TYLER, Texas (KETK) – First-year Chapel Hill throwers coach Isaac Gutierrez continuously asked senior athlete Mason Mumphrey to try throwing the discuss.
Mumphrey had been a sprinter on the track team. He also played defensive end for the Bulldogs football team. He even received an offer to play that sport at Lamar University.
But Mumphrey had trouble staying healthy doing running events.
In January, he ultimately gave in to Gutierrez, thinking, “Alright, I’ll try it.”
Of course, at first, he struggled.
But Gutierrez, who hails from San Antonio, had worked with throwers for a long time, and believed Mumphrey, at 6’3, 215 lbs., possessed the physical tools to perform at a high level in the discuss.
In a 72-day period (Jan. 29-Apr. 9), Mumphrey became a state contender in the event.
The turning point, Mumphrey said, happened after one of the team’s first track meets. He explained that after finishing near last in the discuss, he went outside of his house one night and picked up a frisbee. Mumphrey said he just started throwing it around.
“That next week I got to practice and I was throwing it far. And everybody was like, how’d you do that in just a week or just over a few days. And I was just like, I’m telling you all I went outside with a frisbee.”
Mumphrey went on to win the District 16-4A title with throw of 140-feet, 3-inches.
He followed that up with an area championship with 141-foot, 8-inch toss.
At the Class 4A Region 2 meet, Mumphrey launched a personal-best mark of 149-feet, 7 inches. It won him fifth-place, less than three feet short of qualifying for the UIL state meet.
Needless to say, he caught the attention of the next level.
Tuesday, he signed a letter of intent to throw for UNT Dallas, barely four months after picking up a discuss for the very first time in his life.
“I thank God the most because I know without him, I couldn’t do this,” said Mumphrey.
Because he tried something new, Mumphrey will be able to get a college education, and now compete at the college level.
The Trailblazers are a start-up NAIA program in the Metroplex.
Both Mumphrey and Gutierrez see the sky as the limit.
“I just started to throw and I got this good in just a few months. And I told my coach that pushes me to believe that you know, that I can do anything I want as long as I put my mind to it you know,” said Mumphrey.
He adds that while he enjoyed football, he is now falling in love with throwing the discuss.
Watch the video to see the story.