Academic Spotlight Series: Ryan Mast

Sarnia, ON – Sarnia Sting sophomore defenceman Ryan Mast is coming off an impressive rookie campaign. The 6’4″ rear guard played a big role on backed, logging significant minutes as a 16 year-old.

As impressive as he is on the ice, he is just as impressive in the classroom.

The seventeen-year-old is currently enrolled online with Bloomfireld Hills high school. His courses include  Calculus, Advanced Composition (English), Physics, Psychology, Business Ethics and Accounting. Not only is his course load heavy, he is excelling in all fields of study. Mast currently holds a a 92% in Advanced Composition, 95% in Psychology, 92% in Calculus and 97% in Accounting.

“Balancing athletics and academics can be challenging. Obviously, both require a significant amount of time and effort, making scheduling especially important.   Personally, I think it is best to follow a weekly schedule.  At the beginning of each week, I look at what I have going on for hockey, and then devote certain slots to schoolwork. This allows me to fully focus on hockey or school when engaged in that activity. ” Mast says, when asked how he managed it all.

Mast was acquired by the Sting with the club’s 9th round pick in the 2019 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. In 58 OHL games last season, the rookie notched 11 points, while gaining invaluable experience, logging significant minutes for the club.

When asked why he places such an importance on education while pursing a career in hockey, Mast stated:

“It is important to continue pursuing academics while pursuing a hockey career because education is an asset and will help me whether I succeed in hockey or not. Regardless of where my future takes me, an education will help me make better decisions and open doors. Hockey, like many other professions has a business element. If I achieve a career in hockey, an education will help me navigate the business side of the game while I’m playing, and also provide a foundation for opportunity within the game of hockey or outside of it once my playing days are done.”

“Teachers Life are proud sponsors of the OHL’s Academic Spotlight Program,” says Doug Baker, President and CEO of Teachers Life. “The dedication of the OHL’s student-athletes to their education mirrors Teachers Life’s commitment to students and educators across the province. By celebrating these athletes, they become role models to kids in their communities through their dedication to academic excellence, integrity and curiosity.”

Of course, COVID-19 has changed the way students are learning in school. More and more classes are taking place online and students are consistently adapting to the new systems,  Mast admits it certainly has been different this year:

“I think online learning is a lot different than learning in the classroom.  I enjoy the flexibility in my schedule, as it allows me to work on school whenever I want.  Though at times, it can be difficult.  The teacher is less involved, and it requires more self-teaching. It is not always easy to learn independently and often requires emailing the teacher which can cause delay between emails, and can make scheduling difficult. “

When asked what advice he would offer young players in the league, Mast recommends finding an effective way to manage your time. “The most important thing to focus on when balancing school and sports is time management. I would recommend building a schedule or daily checklist to make sure they are performing well in school, along with devoting time towards athletics.”

The Sarnia Sting are proud of Ryan’s accomplishments and will continue to support all of their players on the ice and in the classroom.

About Teachers Life
Teachers Life is a federally regulated life insurance company. Founded in 1939, Teachers Life offers life and group insurance products to address the unique needs of Canadian families. Teachers Life is the first insurance provider in Canada to underwrite life insurance products online, in as little as 15 minutes. As a not-for-profit fraternal insurer, community commitment is a core value for Teachers Life. For more information, please visit

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey
league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.

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