Iowa City High golfer Ryan Maske has one of his main goals in hand and is focusing on the other.
“My two main goals just about every year is to make first-team all-conference and qualify for state,” Maske said.
After earning first-team All-Mississippi Valley Conference honors at the MVC Mississippi Division meet Monday at Gardner Golf Course, Maske will prepare to close his prep career by reaching the Class 4A state meet for the the third straight time at next week’s district tournament.
“We’re excited about his future with us,” City High Coach Gregg Andrews said. “We only have a couple weeks left.”
The future should mirror past success for the Little Hawk senior. Maske has earned all-MVC honors and qualified for the state meet each of the last three seasons. He tied for 10th as a sophomore and tied for 20th a year ago. Currently, he owned a 9-hole score average just above 39.5 before the divisional meet where he was fifth overall. The Little Hawks head to Bettendorf’s Palmer Hills Golf Course for a district Tuesday.
“My goal at district is to medal overall,” Maske said. “I always want to win.”
He also likes to have fun on the course. Maske said he plays better when he is having fun, so he tries to mix a fun-loving attitude with a serious competitive nature on the course. It was evident at the MVC divisional meet, where he could be seen urging a short putt to go further or joking about placing behind another golfer again when they completed their round.
“Ryan’s one of those kids that has a good time playing golf,” Andrews said. “He loves the game.”
Andrews said that this season started strong but Maske hit a rough two-week stretch where he didn’t shoot as well. he adjusted his swing and revisited his pre-shot routine to get back on tract.
“he worked and worked and worked,” Andrews said. “He was receptive. One of his best things you can say about him is that he respects people and what they have to offer.”
People still offer up his long-time nickname “Bubba”, given to him when he was a chubby baby. Friends, family and even teachers refer to him as Bubba, even though his tall, slender frame has outgrown it.
“I enjoy it,” Maske said. “Some day, hopefully, I’ll grow out of it. Right now, it’s good.”
An aspect that would make this season better is if Maske can have the rest of the Little Hawks join him at state. He’s flown solo at the state meet and City High hasn’t qualified as a team in more than a decade.
“Hopefully we can get our team there,” Maske said. “It would be really nice to go with them. Once we get to state, try to put on a show.”
Iowa City West and Cedar Rapids Prairie also travel to Bettendorf for district. The remainder of the Metro schools, Western Dubuque, all three Cedar Falls and Waterloo schools and all Dubuque schools compete at a district at Ellis Golf Course hosted by top-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy.