Catch up on the latest recruiting news from Mason High School.
Mason senior pitcher Seth Bowles has offers from Centre College and Thomas More, according to Mason baseball coach Ken Gray. Bowles also has interest from Mount Vernon and Bellarmine.
Mason junior pitcher Chris Martin was offered by Kent State and Miami University last week, according to Gray. Martin was offered by UC earlier this year, Gray said.
Mason senior defensive back Corey Quallen is expected to visit UC in the next couple of weeks, according to Mason coach Brian Castner. Quallen has an offer from the Bearcats and collected offers from Mid-American Conference schools this summer.
UC has offered Mason senior defensive back Corey Quallen. Mason coach Brian Castner tweeted last weekend the Bearcats offered.
Quallen, who is 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, has offers from several Mid-American Conference schools. He was named to The Enquirer’s 2012 preseason all-area football team. The list, compiled by high school sports editor Mike Dyer, features the area’s most promising players.
Four athletes from Mason and Kings high schools have made The Enquirer’s 2012 preseason all-area football team. The list, compiled by high school sports editor Mike Dyer, features the area’s most promising players.
Running back: Darryl Johnson, Mason
The senior rushed for 1,344 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Comets last season. Johnson, who is 5 feet 10 and 205 pounds, also had 12 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He was first-team all-Greater Miami Conference last season.)
Defensive back: Corey Quallen, Mason
The senior safety has received interest from Wisconsin and Michigan State. Quallen, who is 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, has offers from several Mid-American Conference schools.
Kicker: Evan Berg, Kings
The senior (left, with kicking instructor Tim Williams) was an Enquirer Divisions II-VI first-team all-area selection last season. He was Division II third-team all-state and first-team all-FAVC Cardinal. He was 48 of 49 on extra points and 16 of 23 on field goals including a long of 47 yards.
Defensive Lineman: Brady Vanover, Kings
The senior was an Enquirer Divisions II-VI all-area selection last season as a junior. He had 16 sacks and 90 tackles during the regular season. Vanover, who is 6 foot and 235 pounds, was Division II second-team all-state and FAVC Cardinal co-defensive player of the year.
Mason football coach Brian Castner directs the Comets in a preseason practice. He’s in his third year with the program. The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger / The Cincinnati Enquirer
Kevin Goheen reports:
The name of the game doesn’t matter to Brian Castner when it comes to coaching. There’s a basic formula he’s learned that’s worked for him regardless of the playing surface.
“It’s about people and how you relate with them and how you’re going to make this thing work,” said Castner, the third-year football coach at Mason who for 11 years guided the Comets’ softball program as one of the region’s elite teams.
“The X’s and O’s will come but that’s really not a priority to me. It still isn’t. I’m 38 years old and I can honestly tell you I love my job for those reasons.”
The football Comets have improved each of Castner’s first two seasons, earning their first winning record in the Greater Miami Conference in 2010 and then going 7-4 with a Division I playoff berth last year. Despite losing 17 starters to graduation from last season Castner is confident the program will remain on the upward track as it fights to put itself in the GMC title race with favorites Colerain and Middletown.
“Last year was a year of true belief in what we do,” said Castner. “We won last year and we won with confidence by doing things the right way all of the time.”
Safeties Corey Quallen and Randy Anderson, linebacker Andrew Hauser, offensive lineman Elijah Nkansah and running back Darryl Johnson are the five returning starters. Last year the Comets won five of their final six regular-season games to earn the program’s first postseason berth since 2004. Mason joined the GMC in 2007 and won just eight games in its first three seasons in the league.
Castner had been an assistant under Gary Popovich at Mason before taking a position on Steve Specht’s staff at St. Xavier for five seasons. His first order of business at Mason was to make the players understand not only did he believe they could win in the GMC and beyond, but that they would.
“He came in yelling, motivating and saying we were going to win championships,” said Johnson, a first-team all-GMC selection last year. “He was positive and it carried over to us. I thought he was crazy but I now know he did everything for a reason.”
Johnson had 1,484 all-purpose yards last year, including rushing for more than 100 yards in seven games. Quallen was a second-team all-GMC pick while Hauser returns at middle linebacker for a defense that didn’t allow more than 21 points in a game following a 56-20 loss to Colerain in Week 4. Hauser was second on the team last year with 64 tackles.
The Comets lost at St. Xavier, the eventual regional champion, 17-6 in the first round of the playoffs last year but it was just a step in the overall development Castner is instituting.
“We have a family aspect now,” said Hauser. “It used to be that everyone was real individual and did things for themselves but he’s preached family with us.”
Three Mason and two Kings players have made The Enquirer’s list of 50 high school seniors to watch from the 2013 class this football season.
The names were based on all-Enquirer, all-district and all-conference stats and recognition from the 2011 season along with team success and college recruiting information this spring/summer.
Mason and Kings players making the list are:
14. Darryl Johnson, Mason: The senior rushed for 1,344 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Comets last season. Johnson, who is 5 feet 10 and 205 pounds, also had 12 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He was first-team all-Greater Miami Conference last season.
26. Corey Quallen, Mason: The safety has had interest from Wisconsin and Michigan State this summer. Quallen, who is 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, has multiple Mid-American Conference offers.
35. Elijah Nkansah, Mason: The offensive lineman has offers that include Toledo and Ohio University. He is 6 feet 5 and 305 pounds.
38. Brady Vanover, Kings: The defensive lineman had 16 sacks and 90 tackles in the regular season. He was Division II second-team all-state and FAVC Cardinal co-defensive player of the year.
44. Evan Berg, Kings: The kicker was an Enquirer Divisions II-VI first-team all-area selection last season. He was Division II third-team all-state and first-team all-FAVC Cardinal. He was 48 of 49 on extra points and 16 of 23 on field goals including a long of 47 yards.
The Mason Comets out-hit, out-pitched and committed less errors than the Lakota West Firebirds in the season opener for both clubs Monday in the inaugural Reds Future High School Showcase at Prasco Park Legacy Field in Mason.
Mason junior Andrew McDonald earned his first win of the season when the Comets defeated Lakota West March 26. The Enquirer/Adam Kiefaber.
The Comets winning pitcher, junior Andrew McDonald, gave up a run and loaded the bases in the second inning. After that, the 6-foot-5 right-handed junior settled down, striking out seven batters in five innings of work.
McDonald also gave up four hits, four walks and two runs, one of which was earned.
“Personally, I know that it wasn’t my best performance, but I am pleased with it because we walked away with a win,” McDonald said. “That is all that counts.
“It feels great to get a win against a rival like West.”
Meanwhile, Lakota West starting pitcher senior Zak Farmer lasted four innings and gave up seven runs. Only three of the runs, however, were earned. On defense, Lakota West committed six errors.
Offensively, the Comets were led their No. 7 and No. 8 hitters, junior first baseman Corey Quallen and senior designated hitter Josh Orlando. Both batters combined for four hits, two triples and three runs batted in.
“Anytime you get a win first time out of the gate, against a team like West, you have to take it,” Mason head coach Ken Gray said. “It is obvious that they didn’t play their best game and they are a lot better ballclub than what they showed.
“It was just one of those days where they had a bad day at the yard and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Mason 9, Lakota West 2
W-McDonald (1-0); Farmer (0-1). Leaders M- Galloway 2-2. 2 RBI, Highfill 2 RBI, Otte 3 runs, Quallen 3B, 2B, Orlando 3B 2 RBI. LW-Ma. Anderson 2-3, 2B. Mason (1-0, 1-0 in the GMC), Lakota West (0-1, 0-1 in the GMC).