Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Mason Graber

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 6:21 PM EST
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STUARTS DRAFT, Va. (WHSV) - Mason Graber has been a standout athlete in two sports at Stuarts Draft High School and has been an outgoing leader among his peers off the field.

“When you’re out there giving your best and your effort and people see the kind of person you are on the court and in the hallways, they can translate and it shows to represent your school to other schools and other people,” said Graber, a senior at Stuarts Draft High School.

After tearing his ACL as a junior Graber was an anchor on the offensive and defensive line for Stuarts Draft’s football team as a senior.

“Mason’s best quality is his consistency. He’s there consistently, he’s got a pretty consistent level-headed attitude he doesn’t get too excited, doesn’t get too down on himself,” said Abe Mikell, Wrestling Head Coach and Football Offensive Line Coach at Stuarts Draft. “That steady personality over the course of his four years has really benefited our team. You always want someone on the team that you can rely on and depend on and he was that guy. Consistent performer, consistent attitude.”

Graber said that he does his best to be a leader on the line and help his teammates.

“When I was a freshman I looked up to the seniors that led both for football and wrestling and they led by example, a lot of them did. I hope I was able to lead by example here and it’s shown me how to lead by example here not only in sports but also in life,” he said.

Graber said that he loves the atmosphere of Friday night lights and that he will miss it.

“The crowd is cheering for you, the student section is cheering, and you have all your brothers on the field hyping each other up when good things happen and holding each other accountable when bad things happen. The whole energy and atmosphere of Friday nights in the locker room and coming out on the field has just been a blast,” he said.

Graber was also a standout wrestler and despite having never wrestled before high school he improved over the course of four years and made a run in the state tournament as a senior.

“He just continued to work, continued to grow. He was very coachable, we made some adjustments toward the end of this year in how he was wrestling and what we were doing. I feel like those adjustments put him in a position to be successful,” said Mikell.

For Graber, his run as a senior showed just how much his hard work had paid off.

“For the first two years wrestling I didn’t go too far so being able to go to the state tournament and placing in the state tournament, that was a huge accomplishment that God let me achieve and I’m just grateful for that opportunity,” said Graber.

One of the things that impressed coaches the most about Graber was how he handled his junior year while he missed the football and wrestling seasons due to his torn ACL.

“He still came to practice every day, was willing to do what was asked of him every single day, and was essentially a manager. There are a lot of athletes who if something like that happens, they won’t show up or understandably won’t want to be there,” said Mikell.

Outside of sports Graber is an excellent student with a 4.3 GPA. He takes a precision machinery class at the Massanutten Vo-Tech School and hopes to land a job at a local machine shop after graduation.

“I think that speaks to his work ethic, I think it speaks to the fact that he wants to make a point to leave a good legacy and lasting impact wherever he is, in the classroom, on the court, etc,” said Steve Click, a Math Teacher, and FCA Coach at Stuarts Draft.

Graber is also a leader in the fellowship of Christian Athletes and has been a positive influence on his peers.

“Everything he does he wants to make sure that he has positive interactions, that he leaves a situation better than he found it. Just one conversation at a time, he’s just so great about fixing anything that’s broken,” said Click.

As he prepares to graduate in the spring Graber said he hopes to have left a legacy of hard work and dedication at Stuarts Draft.

“I feel like I was a hard worker and I hope other people can see that and be able to push themselves to be the best version of them they can be and work the best at everything they do and hope to accomplish,” he said.