Lake Mills athlete receives state honor

Published 9:30 am Monday, May 4, 2020

Lake Mills senior Mason Fritz was recently awarded the 2020 National Football Foundation–Iowa Chapter Scholar Athlete Award for his play on the football field, as well as his work in the classroom and in the community. 

Fritz said Lake Mills head football coach, Bill Byrnes, gave him the application for the award thinking he would be a good candidate. 

“It’s a huge honor to receive this award. …” Fritz said. “I am thankful for his help throughout my football career. Our coaching staff has taught me many lessons and helped me develop my character throughout high school.” 

During his senior season for the Bulldogs, Fritz amassed 560 passing yards and two touchdowns as quarterback. He also ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Fritz totaled 42 tackles and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a 40-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs finished with a season record of 4-5. 

All chapters of the National Football Foundation combined honor more than 3,500 high school athletes each year. The athletes represent the best of the best from the more than 500,000 high school football players at more than 5,000 schools covered by the  foundation’s chapter network, according to the foundation’s website. 

The scholar athletes are chosen by local committees of administrators, coaches and business leaders. Criteria for the award can include academic achievement, athletic accomplishments and community leadership. 

“An award like this takes a lot of hard work and help from teammates, friends, family, coaches and God,” Fritz said. “I’ve also received great advice and great mentorship, which has been extremely beneficial for me.”

Although Fritz will not continue his football career past high school, he said he plans on watching and supporting his former teammates in the years to come.

He offered up some advice to those former teammates and underclassmen. 

“My advice to underclassmen is to enjoy high school while it lasts because it goes by fast,” he said. “The memories will definitely last a lifetime, so try new things and get involved in as many activities possible.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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