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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Gloomy weekend ends on high note for Whimper


Please forgive the pun, but Saturday went by without a whimper for Guy.

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The East Carolina offensive tackle who impressed so many at the combines had hoped to go on the first day of this 2006 NFL Draft.

His hopes were so high that he spent his Saturday at a sports bar/restaurant, TieBreakers in Greenville, with many of his friends and family.

Whimper waited. He waited some more. Finally, late in the third round, after most of the group of family and friends had left, Whimper couldn’t hide his disappointment.
He left that night with a scowl of disappointment.

Sunday, though, the expression changed. Guy Whimper was the 32nd player chosen in the fourth round. He’ll head to New York to mini-camp with the Giants later this month.

“I was really down,” said Whimper on Sunday. “But Atlanta called early on Sunday and said that they had three picks coming up, and that they would probably take me soon.”

But Whimper thought all along he’d end up in New York.

“That’s the last place that I went before the draft,” Whimper said. “I just had the feeling that the Giants would take me. When Coach (Tom) Coughlin called me, I was really excited.”

Whimper joins another giant Pirate in New York. Damane Duckett sent a text message to Whimper after the Giants announced their fourth round selection.

Whimper shared the story: “Damane said, ‘I’m gonna whip your butt everyday at practice.’ That’s going to be fun, having someone like him up there to show me around. I’m looking forward to heading to mini-camp in a couple of weeks.”

Saturday’s disappointment had turned into elation for Guy Whimper. But really, nothing has ever come easy. How many other college football players see three different head coaches in their career?

Whimper says he can’t wait to get started. The Giants have told him to be patient. Whimper says the Giants brass told him that they didn’t expect him to come in and shine right away, that they drafted him more on potential. But they added that they think he can become a very good pro.

Postseason streak on the line

The Diamond Pirates looked like world beaters on Saturday night against Tulane. Unfortunately, the Green Wave sandwiched their own wins around that 13-3 Pirate victory to take the series.

In Sunday’s 6-4 loss, the Pirates had several chances. In fact, Billy Godwin had his two big sticks come to the plate as the tying run in the ninth inning.

Jake Smith’s drive just happened to go to dead centerfield. The long blast turned into a sacrifice fly that cut the lead to two runs.

Adam Witter followed with another hard hit ball, one that again was gobbled up by the Tulane centerfielder.

“I thought we gave great effort all weekend long,” said a disappointed Godwin. “I thought we had tied the game twice in that last inning. If those balls are hit anywhere else in the park, then we’re going to extra innings.”

Godwin knows that games are crucial as the season winds down. An 8th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament hinges on how the Pirates fare down the stretch.

In a league as good as Conference USA, the goal continues to be to win two out of three in a series, an objective that will continue this coming weekend.

“We’ll go to Southern Miss and try to at least win the series,” said Godwin. “I still like how this team works, how they compete. We had our chances, but that’s baseball.”

The Pirates are 28-17, with 11 games to go. The closer this club gets to 40 victories, the better the odds are that NCAA streak will continue.

With eleven games and the C-USA tournament, the Pirates still have plenty of time. Each game, though, will take on vital importance from here on out.

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02/23/2007 01:33:43 AM


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