Rochelle senior Mason DeLille set his new personal record in the triple jump during the track and field program’s triangular meet with Yorkville and Plano at Rochelle Township High School on Tuesday. DeLille marked 42-5 ½ which would likely put him in contention for top placements at most NCAA Division III men’s track and field competitions.
With that said, it’s not too surprising for DeLille to reveal this past week that he would be attending Carthage College next year and joining the men’s track and field program. The senior also said he will be competing for the men’s soccer program as well, becoming only the second RTHS student-athlete this year to commit to two athletic programs at the college level.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” DeLille said. “I met with the athletic coaches and they were both really wonderful. They showed me around and I thought the campus was great. I met a few of the students and they told me they really love it there. I don’t have any negative things to say about Carthage.”
DeLille finished as the Rochelle boys track and field program’s High Point Award winner his junior season. The senior competes in all three jumping events at RTHS, and he said his goals at Carthage are to participate in the triple jump, possibly some sprint relays and potentially the javelin due to his 15 years of baseball experience.
“Mason’s a dedicated and driven young man and I think he has the skills to compete at the Division III level,” Rochelle head track and field coach John Dobbs said. “He’ll have a lot of fun doing that. He’s already competing at a Division III level right now, so I think he’ll fit right in at Carthage.”
DeLille spent four years with Rochelle’s boys soccer program, playing two years on the junior varsity team before moving up to the varsity team his junior year. DeLille started at goalkeeper both years on varsity, and he helped lead a defense that surrendered only 13 goals to opposing teams this season. Rochelle finished 20-1-1 overall this year, the best record in RTHS history.
“Mason did an excellent job in goal for us,” Rochelle head soccer coach Brad Male said. “He has a great attitude and all he needs to continue working on is being vocal and controlling the defense. I think he’ll be an excellent addition to the Carthage team.”
DeLille, who also played two years of baseball and four years of basketball at RTHS, said he plans to study actuarial sciences while attending Carthage. On the soccer field, DeLille said he wants to continue improving his communication skills, and on the track, DeLille said he’s aiming to keep getting stronger and sharpening his technical skills.
“I feel that Rochelle soccer has definitely given me a team-building background,” DeLille said. “I feel that coming off a great season with a bunch of great guys, I have a lot of motivation to do well at the collegiate level… Being a part of the Rochelle track and field team has taught me more about the sport, and there are a lot of technical things about the sport that I’ve learned.”