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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports


From the Anchor Desk
Friday, April 11, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Purple-Gold game already has a winner — the fans

QB race... New strategies... Fans win... Bones to fly... Pig-Out schedule... Purple-Gold rosters... Depth chart... Injury list...


East Carolina is all set to roll out the purple carpet on Saturday, resurrecting a venerable spring tradition that had somehow been cast aside in recent years. For the first time in five years, the spring football game returns, and it’s long overdue.

The Purple-Gold clash headlines the Great Pirate Purple Gold Pigskin Pigout Party, a celebration of football at East Carolina that should be held every spring.

Fans from all over are set to trek back to campus for the weekend to make sure the big event has a triumphant return.

The county fair atmosphere of the “Pigout” goes hand in hand with Coach John Thompson’s plan to make Pirate football a family affair.

I have great memories of taking both of my children out for the rides during the pig-out. The bar-b-cue, the golf tournament, the football “talk”, the chance to transform a spring Saturday into a football Saturday, all meant great fun at East Carolina for many years.

I’m just glad that it’s back. The horrible weather of late is expected to clear, giving us a great day for game day.

“Real game” feel

Coach Thompson allowed six seniors to choose up the squads for the Purple-Gold game. The game will be trimmed down to four 12-minute quarters. Other than that, though, it is intended to foster a level of competitive effort akin to a fall Saturday.

"It is going to be exactly like a game in every regard," Thompson said. "We will place-kick, kick-off, return kicks, punt and return punts. Obviously, we will hold back some so that no one gets hurt, but it will be like a real game."

The Purple team features six returning starters from 2002, including offensive linemen Doug White and Brian Fox, wide receiver Terrance Copper, defensive lineman Damane Duckett, linebacker Josh Chilsom, and cornerback Reicko Jones.

Junior letterman Desmond Robinson will be the Purple's starting quarterback and tailback Marvin Townes will likely see most of the carries.

Defensive line coach Art Kaufman is the head coach of the Purple team.

The Gold squad includes quarterback Paul Troth along with returning starters Brian Rimpf and Charlie Dempsey on the offensive line and Travis Heath in the defensive secondary.

Dominique Hatcher and Vonta Leach will star at tailback and fullback, respectively.

ECU's assistant head coach and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes will serve as head coach of the Gold team.

After watching a couple of scrimmages and studying the rosters, I give you this as a prediction for the spring game.

I see the Gold team dominating the clock by keeping the football on the ground. The Gold will unleash a two-headed monster of a rushing attack, with Vonta Leach and Dominique Hatcher taking their turns at running the football.

Big Brian Rimpf has never looked better on the offensive line. When Rimpf isn’t burying through the purple defense, he’ll be protecting quarterback Paul Troth, who fires two touchdown passes in the game.

The Purple team hangs tough in this one though. Desmond Robinson scrambles for one touchdown, but the Gold defense holds the Purple out of the end zone late, and wins the spring game. Make it Gold 28, Purple 20.

The game ends just in time to get in some more tailgating, before game two of the ECU-Memphis series in baseball.

I pick the Gold to win, but the real winners are the Pirate fans, who once again get a chance to flock to Greenville for an outstanding sports weekend on campus.

Thanks for bringing back the spring game, and The Great Pirate Purple Gold Pigskin Pigout Party.

QB race... New strategies... Fans win... Bones to fly... Pig-Out schedule... Purple-Gold rosters... Depth chart... Injury list...

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02/23/2007 01:25:09 AM

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