Last Saturday’s Norwayne win over Orrville was the end of the Red Riders’ season, and the end of the high school careers of the OHS seniors.
Included in that group was Mason Monheim, Orrville’s fantastic inside linebacker/running back who finished as the school’s all-time leader in games played (among non-kickers) and the all-time leading tackler.
To be Orrville’s top tackler ever is like becoming the Yankees’ all-time home run leader, or the Boston Celtic with the most championships. In other words, it’s quite the list to lead.
Saturday, Monheim didn’t make much of an impact in the game. But, he played with a shoulder separation suffered the week before. Gone, for the most part, were the thunderous hits and bruising runs from No. 25.
Twenty-five also describes the number of community service projects Monheim did while at Orrville High. At least that’s the number coach Doug Davault came up with — there are just too many to count.
Monheim was the essence of the superstar leader who was also one of the guys. He’s in the top five in his senior class scholastically, in addition to his community involvement and athletic prowess.
Most importantly, at least to this reporter, he is also a very humble, gracious young man, always quick to credit others, and with his feet planted firmly on the ground. When speaking at this year’s annual Orrville-Wooster captains luncheon, he talked about his plans to become a dentist. “I want to be known as more than just a football player, and I know football won’t last forever, so my goal in college is to prepare myself for the future.”
Monheim is a two-time Ohio Cardinal Conference defensive MVP and later this month will likely repeat as an All-Ohio first-teamer.
If I had a vote to cast, he’d get mine for “Most Likely to Succeed.” You get the strong feeling that his bright future won’t be defined by how many tackles he made or yards he gained. A class act all the way around, he’ll be missed, even if opposing coaches are doing cartwheels now that his eligibility is used up.
Norwayne didn’t get to see the true Monheim, but over the last four years, I have. It’s not just what he did, but how he did it that makes him the poster boy for role models. Young boys wear No. 25 magic-markered on their t-shirts as they dive into leave piles all throughout Orrville, and that’s a legacy that matches any other he’s left during his storied Red Rider career.