By Sam Wilson
The season began with a milestone for Mason Goodridge, continued with a bigger one and ended with a noticeable improvement for his team.
The Springville-Griffith Institute senior led the Griffins’ varsity boys basketball team this season to a 13-9 record, including a playoff victory to continue an eight-game winning streak in the second half of the season. Springville went 11-3 in league play, finishing second in the ECIC IV division.
And while the Griffins won on the court, it usually mean Goodridge had a good night as a scorer. He averaged 26.4 points, 3.0 steals, 2.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds this season, and picked it up over the last seven games of the regular season to 32.9 points per game.
As prolific a scorer as Goodridge was this season, he he spoke every day with Griffins coach Greg Miller about how the team would succeed.
“His approach to each game was TEAM first,” Miller said of Goodridge. “Any given day he would take a team win over a big individual game. As a team, we let our emotions get the best of us in the first half of the season. Following our Holiday tournament and break, I urged the players to work towards the goal of 11-0 for the remainder of the season.
“Mason along with others took that to heart and we ended our season 10-1, only losing a non-league game versus Cheektowaga and going 10-0 in league play. Our team chemistry was something every coach dreams of and we were able to rise above the adversity that we were faced with. That goal was recited daily and Mason was a true leader behind this sentiment. He carried that drive into every game, and it carried over to our TEAM.”
In Springville’s fourth game of the season, Goodridge scored his 1,000th career point. He continued all the way to break the Griffins’ all-time scoring record and finished his varsity career with 1,478 points. His scoring increased each of his three varsity seasons, from 395 in 2016-17, 517 in ‘17-’18 and 555 this year.
“To see Mason break 1,000 points will be a moment that not only I, but our team and fans will always remember,” Miller said. “As a coach, it was great to see a player achieve such challenging accomplishment in a career. I was able to coach him through almost all of his points and it was a privilege to have that opportunity to see it happen. For him to continue his pursuit of becoming the all time leading scorer, was unbelievable and fun to watch. He had many goals at the beginning of the year to make a statement for not only himself, but for the entire program.”
All three seasons earned Goodridge the league player of the year award, 2019 and 2017 in ECIC Div. IV and 2018 in Div. III. He also won the league sportsmanship award in 2018.
With his scholastic hoops career over, Goodridge is exploring options to play next year in college. Among the schools he’s considering is Division III Trine University in Northern Indiana out of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while also looking more locally at Alfred University, Pitt-Bradford and Penn State-Behrend.
Having watched Goodridge develop up close, Miller said he considers Goodridge “one of the most respectful and driven kids, who always wanted more not only for himself, but for his teammates and the program.” He grew as a player, Miller said, but also as a role model and leader for younger teammates.
“Mason has a work ethic that I have never seen before in an athlete of his age,” Miller said. “He is a player that comes in early, stays late and finds as much time as possible to be working on his own game. Besides his outstanding play, Mason was a role model for many of his teammates and our younger community members who are in our youth program. He was a leader on the court and someone who helped build and develop the program to what it is today.”
After two years of “leading by example,” Miller wanted Goodridge to show his leadership through work ethic as a senior.
“I asked him to be a motivator, work with his teammates and friends, coach the youth teams and lead by demonstrate his work ethic on a daily basis,” Miller said. “Through my time coaching Mason, he grew both as a player and a great role model off the court, defining a true leader. “
As for his greatest strength, Miller considers it his desire to improve.
“His work ethic, determination, and overall passion for the game is irreplaceable,” Miller said. “Over the past two years, Mason, has put in the time coming in early prior to school with teammates to get shots up, he always wants to improve. His mentality towards the game is outstanding. From working on his shot, to going to individual workouts, and always ending on a make, he has the drive to be better and want more.
“From getting shots up prior to the school day, to summer workouts and open gyms, he was always there leaving everything on the court all the time. He has participated in a lot of individual work outside of our program including various AAU teams traveling the state and east coast, individual workouts with well known players and coaches around the area, and simply getting into any gym he could, always wanting more. His drive throughout the years never wavered, but increased each day. He has demonstrated his drive every day and the development of his game has continued to grow immensely.”