Ryan Stuckey was relaxed — cool.
The former Ellison Eagle sat in a chair inside the Ellison library Thursday afternoon with a sense of calm as he waited to “sign” to play soccer at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. during a mock signing ceremony.
Oddly enough Stuckey, a captain as a senior, is anything but relaxed these days.
“I do cardio in the morning before I go to work and then I lift after work,” said Stuckey. “After that I do more cardio — I want to play next year and I’m going to do what I can to make it happen.”
That sort of determination and work ethic was prevalent during the 2013 season as he helped Ellison (16-7-1) snap a 12-year playoff drought.
After scoring four goals in 2012 and being named to the all-district honorable mention team, Stuckey erupted on the scene scoring 11 goals and nine assists.
“His growth from his junior year to his senior year was exponential,” said Ellison soccer coach Niles Dunnels. “His work ethic is second-to-none and when you have talent and the desire you have success.”
Stuckey’s 20-point season earned the former Eagle a plethora of awards, including first-team all-district 8-5A, first-team Daily Herald All-Area, and Eagles offensive MVP.
Stuckey leaves behind his 15 career goals and 9 assists for the Eagles in early August to start training camp with his Tiger teammates. But he isn’t waiting for August to start his preparation — that just isn’t him.
“I know it won’t be easy to play as a freshman but I expect that of myself,” he said. “I’m working for it.”
Stuckey is also excited to play at Ouachita Baptist and for head coach Kevin Wright because of the style of play the Tigers employ. When he learned of the opportunity to play for Ouachita, Stuckey immediately watched game tape and loved he saw.
“(Their style) fits me perfect and I really like Coach Wright,” he said.
For now, Stuckey can only prepare, work and push himself to be in a position to get what he wants most — playing time.