BISMARCK, N.D. - When it comes to playing baseball, usually you grow up playing with your friends. For one catcher, it didn’t take long for him to become one of the guys for the Mandan Chiefs.
It’s never an easy transition moving from one state to another while in High School, but Mason Huntley made it work. Originally from Marshalltown, Iowa, Mason got started playing baseball from an early age.
“My dad played when he was in high school, and he just got me into it.” And just like most kids, it was trial and error between sports to find that one that just stuck.
“Yeah, I’ve tried a bunch of other sports, but I haven’t really stuck with one like baseball.” What other sports did you try? “Basketball, football and golf.” Baseball was just kind of it? “Yep,” Huntley saID.
After Mason and his family moved to Mandan, it took some time getting used to baseball in North Dakota.
“Well, in Iowa, we played high school in the summer there. In Iowa, we used metal bats, and then last year for high school season we used wood, so, it was like a little different, but I got used to it,” said Mason.
And after being in the peace garden state for a year and a half, he’s become a key component for the Chiefs, as Head Coach Jake Kincaid said: "Well we kind of lucked out, he was looking at playing at a summer college league down in Iowa, and the day before practice started, he had a change of heart so, you know he's been really valuable to us just, with his demeanor he's just very even keel, and just a confident kid that it kind of rubs off on everybody else."
While it’s never easy making new friends your junior year, Mason made it work. “I know it was kind of hard at first because I didn’t really know anyone, but once I got to know people, it was easy.”
And one of those people, was teammate Alex Horner.
"Well, he moved here about a year and a half ago, and I was kind of, wanted to be friendly with him, and get to know him, and it just started from there. We started hanging out, and just talking all the time. We've just been throwing partners and, it's just, almost like brothers now," said Horner.
And while Mason has played the field, he’s stuck with one position. “Uh, catcher.” What kind of got you into being a catcher? “You're just always involved in every play, and I like to call my own game, and see how it happens."
Mason plans on being behind the plate at the University of Mary this fall.