Phoenix native Mason Tully was introduced to hockey when his cousin began playing at a young age. Mason’s first sport of choice was soccer, but his excessively aggressive play compelled his parents as well as his aunt and uncle to sign him up for hockey. Shortly thereafter, he put his soccer days behind him.
Since then, he has played through the ranks of Phoenix hockey. In 2016, Tully began been playing AAA with the Arizona Bobcats. In 2019-20, his final season of AAA, the forward posted five goals and three assists in 20 regular season games.
Tully admitted that he’d seen videos of the Rhinos in the past, but only started seriously considering playing in El Paso after the Rhinos’ NA3HL and NAHL announcement. His coach, Brent Gough, also suggested he look into the program. From the closely-knit hockey network in the Southwest, Tully had heard about how the Rhinos’ environment is built to develop players: early morning practices, ample ice-time and mid-day gym workouts. The benefits of El Paso’s program, its close proximity to home, and its location in Texas—a state in which Tully was considering playing—helped the 19-year-old decide to sign with the Rhinos. “I’m really excited and fortunate to play in El Paso because of the professional atmosphere, the coaching staff, and the support fans give the players. El Paso was the best decision for me as a player since I’ll get to play close to home and I’ll have the opportunity to develop as a player.”
Like many other rinks around the country, Arizona’s rinks closed in March and reopened only a few weeks ago. Tully is eager to return to the ice and play competitively. “I’ve been off for 3-4 months and I’m just ready to start playing hockey again. I’m excited to get to El Paso and I just want the wait to be over.”