Faulkner back on mound after Tommy John surgery

by Levi Gilbert

Less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, Nemo Vista’s Mason Faulkner returns to the mound this spring for the Red Hawks.

The senior had the reconstructive surgery on his elbow in August.

“I have spent countless hours in rehab trying to get my arm back to 100 percent,” Faulkner said. “I’m still not there yet. The total rehab time is one year. [I want] to help put my team in the best position to be successful this year. We want to be playing our best come state tournament time. It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.”

Faulkner and the Red Hawks lost in the second round of the 1A state tournament in 2013. As a sophomore in 2012, Faulkner struck out 17 batters in the state tournament. And recently, the talented pitcher signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo.

“I have played baseball since the age of 5,” Faulkner said. “I have grown up in a family that loves the game of baseball. It is our favorite sport. [This year I have] to push myself to become a better athlete. It’s easy to find excuses not to put in the extra time on physical training, but going the extra mile is the only way to improve yourself."

Outside of baseball, Faulkner stays plenty busy at Nemo Vista and at home.

“I am involved in many activities at school, which include Beta Club, FFA, FBLA, baseball and basketball,” Faulkner said. “I have played basketball my whole life as well, but baseball is my love. I own a small herd of registered Fleckvieh cattle. This is one of those hobbies that really turns into work, but I enjoy working with my cattle.

“I hope to play baseball as long as possible, but when that comes to an end, my love of cattle has inspired me to become a veterinarian. After my two years at Crowder College I plan to complete my vet degree at Mississippi State University.”