Born in Lancaster, Calif., White Pine High senior and wrestling team co-captain Jay Mabson moved to Ely when he was 5 years old.
“I was always running and lifting with my dad,” he said. “He was a personal trainer.”
Mabson’s first shot at organized sports came when he ran track his freshman year, competing in the 1,600 meter relay, pole vault, 400 meter and 2 mile events. He joined the wrestling team his sophomore year and the soccer team his junior year, where he plays defense. He recently broke his right pinky finger practicing backflips during warmups, weeks before the regional and state tournaments. He finished fifth at state on Feb. 20.
Mabson plans to stay in Ely for a year to save money for college, and wants to work as a seasonal firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management. After that, he wants to study physical therapy at the University of Nevada, Reno, or UNLV. He pulled out a flyer he received just that day for the National High School Coaches Association Tournament in Virginia in April.
“Right now I’m going to look into this,” he said.
To sum up his high school experience:
“Sports defined who I was,” he said. “It showed what I was willing to do to get what I wanted.”
Senior and Bobcat basketball forward Cody Bennett was born in Ely and grew up playing basketball in the city’s parks. He also plays center field for the baseball team, and playing wide receiver for the football team was his favorite part of high school.
Bennett earned a spot on the 2nd all-league team.
“I told myself I’d get first team this year,” he said. “And I got it.”
He worked as a ranch hand one summer, and his favorite subject in school was wildlife ecology.
“I’m glad to get out of this town,” he said.
After graduation, he plans to move to Reno to work in the construction industry and develop his music.
Senior and Bobcat basketball forward Jonathan Gust was born and raised in Ely. He grew up hunting, fishing and riding dirt bikes. He raced BMX bikes at the local and national level until leaving the sport after a major accident in Colorado.
“I crashed and a guy ran me over,” Gust said. He broke a vertebra in his back and spent five months in a body brace. He has played basketball and football since his freshman year and joined the baseball team last year. He won’t make it out on the diamond this season after breaking his left arm on the basketball court against Agassi Prep in Las Vegas two weeks ago.
Gust spent the last year working for his father as an apprentice electrician. After graduation, he plans to work as a Nevada Department of Forestry firefighter until starting at Southern Utah University in the fall. There, he will study electrical or construction engineering, and wants to work as an engineer in Reno.