Leo’s Mason Sheron is the 2021 Clayten Stuart Award honoree

2021 Clayten Stuart Award recipient Mason Sheron of Leo

Last season, Outside the Huddle started an award for someone who the editors of Outside the Huddle deemed an ideal student athlete on the gridiron, one who really showcased the virtues we appreciate most in a high school football player.

Those virtues: discipline, work ethic and spirit were also three of the qualities most highly displayed by Clayten Stuart. A football player at Bishop Dwenger, Clayten passed away in November 2020. It is in his honor and with the blessing of the Stuart family that Outside the Huddle is proud to be able to annually present the Clayten Stuart Award.

“Clayten arrived to practice everyday with a joyful spirit. I never saw him without a smile on his face. He loved being with his friends and he loved to play football,” Bishop Dwenger football coach Jason Garrett said. “As soon as the helmet went on, he was a tenacious, physical player. No one outworked Clayten; a young man of great joy and tenacity.”

In 2021, after heavy evaluation of players from the area, it was another clear cut choice who had the best discipline, work ethic and spirit in the area: Leo senior running back Mason Sheron.

Throughout the 2021 season, Sheron was a revelation around the area. Despite being considered a top 50 area prospect heading into the 2020 season, Sheron missed almost the entirety of the season due to a hip injury that required surgery prior to the season starting. So what Mason Sheron we were getting coming into 2021 was a big question.

Needless to say, Sheron didn’t disappoint. While helping lead Leo to an unbeaten regular season and an outright Northeast 8 Conference title, Sheron showed no signs of being off his game. He became one of, if not the single most feared running back in all of Northeast Indiana.

“It was natural feel. I always knew what I was capable of, I just had to play like myself and I would be fine. However, Warsaw scrimmage was a good confidence booster because that was when I saw that I really was going to be that guy,” Sheron said.

Bouncing back from the labrum tear in his hip wasn’t easy for Sheron but it showed that he had the fighting spirit to get back on the field and the identity of a team first guy that just wanted to see Leo succeed.

Leo quarterback Jackson Barbour hands off to Mason Sheron during the first half of September 17’s game at East Noble.

Part of what makes this award what it is includes the toughness of a player, which goes into discipline, work ethnic and spirit. The toughness of Sheron throughout the season made him excel at all of those other area. Coming back from an injury, running hard and physical like Sheron did and overcoming the obstacles of getting every team’s best game each night wasn’t always easy. But somehow, watching Leo, you always knew that Sheron was going to break through. He was the big play guy, the one that the Lions leaned on for a big first down, their trademark two-point conversions and even big pass receptions along the way. To Sheron, there was one person that built that toughness in his personality: his father.

“He was always there for me when I felt the battles were too big and helped guide me through them,” Sheron said.

It was a near storybook season for the Lions, though it ended in heartbreak in the Sectional final, in overtime no less. Leo dominated their schedule, giving up more than 14 points just three times: in two all-time great wins over rival East Noble and in that Sectional final loss. On the flip side, that offensive end where Sheron shined, Leo scored less than 30 points just twice and scored over 50 on four difference occasions.

Sheron ran the ball 126 times for 1,375 yards. When you tack on his 4 receptions on 6 targets, Sheron was good for 122.3 yards per game to push the Lions. He scored 24 touchdowns and converted 16 times when Leo went for two-points.

His 158 points scored was almost triple of the next Lion up.

Defensively, Sheron registered two sacks and 24 tackles.

“I think this season was my way of proving to everyone that I’m one of the top players in the state and I didn’t let an injury ruin me. As a team we showed everyone how dominant we can be and established ourself as a powerhouse in Northeast Indiana,” Sheron said.

1 Comment

  1. What a fantastic article and an equally fantastic person my grandson is ! Love you Mae! Love Grandma

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