NOT DONE YET: Redbank Valley Senior Mason Clouse Will Play in Prestigious East-West All-Star Football Game, Leaning Heavily Toward Playing the Sport in College

Mike Kilroy

Mike Kilroy

Published February 27, 2024 12:17 am
NOT DONE YET: Redbank Valley Senior Mason Clouse Will Play in Prestigious East-West All-Star Football Game, Leaning Heavily Toward Playing the Sport in College

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NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Mason Clouse is focused on the task at hand.

Basketball.

The athletic senior guard/forward is one of the leaders of a potent and balanced Redbank Valley team that is playing in the District 9 Class 2A semifinals on Tuesday against Clarion-Limestone.

(Pictured above, Mason Clouse breaks into the open field for Redbank Valley during a game earlier this season.)

Not long after the last dribble, layup and rebound, Clouse will trade his high-tops for baseball cleats this spring for a loaded Bulldog team that has huge aspiration.

But football won’t be far from his mind.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Clouse won’t shed the shoulder pads for a long while yet.

Clouse will play in two football all-star games in May and June. 

On Friday, he was selected to the small school West team in the prestigious East-West all-star game, which is put on by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association.

He will also play in the Frank Varischetti all-star game.

That East-West small school game will take place on May 19 at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, followed by the big school game.

Clouse was the only District 9 player selected.

“I was pretty pumped. I found out at school (Friday) when coach Gold came and told me. I was pretty excited,” Clouse said. “One thing is, I get to go there and make some new friends. But, obviously, there’s gonna be a lot of talent there at that East-West all-star game. It’s just going to be a cool atmosphere to be with all those great players out there.”

Clouse was chosen as a safety.

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On defense, he piled up 85 tackles and also had seven interceptions, four passes defended, two fumble recoveries and once forced fumble.

Offensively, Clouse was a record-setting receiver, setting the school mark in touchdown receptions in a season with 18 to go with 63 receptions for 1,149 yards.

The selection process for the East-West game, however, is based less on what numbers players put on the stat sheet and more on what players put on film.

“Being a part of it two years ago, I got to see how the process works,” said Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold. “Players submit film and a lot of it is based on what type of systems the coaches are going to run. They decide how many players they want at each position and they watch the kids’ film. It’s essentially based on the breakdown of your tape. Fortunately, Mason was chosen.

“Mason is one of those kids who is athletic. He’s a true student-athlete. He’s good in the classroom and he’s obviously good on the field or on the court.”

Clouse is also looking forward to playing in the Frank Varischetti All-Star Game at the end of June.

He’ll see a lot of familiar faces.

Cade Adams, Ashton Kahle, Owen Clouse and Brandon Ross will also represent Redbank Valley in that game, which kicks off in Brockway at 7 p.m. on June 28.

“It’s gonna be fun playing with my high school teammates one more time,” Mason Clouse said. “And I get to play with my brother (Owen) one more time. One more time for us to put the pads on together.”

Clouse will put on the football pads for four more years, it seems.

That’s something he never envisioned just 12 months ago.

He was set on playing baseball at the next level, but his big senior football campaign garnered him a heaping helping of attention from college coaches.

Suddenly, his interest shifted.

Clouse said he is close to deciding to play football in college while pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. His decision may already be made.

“It’s the rest of your life, so it’s pretty stressful,” he said. “It’s a big decision. I’ve narrowed my options down. One of the main things is my major, and I found a school that had that and I talked to the coaches. Then I guess I kind of made my decision.”

So where is he heading? Clouse smiled and offered a small shrug.

“I’m leaning.”

Toward?

“Grove City to play football,” he said. “I’ll make a decision soon, probably.

“I didn’t even want to play football. Mostly baseball,” he added. “But then football just kind of came out of the middle of nowhere. I had coaches contacting me. It picked up mostly at the end of the season and in the playoffs. It was pretty cool. We’re a small school here. We don’t get much attention. But it’s pretty neat to get all of those coaches to come and talk to me.”

Clouse certainly has the academic chops, too, to succeed in college.

He was also named a scholar-athlete by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Clouse is in the running to receive a $1,000 scholarship. He will find that out on March 17.

Gold, who is a Grove City College graduate and played with current Wolverines’ head coach Andrew DiDonato while there, said Clouse would be a perfect fit for that program, both on and off the field.

Grove City College is coming off its most successful season in its 100-plus-year history with a Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship and its first-ever NCAA Division III playoff win.

The Wolverines finished the season in the Top 10 in national polls.

“I know he’s making a final decision on where he wants to go to college, but he got accepted to Grove City, which is a very good academic institution,” Gold said. “It’s great to see Andrew DiDonato have such success there. He was a teammate of mine at Grove City. And I think if Mason would chose that route, it would be neat because he would have three teammates there for one year. Kobe Bonanno was all-conference there last year. Trenten Rupp and Dalton Bish.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

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