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WHS seniors became brothers

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By Ryan Naus

For the past five years, Storm Mason and Eric White have been able to see each other grow from boys into young men, seeing growth on the court and in the hallways.

“Storm’s family has become a second set of parents to me and Storm is like a brother,” White said. “We’ve been through some ups and downs. I couldn’t pick any one better to have gone through it with. When I moved here, we started building a friendship and we played ball all through the years, sticking it out.”

“I know Eric’s become another brother to me,” Mason said. “He’s another person that I can rely on any day of the week. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

The pair were the only returning players with varsity experience this year and took their role as leaders seriously, preparing their younger teammates to be their best this year.

“There were only two of us this year and five or six seniors last year,” Mason said. “We had some big shoes to fill. Eric and I wanted to lead by example. Eric led every day by working his butt off and that’s the way you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to lead by example and then let your voice be heard.”

Coach Stacey May saw the impact that his two seniors had on his team this season.

“They meant everything to our team,” May said. “We were young, minus those two. Their leadership showed on the floor. It’s not possible to replace them next year. The success that these players have in the future will be in part to these two seniors.”

“Storm and I came in with a goal to get the younger players to become smarter ball players and teach them the right way to play,” White said. “I hope we showed them some things to help them improve. That was a big goal of ours this year.”

When they describe what they each like best about the other’s game, it’s apparent how much respect and admiration they have for each other.

“Storm was a presence on the floor,” White said. “He could handle the ball and if we needed him to score late in the game, he could do it. He’s a great player. But he’s not just a great ball player. He’s an awesome person too. He’s a great student, a good friend and a great guy in general.”

“Eric brought passion and intensity,” Mason said. “When you watched him play, you know that there’s no other place that he would rather be than on the court and he showed that by the way he plays. I loved playing with him. He definitely got the rebounds that he needed to, being 5’11”. He’s strong as a bull and he could knock down the perimeter shot when he had to.”

They each have their favorite memories, but the common factor is that they were during wins.

“One of my favorite memories is when we went over to Grant County and beat them (in a junior varsity game),” White said. “Wes Philpot went off for 20 points in that game.”

“I think my favorite memory would probably be this year at home against Augusta,” Mason said. “Everyone played well. I wish we would have played better defense, but I had a blast playing that game.”

Learning from their own experiences, the boys have some words of advice that they think could help younger players.

“If you want to be good, stay off the video games and get out there in the parking lot,” Mason said. “Keep a positive attitude.”

“Stick with it because the more you play and practice, you’ll improve,” White said. “You’re only here for so long, so make the most of your opportunities because it goes by so fast.”