Mason Campbell bought an old truck for $800 out of the first paycheque he received from his summer job at Colemans.
He worked every hour he could get over the course of two summers. He realized his parents wouldn’t be able to give him everything he wanted, with four other boys in the home, so he was willing to give up time with his friends for a source of regular income.
“I guess I seen the importance of not depending on your parents as much, and my mom does a lot for me and my brothers, so I do whatever I can to help,” Campbell said Wednesday afternoon.
Campbell is a 17-year-old Level 3 student at Elwood High School in Deer Lake and is the leading scorer for the Western Kings in the provincial major midget hockey league.
In a world where it seems everywhere you look there is a young person holding a cellular phone, Campbell is an exception.
He doesn’t own a cellphone and doesn’t see it as something that should be a priority in life, even when all of his teammates have their own.
He sees cellphones as an expense he doesn’t want to have and he would never want to place any financial burden on the family, so people will have to settle for chatting with him in person.
“If I ever want one I will get the money to pay for it,” he said.
Campbell’s strong work ethic has apparently translated to the ice.
He tried to crack the Kings lineup last season, but didn’t make the team. He was named an alternate and took the news on the chin.
He loves the game, so he figured he would try again, and over the summer he obviously improved because he earned a spot on the team this season.
“Hard work pays off in the long run. Everybody told me that for a long time and I guess I’m just starting to see it,” he said.
His mom, Shona, has enjoyed watching her son find his way with the Kings. She admits her son can be a handful at times and she knows there are people who may view him as a troubled teen, but she knows his heart is always in the right place and that’s important to her, so she supports him in his desire to play the game at the highest level.
“He’s the one that keeps me on my toes,” Shona said. “He just likes to test his limits.”
Kings coach Mark Robinson heard rumblings about his leading scorer being an emotional guy on the ice before having him on his team, but it’s been nothing but smooth sailing for Robinson and the other members of the coaching staff.
Robinson has been impressed with the strong work ethic Campbell brings to the rink. He described the talented forward as a really fast skater who can put up points and still be a physical presence while being one of the go-to guys who plays in all situations.
“He got an iron lung. He’s skating all the time and he never gets tired,” Robinson said.
Robinson has been impressed with Campbell’s ability to lug the puck and control the play at the same time. He also likes the fact his player is willing to stand up for his teammates and has no doubt he would be a coveted player if he decided to play junior hockey when he’s finished minor hockey.
“He’s game for any part of the game that comes his way,” Robinson said. “If somebody is getting out of hand he got no problems stepping up. He will never back down. He’s a good teammate that way.”
Campbell had a quick response for Robinson’s call on being a good teammate.
“If I was in a rough situation on the ice I’d like for any one of my teammates to pick up for me,” he said.
He just wants to play the game and do what he can to help the team win.
It’s safe to say he should have a smile on his face during Christmas because he leads the Kings in scoring and the team goes into the break in third place after winning seven of the last 10 games to make a big leap in the standings.