By Owen Gotimer
Purcellville (February 12, 2017) – Woodgrove High School senior Mason Gryniuk has made a commitment to continue his football career at James Madison University beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year.
“Outside of JMU being a great academic institution, the coaching staff and players at JMU are all about family. They made me feel like a part of their family prior to committing and that was one of the main reasons why I chose JMU,” the 6-foot-2 Gryniuk said. “JMU’s program is very much like Woodgrove’s program; it simply feels like home. And they are also 2016 NCAA Division I-AA Football Champions!”
The Division I-FCS Dukes claimed the national championship in January with the support of eight Loudoun graduates:
- Dominion grad Adeeb Atariwa (2016)
- Heritage grad Justin Bethea (2014)
- Loudoun County grad Ryan Horner (2016)
- Stone Bridge grad Lawton Riggs (2016)
- Briar Woods grad Jacob Rosen (2016)
- Heritage grad Grant Westbrook (2014)
- Briar Woods grad Matt Wolcott (2014)
- Stone Bridge grad Richard Xu (2014)
In 2017, James Madison will add to their ranks two current LoCo seniors Gryniuk and his Woodgrove teammate Camergon Kilgour.
“JMU has a great bench of players at wide receiver today, but I will bring a new era of wideout to the X and Z positions with my quickness, hands and ability to get off the press with separation down the field,” Gryniuk said. “The Woodgrove receiving corps was all about excitement and hype which I will carry over to the team at JMU.”
The Woodgrove receiving corps helped lead the Wolverines to an 11-1 finish in 2016, losing their only game of the season to eventual VHSL 4A state semifinalist Dominion High School in a VHSL 4A West region semifinal.
“The Woodgrove football program is all about hard work, family and commitment. The coaches are all there to help you be a better player, a better person, and are all invested in making the team the best that it can be,” Gryniuk said. “By the time you make it to your senior year and you are ready to move on to the next stage in life, coach Skinner will help you get there. I can’t thank him enough for what he did for me and the team. There is no other place I would have rather played than Woodgrove. It’s a part of my life I will never forget.”
Gryniuk will also never forget going through an often stressful college recruitment process, where teenagers are asked to decide – not only where they want to continue their sport, but also – where they want to get their college education.
“You question where you will land and what else you need to do in order to get to the college and the team of your dreams,” Gryniuk said. “When you get to the decision point you’ll know in your gut what to do. JMU fulfills all of the values that I follow and I can’t wait to get there.”
While the transition from high school to college football will be a big change for Gryniuk, his football playing dreams don’t end with the Dukes.
“I have dreamed to play in the NFL since I started playing football in the Upper Loudoun Youth Football league as a kid,” Gryniuk said. “My coaches, my family and my friends keep me motivated, but my pure desire to be the best wide receiver every time I am on the field drives me to work hard and make gains every day. Being part of a team, the brotherhood and contributing to the team’s success is ultimately what football is all about.”
My heart swells with pride as I read this article about Mason Gryniuk. As a family member, I have watched him grow as an individual and as a team player and leader as he aspired to where he is today. His serious commitment and hard work everyday of his journey brought him to the end of a well deserved career at Woodgrove Highschool and to the beginning of what will be a bright future at JMU. Mason has the speed, the hands the height, the attitude and the heart that will make him a special addition to the Dukes as one of their new and exciting wide receivers.