Argonaut athletic family suffers soccer team tragedy
West Florida Soccer Athlete Mason Hupp was found dead Tuesday morning, just a couple of months before his senior soccer season was to begin. He was one of the returning leaders for the UWF Men's Soccer team, which was ranked as high as third in the nation last season, with an 18-2 record. Hupp was from Fort Walton Beach and attended Choctawhatchee High School.
West Florida Soccer Athlete Mason Hupp was found dead Tuesday morning, just a couple of months before his senior soccer season was to begin. He was one of the returning leaders for the UWF Men’s Soccer team, which was ranked as high as third in the nation last season, with an 18-2 record. Hupp was from Fort Walton Beach and attended Choctawhatchee High School.
“The Argo Athletics department and the Men’s Soccer program are mourning the loss of an admired athlete,” said Dave Scott, interim athletic director. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mason’s family.”
A midfielder, Hupp started all 20 matches last season. He was second on the team in minutes played, showing the importance of his role as a team player. The fifth year senior was a freshman during the 2004 Hurricane Ivan season, in which all of the athletes kept a year of eligibility because the Argos’ season was cancelled after just three games. Hupp was a mainstay on the team and was one of the few returning starters from last year’s team that set a team record with 18 straight wins during the season.
Hupp also started 21 of 22 matches during the 2006 sophomore season. While Hupp was not a prolific scorer, he was an outstanding team player, and had a key assist in both the regional quarterfinal victory and the regional final victory in 2006, when the Argos made it all the way to the NCAA semifinals. In his four years, including the season shortened by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Hupp played in 57 matches, starting 52 times, and averaged more than 80 minutes per contest.
Hupp had an outstanding high school career at Choctawhatchee High school in Fort Walton Beach, with an impressive 97 goals and 76 assists. He was named to the FHSAA All-State First Team and earned the Florida Coaches Choice First team selection. He was named the team’s most valuable player and received All-Okaloosa County first team honors. Mason is the son of Pat and Lori Hupp and is survived by his parents, his brother Tyler, his sister Breezy and his teammates.
In an unfortunate six months for UWF Athletics, Hupp is the third Argonaut athlete who has died. In January, Women’s Golf Freshman Danielle Smith lost her life in a car accident as she was traveling home for the weekend. In March, Women’s Cross Country Sophomore Ashley Collis was also killed in a car accident as she was traveling home for Easter.
“The Athletic department has endured a saddened and emotional time during the first six months of 2008,” said Scott. “We are grieving the losses of these outstanding student-athletes as a family and are drawing strength from each other.”
The family has requested in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts should be made payable to the UWF Foundation, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514, in memory of Mason Hupp and designated to Men’s Soccer. To make a memorial gift in Hupp’s honor online, visit UWF’s Online Giving Form.
For more information, contact UWF Athletics at (850) 474-3003 or visit uwf.edu/athletics.
By John Bergen, UWF Athletics