SBART Scholar Athlete of the Year: Masato Perera of Dream Cast Media Group on Vimeo.
Harvard-bound Masato Perera is the defending CIF-SS singles champion. (file photo Gary Kim/Noozhawk)
Masato Perera’s athletic and academic credentials will make your head spin.
In his presentation of the San Marcos tennis star, Marc Gamberdella of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table said Masato had the “walk-off” qualities.
“All you have to say is CIF Champion and Harvard, and drop the mic,” he said. “Those are the realities of this young man.”
Perera was honored as Roundtable Scholar Athlete of the Year for San Marcos.
He received the award in a virtual ceremony that included San Marcos athletic director Abe Jahadhmy and was hosted by Gamberdella, whose Gamberdella-Spruill Group with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is sponsoring the award.
Masato is the third child of parents Laxman and Keiko Perera to receive this prestigious honor, following his brother Kento and sister Yuka, who also excelled in tennis at San Marcos and went on to attend elite colleges and practice tennis. sports – Kento at Stanford and Yuka at MIT.
Masato paid his dues by playing against his older siblings.
“I started playing tennis when I was 5,” he said. “I grew up in the footsteps of my older siblings as competitive tennis players. Back then, although I still hated losing to them, I dreamed of competing in the same ‘stages’ of top-level competition. than them.”
Masato surpassed these levels as a high school student. Last season, he won the CIF-Southern Section singles title, the first in San Marcos history and the first won by a player from the region since 1993.
An even bigger accomplishment was winning seven games to win a USTA Level 1 Nationals Boys 18 singles title in Indianapolis as the 22nd seed.
“I enjoyed the process of defeating the best American players and winning the tournament,” he said.
Other accomplishments include winning the Channel League singles title as a rookie, being named Southern California High School Tennis MVP and High School All American. He’s ranked in the top five nationally for 18-year-old boys, is a top rookie, and is heading to Harvard.
In class, Masato carries a 4.88 GPA. His current course load includes Advanced English Literature, Economics and Government, Spanish 2, Freehand Drawing, and an SBCC class in Statistics.
He is part of the Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment at San Marcos and has been a member of the National Honor Society since 10th grade.
He hopes to pursue an engineering major in college.
“He’s everything you want your student-athletes to be,” Jahadhmy said. “He takes responsibility. Adversity does not get in his way. He accepts challenges, so he wants to improve more and more. He is not afraid of it. He wants a challenge and wants to face the best all the time.
Masato thanked his parents for their support and sacrifice to help him succeed.
“I wouldn’t be here without their efforts,” he said.
He also praised his coaches and teammates.
“Especially the seniors,” he said, “for supporting me these past three years and making those years so memorable.”