FAYETTEVILLE — Pulaski Academy linebacker Mason Schueck helped lead his team to a third straight Class 5A state championship this past Friday night in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.
Schueck, 6-2, 220, is a preferred walk-on commitment for the Class of 2022. He was offered the chance to play football for the Hogs on June 1, committed on June 13 and then helped the Bruins to a 51-19 victory over White Hall and 13-1 record.
“I couldn’t ask for anything else of my senior year,” Schueck said. “Especially coming back from two knee surgeries to have a senior year like this. I moved to defense and was named captain of the defense. Was able to receive a preferred walk-on from the Razorbacks, commit and then go throughout the season, have an incredible season and then come out on top in the state championship. I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Schueck had 75 tackles, 19 solo, 10 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and recovered a fumble his senior season while not playing a complete game most weeks because of his team’s one-sided wins. Many take some time to decide on their college after being offered, but Schueck did it in 12 days and it was an easy decision for him.
“I wanted to be a Razorback my entire life,” Schueck said. “Never thought about anything else.”
Schueck talked about what he feels are his strengths on the football field.
“My strength at linebacker is probably my ability to recognize plays,” Schueck said. “I put so much work in. I get notice for all the work I put in the weight room, but I don’t think for how much film I watch. When White Hall had that fake put I was able to recognize it before the play even started. I was able to get a fourth-down stop on that fake punt. I think it’s just my film and ability to recognize plays before they even happen.”
Now that his football time with the Bruins is finished Schueck is anxious to get to Fayetteville and begin his Razorback career.
“I actually tried to graduate in December and move up to Fayetteville in January,” Schueck said. “Since PA is a private school they wouldn’t let me. I will be enrolling in May. I’m so excited. That’s what I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid and begin playing football. Now that dream is about to become a reality I can’t wait.”
Kevin Kelley had an abundance of success as head coach at PA, but he opted to leave for a college job prior to the 2021 season. Former Razorback Anthony Lucas, who was a member of Kelley’s staff, took over as head coach and the success continued.
“I think he did a great job,” Schueck said of Lucas. “I think his ability to lead and connect with every single player. He is a player’s coach. His ability to lead and connect with every single player just made the bond between the team that much stronger. In the locker room, it made the locker room even more fun. It made the locker room even closer when we were together and he was leading us.”
Lucas started coaching at Pulaski Academy when Schueck and the seniors were then seventh graders. He coached the seventh-grade team and Schueck said helped with the transition from Kelley to Lucas.
“It did for sure,” Schueck said. “In the seventh grade that’s when we started playing football for PA and he was the first real head coach we ever had. He kind of followed us up to senior high. The seventh grade he was our head coach, the next year he moved up to junior high head coach, our head coach in eighth and ninth grade, and then moved up to varsity after our ninth-grade year. He was an assistant coach until our senior year so man we’ve been with him as long as I can remember. It has been a long time so that definitely played a part in it.”
As far as his future team the Razorbacks are 8-4 and headed to the Outback Bowl. Schueck is excited to see the direction Arkansas is headed.
“It was exciting,” Schueck said. “Definitely exciting to watch. We haven’t had as much success as we would like in the past few years. Especially when you have that improved success, they were 3-7 last year, so going from three wins to eight wins is always fun to watch. Because you start thinking about the future and you think what can we do in the future if we’re improving like this imagine how much we can improve in the next couple of years.”