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Mason Waite Is CANCER FREE! | Spruce Kings Q & A V

Photo | Garrett James

PRINCE GEORGE BC – Mason Waite was one of the bright spots from the 2019-20 season for the Prince George Spruce Kings. Acquired in late September, Waite emerged as one of most reliable defenders on the Spruce Kings back end. Waite ended up finishing with 7 goals and 22 assists, good for 29 points in 51 games. We talk to Mason about the season that was, and he also tells us some very important news in the 5th edition of Spruce Kings Q & A.

Cole Waldie: Mason, thanks for doing this first and foremost. Before we kick things off, I understand there has been a challenge that you have had to face in the off-season. Can you take me through about everything that has happened?

 Mason Waite: Yeah, so in early April I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. With all of the panic surrounding the virus, I was fortunate enough to actually get lots of tests done really quickly and within a week of my first appointment, I was already in surgery, so it was a whirlwind for sure. Over the past month, I have been recovering from surgery and getting more tests and scans, trying to keep a positive mindset and finding things to keep me busy. Today, I got the call from cancer care that I am officially cancer free which is a huge relief. I cannot thank my family, friends, teammates, and everyone else that reached out enough. I truly appreciated every single well wish I was given, so thank you.

Cole Waldie: That is relieving news to hear that you are cancer free and everything is ok! Now, let’s talk hockey! I want to rewind back to late September when you got told you were being traded to the Prince George Spruce Kings. What was going through your mind when you heard the news?

 Mason Waite: I remember getting the call from Mike like it was yesterday. PG has had a lot of success in the past few seasons and I had always wanted to come back to BC, so I was ecstatic to hear the news.

Photo | Vicki Brown

Cole Waldie: Your first year in the BCHL is in the books. It was an impressive year for yourself. How did you find the 2019-20 campaign?

 Mason Waite: The season itself may not have gone exactly how we wanted, but the overall experience was amazing. I learned so much and met so many great people and I cannot wait for what next season has in store.

Cole Waldie: You spent the majority of the year playing alongside Nick Bochen. What was it like getting to play with him? You guys also seemed to develop a great relationship off the ice as well.

 

Photo | Vicki Brown

 Mason Waite: Bo is an awesome guy and even better player. I felt like we really understood each other’s games and clicked quickly. Off the ice, he seems shy but once you get to know him, he is a lot of fun to be around and joke with.

Cole Waldie: Mason, the team had some great moments this past season, you had some great moments as well. What were some that stick out the most to you?

 Mason Waite: Wow that is a tough one. Going into Penticton at the end of the long road trip and getting the win was a pretty amazing feeling because all the guys really laid it out there.

Travelling to Kitimat and seeing all the kids was also a pretty cool experience that only us and Langley got to be a part of.

Cole Waldie: What has been your favourite part about being a Spruce King thus far?

 Mason Waite: To go with all of that, my favourite part of being a Spruce King has definitely been the people and the community. We were such a tight knit group which made every day so much more fun. The billets and fans are also amazing in the way that they support us, and we are really grateful for them. The entire staff does a great job taking care of us and pushing us to be better every single day.

 

 

Photo | Vicki Brown

Cole Waldie: It is your 20-year-old season next year, final year of Junior Hockey. What kind of role would you like to provide for this team and what part of your game do you want to improve?

 Mason Waite: Going into my last season of junior hockey, I want to be a guy that can be relied on in any situation and hopefully provide that bit of leadership that the 20’s have done for the me in the past. The BC is a fast league so it can be alarming sometimes, but coming back for my last season I want to play more confident and poised, and this summer I will be working on my foot speed and my shot.

 

 Cole Waldie: Lastly,  a number of returning faces for next season, some veteran presence as well, what excites you the most about the 2020-21 Spruce Kings?

 

Mason Waite: We had a great group last year, but we know we never truly reached our potential as a team. With so many familiar faces returning next year, I am most excited to keep pushing our limits and finish at the top of the standings where we belong, and I think all the guys probably have that same mentality this summer and going into next season.

 

Photo | Vicki Brown