ILWACO — Eric McMillan is Ilwaco’s quarterback and an outside linebacker on defense, positions he played last season, as well. He is enrolled in the Running Start Program through Clatsop College where he can earn his AA degree and his diploma from Ilwaco High School next spring. Following is some background in the life of the popular young leader and what he did homecoming week his senior year:

“I am taking 18 credits for the fall term and my classes are physics, volleyball, argumentative writing, developmental psychology, interpersonal communication and philosophical problems. Last summer I worked up in Bristol Bay, Alaska with my dad where we gillnet fish for salmon. I also work out on Willapa Bay for Jim and Jeff Kemmer where I am a deckhand for their oyster company.”

Saturday, Sept. 2 — I slept in from the long bus ride home from White Salmon. I watched some game film of our game at White Salmon on I then watched some college football, mainly the Florida Gators (my favorite team) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (big rival). Wanted to see if Jeff Driskel could finally have a break out game, but he ended up breaking his leg. The backup quarterback, Tyler Murphy, stepped in and was quite impressive.

Sunday, Sept. 22 — I filled out college applications to University of Oregon and Washington State University. I watched more game film and then watched the Jacksonville Jaguars (my favorite team) get crushed by the Seattle Seahawks (second favorite team), hoping the Jaguars can just re-sign Maurice Jones-Drew this offseason and get the number one pick. I went to open gym to get a little exercise.

Monday, Sept. 23 — I went over to Astoria to buy books for my classes for the next week. Football practice was in just helmets and we did some walkthrough for our offensive game plan of running the double wing. Went in and watched game film and then watched the JV football game against South Bend. Very close finish and was a lot of fun as I was able to call a few plays, one of which resulted in a touchdown. I then went up to the high school to watch the last 30 minutes of the movie “Up” for the homecoming activity for the day.

Tuesday, Sept. 24 — I watched the ESPN highlights of the Monday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. I always enjoy seeing Peyton Manning play because he is such an intelligent player. I’m excited to see the upcoming documentary “The Book of Manning” about Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning. I watched more game film on the upcoming opponent, Toledo. Went to practice and coach Nick Pilon gave us an assignment to find Toledo’s weakest and strongest players on offense and defense, notes are due Thursday.

I continued to practice double wing and I took reps at fullback just in case. Defensively I lined up at the “Bandit” position (outside linebacker) and played some safety as well. Went to volleyball game to support the girls and lead the student section in cheers with Tom Odneal. Afterwards, we played dodge ball in the gym for the homecoming activity. Nothing gets the competitive spirit going like a good game of dodge ball.

Wednesday, Sept. 25 — I took notes on game film and worked on some senior things that I need in order to graduate. We practiced the game plan. Did a fun pursuit drill where we would tackle dummies/teammates after coach McNulty directed us where to go, person who didn’t make a tackle had to do up-downs and then we finished practice on a “power hour” where we run our off tackle plays from the three-yard line and see how many defenders it takes to stop the first team from scoring. It finally took 17 players. Later I went to a bonfire on the Bolstad beach approach for the homecoming activity.

Thursday, Sept. 26 — I went to practice where we polished our game plan. I continued to throw the ball well which gave me confidence going into the game. Practice was short but we all came together as a team where we turned in our notes and watched game film.

Sean McNulty came and gave us a little pep talk to get us pumped up for the game. I had pizza with the teammates as we watched game film. After that, the senior football players had to go help the cheerleaders to develop a stunt with them for the next day at the pep assembly. Afterwards, we watched the home volleyball game and played elimination volleyball as the homecoming activity.

Friday, Sept. 27 was Game Day. I went to the high school and did the stunt with the cheerleaders. The pep assembly was pretty fun and got people excited for the game. I came home afterwards and watched some more game film and relaxed. I got dressed and sat by myself listening to music as I thought about the upcoming opponent and what I needed to do to put my team in a position to win. Coach (Kevin) McNulty gave us a pre-game speech and we then went out and warmed up.

Game notes — It hurt. The game (a 20-0 loss to Toledo) was a tough one to swallow. We started out slow, giving up two quick scores, but we then clamped down on defense. Offensively we started moving the ball, but penalties or turnovers slowed us down dramatically. The three plays that stood out for me were the throw I made to Riki Thompson on a corner route where he was called for pass interference, but he was the one interfered with. I also chased down a Toledo back for a touchdown-saving tackle. The other was a 14-yard run I had where I took a late hit (resulting in a 15-yard penalty) and got a nice bruise under my chin.

Later, going into the locker room, coach McNulty told me I did well and gutted out a tough game. I started to tear up a bit because I knew how bad he wanted to get this win for us. I found Tom Odneal in the locker room and we just talked about things we could have done to win and how fast everything was flying by.

The football season is almost half way over and it seemed like my first varsity start freshman year on homecoming night was just yesterday. Football is by far my favorite sport and it is something that I would love to be around for the rest of my life even as my career as a player at Ilwaco is quickly coming to an end.

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