October 4, 2016, was the day Mason Woolbright turned 18 years of age, just as his senior year at Benton High School was beginning. In just a few years, Mason has amassed a resume stronger than many people twice his age.
Mason is the oldest of three children of Callie and Jonathan Woolbright of Benton. His younger brothers are Jaden, 15, and Jack, 11.
Callie and Jonathan are very proud of their first-born child. “We have always been very fortunate and blessed where Mason is concerned. He is a very responsible and intelligent young man with ambition and an amazing work ethic. He has always been very mature, even as a small child. We have always said he has an old soul.”
Mason’s work ethic has lead to his involvement in numerous activities. He began umpiring at age 13 and now umpires for several tournament organizations. He has been a basketball referee for the Boys & Girls Club since he was 16 and currently referees AAA high school basketball games. From the 8th grade through the 12th grade, he has served as student council president. He has won the Panther Pride Award four time. He was selected as the student with the “Most School Spirit” in the 8th and 9th grade. The Daughters of the American Revolution selected Mason for the group’s DAR Leadership Award in the 9th grade. He was selected as the Benton Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Youth of the Month for October 2016. At First Baptist Church, he is president of the Pure Energy Choir.
The list of accomplishments is impressive, but it doesn’t stop here. At the age of 11, Mason became involved in broadcasting.
Jim Landers, then owner of KEWI remembers the day he first heard Mason’s voice over the loud speakers. “I was broadcasting Benton Panther Baseball games when I stumbled on to what I considered a rare gem suited for the broadcast field. I heard a voice over the public address system at Panther Field which appeared to have good command of the kings English yet it rang with that pitch exemplifying youth. I listened more closely to its expression as the game progressed and decided to check out its origin. Much to my surprise it was a young 9th grader who identified himself as Mason Woolbright.”
Landers remembers, “I contacted Arkansas Broadcasters regarding a scholarship offered by them to youngsters or others wanting to pursue that dream and was told he was a little too young for such consideration. I informed them Mason was mature beyond his years and I would take full responsibility if they would seriously consider funding a training session for him, which they agreed to do. He took to like a duck takes to water. He is a natural.”
Mason’s broadcasting experience didn’t end at the conclusion of the internship. He continued assisting the broadcast of Panther Athletics, providing statistical support, halftime reports, and social media updates for baseball, basketball, and football. Mason also began video-streaming Panther Football as a graphics operator for a two-camera production that grew to a five-camera operation.
His work at the radio station was a stepping-stone for broadcasting work on a national stage. He worked as an engineer on the ESPN Radio broadcast of the Arkansas vs. Ole Miss football game.
The future holds great things for Mason. “Following high school graduation, I plan on attending the University of Central Arkansas and earning a degree in business with a minor in communications. I would be interested in being a sports-information director at a college in the state or another job in the sports-entertainment sector (Director of Operations for a professional sports team, etc.).”
But underneath it all, Mason cherishes his time at home with his family. “I have been fortunate to have grown up with great parents and family. I would not trade any of it if given the chance.”
Mason’s outlook on life is simple. “Have fun, live life, and don’t let anyone hold you back. For a while now, I have always said to people, ‘Don’t worry about what people think about you,’ and this motto really rings true.”
According to Callie and Jonathan, Mason “is a young man of great character and integrity that excels in leadership roles. He truly will be successful at whatever he decides to do.”