Mason Poehls headed to shoot hoops for Falcons
A lifelong dream was met July 26, as 2020 Cadott High School graduate Mason Poehls, signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at UW-River Falls. Gathered in front of family and friends at Rick’s Halfway Hall, Mason wrote his name in the future.
Cadott athletic director Steve Mengel says Mason not only excelled at sports, but also academically, preparing for the future.
“…That actually puts you kind of in an elite status,” said Mengel, adding that Mason’s dedication is unmatched, along with a strong work ethic. “I understand how much that takes.”
As long as he’s known him, Mengel said he’s always seen Mason with a ball in his hands, and knows that the family involvement and structure was a big part of Mason’s success. Mengel said he often wondered how many rebounds Mason’s sister had to fetch and how many miles the family had to travel to watch him play.
“It was really an honor to watch the family be a part of your dreams,” said Mengel.
Something Mengel shared, was the story of former superintendent Damon Smith, who lived near Mason, who told Mengel that all day and night, all Smith could hear was a basketball dribbling. After a while, Smith started watching Mason, noticing that he hardly missed any shots.
“Other people are fans of you, and just kind of sitting back and watching you develop, and being a part of that,” said Mengel. “You may not even know that, but that’s very important to know.”
Taking great interest in Mason’s career, was Cadott math teacher Brandon Mittermeyer, who served as Mason’s coach for three years of high school basketball. Mittermeyer said he noticed right off, that Mason developed faster than anyone else when he started playing his freshman year.
“He came in shooting threes right off the bat,” said Mittermeyer.
Although he was on the C-Team early on, Mason dropped 30 points against a Thorp JV team, which caused him to be bumped up to the JV level. Coming in as a sophomore, Mason played a six-man role as a big threat off the bench, offensively.
Then, in his junior year, Mason really started taking over, rebounding more, playing better defense and passing better. Mittermeyer says he asked his son/teammate of Mason, what the best part of playing with Mason was.
“…He said, ‘He’s not only the star, but he’s also the glue guy, he keeps everybody together on the team,’” said Mittermeyer.
Dusty Burish, Mason’s coach his senior year, says the youth excelled at blocks, got to the free throw line more and led the conference in scoring for most of the season.
“While Mason was achieving all this on the court, he was also just as impressive off the court, I thought,” said Burish.
Burish said Mason was a great role model throughout the school and that an official mentioned how impressed he was with Mason’s respect toward others.
“After hearing that, I realized this boy became a man,” said Burish. “I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.”
On the court, Mason’s list of stats is a long one.
“I’m a math teacher, so I’ve been keeping track of stats for Mason for 25 years, it feels like,” said Mittermeyer.
In his high school career as a Hornet, Mason’s stats include 74 games played; 48 starts; 286 rebounds; 177 assists; 123 steals; 33 blocks; 188 two-pointers; 160 three-pointers; 169 free-throws; and 1,025 points scored.
Mason’s dad, Brad Poehls, said he is glad to see all the time he and Mason put in on the court, and in the gym, paid off.
“I’m just extremely proud of him,” said Brad, who says basketball accolades take second place when it comes to Mason. “He’s a better human being and that’s what makes me proud.”
“I’m just proud of him, too,” said Mason’s mom, Carrie Poehls, “that he’s able to fulfill his dreams and keep playing basketball, too, it means a lot.”
Mason is set to attend UW-River Falls this school year, playing for the Falcons and majoring in physical education, so he can someday help younger athletes.
“It’s really exciting to finally fulfill a lifelong dream I’ve always had,” said Mason. “So, I’m just ready to get to work. Sports have always been my passion, so, it’ll be cool to teach other kids the same passion I have.”