It was dreamtime with a massive shot of reality.
When Bothell High junior linebacker Ryan Metz snagged an interception and bolted down the field for a 62-yard pick 6 in the opening round of the 4A state football playoffs on Nov. 10, it was a huge lightning-flash moment for him and the Cougars.
It placed them on the road to a 40-14 victory over Chiawana in Pasco and onto their next big step, a matchup with top-seeded Union at 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver. Bothell is 9-2 and Union sports an unblemished 11-0 record.
Metz smiles when noting that it was the first defensive touchdown of his career.
“I was just thinking, ‘don’t get caught,’ just tried to run as fast as I could — all worked out,” said the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Metz, adding that the scenario was a blur, and he didn’t see any flags to halt the touchdown celebration with his teammates in the end zone.
“When the coaches say, ‘dream big,’ before a game, that’s what I usually end up picturing, trying to cause a turnover and then scoop it and score and getting a pick 6. It’s actually exciting when it happens.”
The Cougars are a tight-knit group who have fun together hanging out and playing video games or taking over some booths at the Crystal Creek Cafe for breakfast.
On the field, everyone puts their full effort into their football tasks.
“Everybody does their job, so it just makes it easier for everybody to make big plays,” said Metz, adding that it takes succeeding in the following areas to win and live to play another week in the playoffs: preparation and effort at practice; watching film and studying the opponents; come game time, executing the plan and doing all the little things right.
The Reporter asked Metz a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Bothell?
I love Grazie. I always go there with my family. I love the deep-friend ravioli they have there, it’s fantastic.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people in school act like they don’t care at all. I’m like, ‘You should try to do harder,’ try to do good in everything, I think.
What’s your dream vacation spot?
I really wanna go to Italy. I wanna go try the food and see the old buildings.
Who’s your idol growing up?
I really liked Ray Lewis as a football player. I really love the dance he did when he came out of the tunnel. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Probably from my dad, he quoted (Greek poet Hesiod), he said “Moderation in all things,” that just stuck with me. You never wanna do too much of something, try to spread out your talents.
What do you appreciate most in life?
My family and just to spend time with them. That’s a really big deal for me.
What’s your main goal in life?
I just wanna be successful in whatever I’m doing later in life. I just wanna be proud of what I’m doing and have a sense of accomplishment.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I like a lot everything. If I’m chilling, probably some R&B or something slower.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“Inception,” when they go in people’s dreams and they try to change people’s thoughts, I think that’s really interesting.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
History (with Mr. Messner).
What’s a special skill you’d like to learn?
I’d love to learn how to juggle. I think that would be really cool. My dad knows how to juggle. He’s tried to teach me, but I haven’t put a lot of time into it. I would love to juggle flaming swords or something.
What superhero would you like to be?
I would love to be Batman. I like his personality, I like his suit. I like how he doesn’t have powers, but then he’s able to beat super villains.