Editor’s note: Each week throughout the Class 2A state football playoffs, Steilacoom High School’s star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka will write a player diary for Scorebook Live. Egbuka is the nation’s top-rated “athlete” recruit nationally for the Class of 2021, according to 247sports.com, and currently holds more than 30 BCS offers — with Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, USC and Washington on his top-10 list.
Being back in the state playoffs, it is a great feeling. No complaints. You wake up and you’re still playing football — you still have practice on Monday. I mean, there are 43 to 47 teams not practicing this week, so it is a great feeling having the season keep going, and spending those days with my guys.
My normal routine after a game, like after beating Washington in district — I’ll celebrate a little bit and go out with my friends, eat some dinner. Then I’ll go home and watch the game film from that night’s game and kind of study up a little bit. I stay up late.
It’s nice to be able to chill on Sundays, watch some football with the family and stuff like that.
This last ‘Selection Sunday’ for the state playoffs, I had just woken up around 12:30 p.m. I went into the living room, and my mom was there, and she was yelling. I asked her what was going on, and she said, “We got the 2-seed!”
Then I looked at the bracket and felt we were in a good spot. I was really ecstatic. I felt like we were finally getting the respect we deserved. It was just a relief to see.
I have already watched a lot of Ridgefield’s games, picking apart their best players and their tendencies — especially on defense and what they like to do and stuff like that.
On offense, I mostly focused on No. 24 (who is Danny Maroney), their running back who is carrying the load for them. I know we will score on their defense, but if we stop them on offense, it will be a good day.
What is game week like?
Monday, it is just gathering information — watching film with the team, figuring out what our game plan is going to be.
Tuesday, we have our first padded practice, and that is time to come out strong and really set the standard for our scout guys with what their offense looks like, so our starting defensive guys get a good look.
Wednesday, that is another good padded day.
Thursday, it is a walkthrough kind of day.
Then we will have a team dinner Thursday night. We don’t really have any speeches or anything like that. We just kind of enjoy each other, taking our mind away from football — being teenagers and enjoying each other’s company.
Then it is game day! The butterflies, they never go away. I have butterflies before every game, even if the final score ends up us beating them by 50. It’s just the competitor in me, I want to win every game regardless of where we are at.
— Emeka Egbuka