Port Angeles’ Paige Mason on Wednesday signed to play both soccer and basketball for the Skagit Valley College Cardinals. From left are mother Dawn Mason, Paige Mason and father Rob Mason. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles’ Paige Mason on Wednesday signed to play both soccer and basketball for the Skagit Valley College Cardinals. From left are mother Dawn Mason, Paige Mason and father Rob Mason. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula Daily News)

COLLEGE SIGNING: Port Angeles’ Paige Mason to play multiple sports for Skagit Valley College

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Paige Mason is taking on a gigantic challenge, looking to do something in college that few athletes can accomplish.

And that’s play multiple sports.

Surrounded by family and a big contingent of both soccer and basketball teammates, Mason on Wednesday signed to play both basketball and soccer for the Skagit Valley College Cardinals. She was an All-Olympic League performer in both sports for the Roughriders and even qualified for districts in track and field, showing her versatility.

“Someone special to us has brought us together here today,” said Port Angeles Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson.

Her basketball coach Michael Poindexter said that what really sets Mason apart more than her athletic abilities is her leadership.

“The leadership that you showed this year created an incredible climate. It was a very fun year but a very competitive group,” Poindexter said.

Athletically, Poindexter said he enjoyed “watching how much your game grew. You got a high ceiling.”

Her soccer coach Dan Horton said, “anyone who has seen her play can see her potential.”

Then referring to past Port Angeles athletes who have excelled in a variety of sports such as Millie Long, an MVP in soccer and basketball who went on to be an MVP in both sports at Peninsula College, Horton said, “we somehow get lucky to get these athletes who can play multiple sports.”

Port Angeles principal Jeff Lunt said what he will remember about Mason is that “she always had this little mischievous smile. She’s not mischievous at all, but you think maybe there’s a little bit there.

Lunt said that smile showed that there was a joy to Mason’s game.

“That little bit of a smile always made you wonder what she was going to do next,” he said. “She’s real genuine.”

Assistant coach Jennifer Rogers said what she will remember about Mason is she walked right up to college and WNBA star Cameron Brink at an event and began talking to her.

“She’s not afraid of doing things like that,” she said.

Her father Rob said his two favorite memories of Paige was her older sister Kennedy Mason, who also played sports, telling him in the car early in her athletics career, “Paige is going to be really, really good. She’s going to be way better than I ever was.”

His second story was about Mason’s leadership. During a timeout in a game, she grabbed one of the Smith sisters [Lexie and Lindsay] and shouted at her, “Bro!” while making a knife gesture with her hand.

Mason thanked everyone who came to her signing ceremony.

“That last four years have been the best four years of my life because of everyone in this room,” she said.

“This was awesome,” Mason said. “For one-and-a-half weeks I’ve been texting people to come. I wasn’t sure how many would come. It felt really special and amazing.”

Mason said she’s a little nervous about trying to take on two sports in college, but at the same time, “I also know I can do it.”

She said she picked Skagit Valley College because the coaches in both sports were very welcoming to her. She hasn’t had a chance to meet the soccer team, but got a chance to play with the basketball team and described it “as a very close-knit group.”

In both sports, she will end up facing former teammates and high school foes from Port Angles, Sequim and Neah Bay. In basketball, she’ll face her former Sequim foes Hannah Bates and Jelissa Julmist, as well as Neah Bay players Ryana Moss and Allie Greene.

In soccer, she’ll be pitted against Anna Petty, the Pirates’ leading goal-scorer last year and a teammate of Mason’s for three years at Port Angeles High School. “I’m excited for that,” Mason said.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Sequim's Olive Bridge, left, gets the ball away from Port Angele' Paige Mason during Tuesday night's match at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.
KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Sequim’s Olive Bridge, left, gets the ball away from Port Angele’ Paige Mason during Tuesday night’s match at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Sequim’s Olive Bridge, left, gets the ball away from Port Angele’ Paige Mason during Tuesday night’s match at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Sequim’s Olive Bridge, left, gets the ball away from Port Angele’ Paige Mason during Tuesday night’s match at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Sequim’s Olive Bridge, left, gets the ball away from Port Angele’ Paige Mason during Tuesday night’s match at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

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