“This is a privilege,” Mason said. “DeKalb County has a long tradition of quality coaches. Coaches who have done a lot for kids. Got them into college. Got them scholarships. Got them to be productive citizens down the road because that is ultimately what it is about.”
On the middle school level, Mason was a head coach at Stone Mountain and a defensive coordinator at Stephenson. Then for four seasons, he was an assistant at Arabia Mountain High School.
However now, Mason said he is hoping to get the Pirates back above the .500 mark after back-to-back losing seasons under Dante Ferguson, who held the position for five years.
“It’s going to be a tough row to hoe but we’re not afraid of hard work,” Mason said. “We’re going to make it happen one way or the other.”
Due to region reclassification, Stone Mountain will once again be in Region 6-AAAA, which has 10 teams, but will play eight region games.
“Looking at the schedule from last year to this year, St. Pius is going to be a school that Stone Mountain didn’t play,” Mason said. “But then we have old foes like Columbia, Lithonia and Redan. We basically have a lot of the same kids who played on different middle school teams. It’s basically going to be a lot of competition within those teams.”
Last season, the Pirates lost to Lithonia and Columbia but beat Redan. Stone Mountain will meet St. Pius, which has won all six matchups, for the first time since 2007.
Mason said his players will be very familiar with his principles of discipline, dedication and determination.