HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced Macon Mayhem forward Mason Baptista has been named the league Most Valuable Player. Baptista is among seven members of the team to have received accolades for this season – Kevin Kerr was named league Coach of the Year; Jake Theut was named the SPHL Goatender of the Year; Baptista, Theut, and defenseman Nick Minerva were named to the All-SPHL First Team; defenseman Casey Johnson was named to the all-league Second Team; and Johnson, goaltender Ryan Ruck, and forward Ryan Smith were named to the SPHL All-Rookie Team.
Baptista was signed by the Mayhem on January 27, one day prior to the team restarting the season after a three-week layoff due to league health and safety protocols. While he did not crack the scoresheet in the first two games, Baptista went on to contribute in a big way during the month of February. He scored nine goals and four assists and had a +13 rating en route to being named the SPHL Player of the Month. He helped the team in no small part to a 9-1-0 record in February, outscoring their opposition 32-13.
Baptista went on to average over a point per game in his 38 games played for Macon. He led the SPHL in plus-minus (+23) and tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (four). Baptista finished second-best in total points (43) and shorthanded points (five), third in assists (26), and fifth in goals (17).
Prior to coming to Macon this season, Baptista played in seven games with Rapid City in the ECHL, scoring two goals and two assists. The seventh-year pro spent the rest of his professional career in the ECHL with stops in Quad City, Wichita, Fort Wayne, and Greenville, the latter of which playing under current Mayhem head coach Kevin Kerr in 2019-20. Baptista has 297 combined games of ECHL experience, notching 79 goals and 108 assists in those contests.
While the trophy case continues to be filled from the team’s performance this past season, the Mayhem are actively gearing up for an exciting 2021-22 campaign. Season tickets and partnership opportunities are on sale now for the upcoming schedule, set to begin in October. For more information on becoming a part of all the action, call the Mayhem at 478.803.1592.