By Drew Hughes
Mason Parris has been an Indiana fan favorite since his freshman year of high school where he lost a heart breaker to senior and eventual state champion Chase Osborn 11-10. After this the Lawrenceburg native’s high school career was flawless and didn’t lose another match on his way to three state titles and a 201-1 career record.
With one of the most dominant careers Indiana has ever seen Parris set the record for most career pins at the state finals where he had 11. He ended his prep career as the 3rd ranked recruit in his class as well as being ranked 1st at 220lbs.
Right out of high school Parris was thrown into the mix as his redshirt was pulled at the University of Michigan halfway through the season where in his varsity debut, he took down the then #1 ranked heavyweight from Oregon State. Mason would then go on to place 7th at the Big Ten championships that year and lost in the round to place at the NCAA tournament.
His sophomore season Mason was as dominant as ever compiling a 28-1 record with 18 of those wins earning bonus points. Parris finished the year as a Big Ten finalist but with to the NCAA championships being cancelled due to COVID he had to settle with being named a NWCA first team All-American.
This season Parris is currently ranked 2nd in the country at Heavyweight and is 6-0 on the year with all of his wins being bonus point wins. Mason is also ranked #4 in the Hodge trophy rankings and will most likely me the 2nd seed at the Big Ten tournament this year.
Being a three-sport athlete in high school Parris didn’t have as much time as most to wrestle freestyle. He only wrestled in 1 freestyle national tournament the summer before college where he ended up with a 3rd place finish. With the help of the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, which is based at the University of Michigan, Mason has made tremendous strides in freestyle.
After his true freshman season, he made the junior world team at 125kg where he won a gold medal. Mason is currently ranked 19th in Flowrestling’s international rankings and this past December beat 2-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski. This April, Parris will have a chance to compete for the spot on the Olympic team for the now 2021 games in Tokyo. When talking about international wrestling Parris said “I am striving to make the Olympic team and bring home a gold medal. I am undecided on how long I would like to wrestle for (internationally). It depends on a lot of factors. I would like to at least see another Olympic cycle in 2024.”
With Covid giving everyone an extra year of eligibility, a big question is what athletes are going to take advantage of it. When asked Mason said “I plan on using my extra covid year. I am treating this year more as my redshirt year, since I did not have one. It is amazing that I am getting another year to chase my dreams after being cut short before NCAA’s last year. I really want to utilize this year to improve and win an NCAA Championship.”
Mason is currently pursuing a Civil Engineering degree and would like to utilize that after college but is also open to other options as he said “I am still keeping my options open. I may try to play football for my 5th year, go to the WWE, or continue to wrestle internationally. I want to wait and decide what is the best opportunity for me and my future.”