Mason Kelly searches for new opportunities in Indiana

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A pair of skates glide across the rink with enthusiasm. The stick plays the puck like Beatoven’s 5th: quick and with exerted force. The swift and intricate movements are advanced, and they could only belong to one person—junior Mason Kelly.  

Mason is passionate, hardworking, and determined. Since the age of three he has dedicated most of his time to the chilling ice rinks. 

“I have always had a passion for [hockey],” Mason said. “My dad used to play, and I’ve loved it ever since he made me start.” 

As a freshman, Mason made the varsity hockey team. When he found out, he was more than excited, considering he would be playing with people he has consistently looked up to throughout his hockey career. Specifically, FHC alumni Carl Mielock has played a major role in pushing Mason to play his very best at every game.

“Carl Mielock is a big inspiration for me because he really helped me through my freshman year,” Mason said. “I really look up to him and his character. He makes me want to push myself and play my best.” 

Mason greatly improved throughout his freshman year, and he wasn’t the only one who noticed. He was invited to play on a triple-A team in Indiana for a team called the Indianapolis Racers. Excited for a new opportunity, Mason had a big decision: should he leave not only his team but his friends at FHC for the next school year? 

As his mind played with both ideas, his heart only played with one—Indiana. Though scared and apprehensive, he knew he had to experience a different hockey team. He was scared to leave his family and friends but excited about the new opportunities Indiana would bring him. 

I liked it in Indiana because it was a new experience. It brought something out of me that I didn’t know I had.”

“I liked it in Indiana,” Mason said, “because it was a new experience. It brought something out of me that I didn’t know I had. I met a bunch of new people, played with new people, lived with new people; it was all just a brand new experience.”

Even though Mason was learning and growing as a hockey player, he missed his family, friends, and teammates immensely. He began to doubt his decision of moving hours away from everything he’s ever loved. 

The relationships he built with his peers in Indiana would last a lifetime, even if he decided to change his mind and pursue his hockey career back in Michigan. Mason thought long and hard about the decision he had made only months before, and after less than half of the school year, Mason decided to return.

“It wasn’t a hard adjustment to come back to FHC,” Mason said, “because I already knew everyone, and I’m comfortable here. Down in Indiana, I had a different comfort level.” 

Mason was more than happy to return to FHC. He missed his old team and started to realize the differences between the hockey team here versus the hockey team in Indiana. He loved both equally, but he had to adjust back to FHC’s hockey team dynamic.

“The team was a lot quieter in Indiana,” Mason said. “Everyone at FHC is louder and more together as a team than down in Indiana. Both are great teams; they are just different.”

As he returned to FHC, everything fell back into the routine he was all too familiar with. Friends, family, and his team welcomed him back with open arms: it was as if he had never left. An adjustment Mason did have to make was to his academics. The curriculum in Indiana did not align with FHC’s, which made him have to modify his school schedule. 

“Living in Indiana caused me to fall behind in science, history, and world language,” Mason said. “I’m a grade below in those classes because the curriculum is a lot different.”

Though this sets him back academically, Mason views this in a positive light. He is able to meet new people and build relationships with them just like in Indiana. It is almost as if he took a piece of Indiana back home with him. 

It has affected me in a positive way because I get to see a variety of people throughout the day. I have made a lot of new friends this past year because of it.”

“I still feel part of the 2021 class, but I also get to experience high school with new people,” Mason said. “It has affected me in a positive way because I get to see a variety of people throughout the day. I have made a lot of new friends this past year because of it.”

Mason’s energetic and optimistic personality did not only lead him to Indiana but also brought him home. He has left a long-lasting impact on all of his teammates in both places. Even though he will not return to his team in Indiana, a piece of him will always be there. 

“I miss the unexpected in Indiana,” Mason said. “You didn’t know what was going to come of it, and it was something new.”