Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
By Brian Bailey
This group of seniors
endured and survived
Monday night's Brian Bailey Show, with
guest Steve Shankweiler.
Select audio clip
Holtz's Monday press conference (recorded by
East Carolina Media Relations
Director Tom McClellan gives this Pirate senior class the “Purple Badge of
It’s truly hard to believe
that these 19 players, led by the likes of Chris Moore, Zach Baker, Josh
Chilsom and Richard Koonce, had to endure all that went on within the Pirate
football program during their careers.
In their five years at ECU,
this group worked with three different head coaches, three defensive
coordinators, four offensive coordinators and two directors athletics and an
That may be some sort of
Coach Skip Holtz has said all
year long that this group of seniors has really been a positive for the
program. Now, this group will strap on the chinstrap at ECU for the final
“It will be very emotional,”
said Coach Holtz on Monday at his weekly press luncheon. “It’s not just
about this game, like when we went to Marshall it was about the Marshall
game. These seniors are going to be looking back on a four- and five-year
career. They’ll be looking at closing that chapter in the life and opening
Holtz made light of the day
with a little joke, but you could see the emotion in his eyes as he
continued to talk about this group.
“Hopefully, we don’t have so
many tears in our eyes that we can’t see who to block or who to tackle,”
Holtz joked. “For me it’s going to be emotional because you’re always going
to remember your first senior class. These guys could have looked at us as
coaches and wondered how we were going to be any different.
"They were like sponges,
though, and bought into everything we said. They were a great group to lead
this team into the future.”
Something to play for
The win over Marshall
certainly picked up the spirits of not only those inside the program, but
also Pirate fans around town.
Sure, in some ways there is
nothing tangible to play for against UAB. The Blazers need a win to become
bowl eligible, but the best the Pirates can do is 5-6.
A 5-6 record, though, would
show marked improvement in just one year for Skip Holtz and this staff.
Regardless of this Saturday’s outcome, the Pirates have already doubled last
year’s win total.
ECU played with a chip on its
shoulder against the Thundering Herd. It was almost as if the players had
finally had enough and were determined to pull out a win.
That determination will again
be tested against UAB. Blazers quarterback Darrell Hackney has already
guaranteed a win over East Carolina, so the Pirate bulletin board should be
loaded and ready to play its motivational role.
Hackney is good. Coach Holtz
says Pirate fans should get to the game early to observe him during the
“Wow,” Holtz said. “Just watch
him in warm up. You can see a difference. He is very intelligent and their
timing passing game is very difficult to stop.”
Rare fall twinbill
Saturday provides one of those
great doubleheaders for a Pirate sports fan.
It’s East Carolina and UAB on
the gridiron at noon, and then the Pirate basketball team hosts Wofford at 5
Ricky Stokes opened with a
victory over North Carolina A&T on Friday night at Williams Arena.
Senior Corey Rouse started his
year with a dominating performance against the Aggies. The former Kinston
High School star scored 35 points and hauled in 17 rebounds in the win.
Tonight, East Carolina hosts a
Gardner-Webb team that took North Carolina to the final seconds on Saturday.
David Noel’s three-pointer was
the difference, as the defending national champs won it 83-80. Granted, the
Heels have lost their top seven scorers, but still, no one really expected
Gardner-Webb to win in Chapel Hill.
Last year, Gardner-Webb hosted
the Pirates and put a 30-point shellacking on them in a game that many felt
went a long way towards ending Bill Herrion’s coaching run with ECU.
This year, the Bulldogs
provide a stiff test for Coach Stokes and his team. Tonight’s game (7 p.m.)
should tell us a lot about this team. The students did a nice job in making
their presence felt in last Friday night’s game.
A bigger crowd tonight,
though, might make the difference between a win and a loss.
The Pirates follow up
tonight’s game with a rare home-and-home set with Wofford. The teams will me
in Greenville on Saturday at 7 p.m., then turn around and play at Wofford on
Wednesday, Nov. 30.
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02/23/2007 01:32:16 AM