Insights and Observations
Monday, July 10, 2006
By Henry Hinton
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July is like the virtual
calm before the storm around Greenville. Coaches and administrators at East
Carolina are getting in their summer vacations in order to hit the ground
running in August.
There is a murmur
already, however, about what is ahead for the Pirates in football. In fact
you might say there is more anticipation about the upcoming season than any
in the last four years.
After putting up a
respectable 5-6 record in their first season, Skip Holtz and company have
now created something that has been missing from ECU for a while —
That’s a good thing.
However, expectations for the ’06 season should be tempered with the
realization that eight of the opponents are coming off of season-ending bowl
The September 2 opener at
Navy should offer Pirate fans an exciting new venue. The village of
Annapolis on the bay is one of the best college football experiences in the
country. It is, however, much different than making the pilgrimage to West
Point to play Army.
The West Point experience
is about pomp and circumstance, tradition and a beautiful stadium setting.
While the Midshipmen also offer a great pre-game show marching into the
stadium, it is the off campus setting that makes this road trip so special.
Visiting the bars and restaurants on the circle just off the boat docks is
one of the most unique venues anywhere.
If you’re traveling to
Annapolis for the game, make sure you get there Friday night for the fun and
atmosphere of this nautical setting. Then maybe we can have a victory
celebration on Saturday after the game.
Welcome Home, Paul
Skip Holtz continues to
show what a class act he truly is. His hiring of former Pirate quarterback
Paul Troth to the coaching staff proves Holtz is willing to stay in touch
with ECU's roots without the fear of association the prior coaching staff
Speaking of a class act,
put Troth at the top of that list also. After an unfair and sometimes cruel
response when he was struggling to help the Pirates win, the young man never
gave up on his desire to be a part of the program.
The abuse he endured on
the field and off as he worked to try and get better were at times criminal.
Those of us who know him personally and watched him suffer through the
coaching change understood his need to transfer to Liberty in 2004.
One of the most highly
touted recruits in ECU football history, Troth worked diligently to live up
to his pre-college hype and never developed into the star most thought he
was destined to become.
But it was not because of
work ethic or a lack of desire or love for the university. During his
playing days Troth suffered through numerous changes in offensive
coordinators and philosophies. At times the brilliance showed through, but
his departure from ECU was painful to watch.
Paul and his wife Teresa
moved back to Greenville last year and continued the support of the program
engrained in Paul as a child. Mike Troth, Paul’s father, played at ECU in
Welcome home, Paul. You
deserve another chance to be part of a winner at ECU.
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This page updated
04/21/08 07:05 PM.