Mahoski Ready for Next Step

Bettendorf kicker Chris Mahoski has performed at the highest level of high school football in the state of Iowa. After giving the Cyclones a verbal commitment over the weekend, he hopes to help the Iowa State program go to new heights in the coming years.

Mahoski became the 20th known commitment for the Class of 2005 Sunday by accepting a scholarship offer from Cyclone coaches. He comes into a situation that was abysmal at the start of last season, but improved with the emergence of walk-on Bret Culbertson.

Very modest in his ways, Mahoski looks forward to helping the team and battling for a position.

"They've given me the best opportunity anybody could have, and that's playing Division I-A football in the Big 12," said Chris Mahoski. "I will be walking into the 105 and will be going in there to work for a job. I'll have to earn my spot, and I feel like I can do that.

"I hope I go in there and add to everything that Iowa State already has. The team is young and I'm young. By the time things get going, Iowa State will be a place to talk about and some team to reckon with."

Mahoski converted on 8-of-11 field goal attempts as a senior, including a long of 47 yards, while hitting 69-of-71 PATs. He was a first-team all-state player by the Iowa Newspaper Association.

With their kicking game in shambles at the beginning of the 2004 season, ISU began its recruitment of Mahoski. That interest culminated in a scholarship offer over the weekend.

"Saturday night we had dinner at the Jacobson Building," Mahoski said. "My family and I sat down with Coach Allen and Coach McCarney. That's when they laid out the offer. My family and I had talked about what would happen if the offer came. It didn't take too much for us to give an answer the next morning. I want to be a Cyclone and that's what I told them."

It was also the high point of a great official visit to Ames.

"From the first second we got there, it was just like it was when we went up there mid-season," he said. "You feel great with the type of people and the coaches are great. The atmosphere is just rearing to go. It's a great program and young team that will be awesome for years to come."

"The facilities, training rooms, and all of the advancements that Iowa State has to offer, I don't know how anyone can pass it up. I know I couldn't. The players are awesome and are all dedicated. You can tell that everybody wants to work, and I think that has a lot to do with the coaches. You want to give it your all."

Mahoski put himself in position to kick at the highest level with a busy offseason leading up to last fall. He traveled with kicking coach Ray Pelfrey to camps at Colorado, Purdue, and Michigan State. Player and coach just so happened to cross paths again this weekend in Ames.

But the experience also let Mahoski know just how much improvement he needs to make in order to kick in college.

"The Saturday morning of my visit, Ray was having a camp at Iowa State's new indoor facility," Mahoski said. "So I poked in and took a little bit of time. It was my first experience off the ground and it's going to take some time. But the harder you work at it, the more I will get near to perfecting it."

Then comes the task of kicking in oft-windy Jack Trice Stadium.

"It's that way with any other stadium," he said. "There is nothing like playing college ball, but going up to the UNI-Dome with the state champion for the semis and finals, you pack quite a few people in. But the more people there are, the more the rush, the more I seem to do a little bit better, and kick a little bit further. I can't wait to see what happens when 50,000 people are watching."

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