Coast Starz, his parents are proud to be by his side, supporting him every step of the way. “We feel fortunate that he gets the opportunity to play a sport he loves,” said his dad, Luke. “I think everyone just wants these boys to have the greatest experience possible while at Arcadia, and it can lead to positive things beyond.”