The football program at Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla has called upon Maasen to come make tackles for them next season and the senior made it official when he signed with the Miners on Friday afternoon.
It is no secret that Camdenton senior Ryan Maasen loves to make a hit.
After all, tackling is a primary function for any linebacker and Maasen filled that role quite well as a Camdenton Laker as his name could often be heard by public address announcers and broadcasters on any given Friday night. The football program at Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla has also called upon Maasen to come make tackles for them next season and the senior made it official when he signed with the Miners on Friday afternoon.
“As a linebacker, people call me ‘Sideline to Sideline.’ Just because the whistle is not blown yet or it looks like he is going to get tackled, you never know,” Maasen explained of his mentality as at the position. “You have to hustle, try to get over there and make a play. People are going to recognize that and I think that is how you play at the next level.”
Well, it probably was not difficult to recognize a player like Maasen. In his final season with the Lakers this past fall he significantly led the team in tackles with 156, 48 being solo and 11 of which resulted in lost yardage including four sacks. Maasen also forced six fumbles, recovered one, broke up three passes and intercepted a pass as well.
“It is basically a mentality you just got to have. You cannot be lazy or make excuses, you just have to get out there and work because you know there is somebody out there working harder than you right now,” the senior pointed out. “You just have to recognize that, just go get it and do it.”
Over the course of his career, Maasen was named All-State twice, the Ozark Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Area, All-Regional, All-Conference twice and All-District.
Camdenton assistant Parr Pitts, filling in for Head Coach Jeff Shore who had other matters to attend to on Friday, noted that all the recognition was clearly earned.
“Ryan was a tremendous player for us. He was a 3-year starter at linebacker and really had a nose for the football,” he said. “He is a guy I thought the last two years became much better at watching and learning from film. There were times where he was so aware of what was going on from the defensive perspective, he would sniff out plays that were just amazing. He is a great effort guy at practice and in games.”
And Pitts went on to say how much that effort inspired others.
“He kept playing no matter what whether we were behind or ahead,” the coach stated. “He just loved the opportunity to go play, was going to make the most of that one play and move to the next one.”
That same mindset should be beneficial at his next stop at the Division II school in Rolla and the school drew his interest for a number of reasons. Most importantly, he plans to major in mechanical engineering.
“On campus they were telling me about these clubs they have where you can design, engineer and create something, which is something I really like to do,” Maasen said. “On the field, I just cannot wait to see when I get there later in August where I am going to sit with the rest of the guys, how well I am going to compete against them and how hard I can really push myself.”
The senior also noted the school’s proximity to home and he wanted to have the opportunity to come back and work during the summer. The state of the football program obviously met his checklist, too.
Overall, Maasen said he is looking forward to making the transition from high school to college and the opportunity to grow on and off the field. Pitts said that should not be much of a problem for him.
“When he started he was super aggressive and did not know the intricacies of playing linebacker,” he remarked. “Last year and this past season, he has learned all those keys and reads you need to make to really beat the offensive blocker to the spot and be able to make plays.”
Maasen certainly made a lot of them as a Laker and the memories are plenty from teammates he has shared the field with since about the age of 10. It is that brotherhood and those shared memories that will really stay with him as he pursues his next chapter and beyond.
“You develop these lifelong friends you are going to have. These guys that I played with here in high school, I am going to know them the rest of my life because of our brotherhood,” the senior explained. “I am going to come back here when they are remembering our class at a Friday night game and we are going to be like, ‘Man, remember when we came and messed some guys up? That was awesome.’
“It is real special, especially at the college level. It is going to be amazing.”
For any other Laker who wants to pursue the college game, Maasen simply described the mindset it will take.
“You just have to realize that college is no thing to worry about. If you want to play football in college you are going to have to push yourself past the limits and recognize that before you go or when you get there, if you want to do this thing you basically have to be crazy to do it,” he explained. “I would say to them, buckle up.”