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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Monday, April 3, 2006

By Henry Hinton

Spring agenda quickens for ECU fans


7:00-9:00 a.m.

Tune in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed of today's Talk of the Town with Henry Hinton:


7:00-8:00 p.m.

Tune in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed of tonight's Brian Bailey Show, with guest Greg Hudson previewing Saturday's Purple-Gold football game:


Greetings from Pirateland! There is a lot going on this time of year, with baseball in full swing, spring football nearing its climax, and the ever-popular Pigskin Pigout on the docket. Let’s dive in.

First off, there seems to be some panic setting in with hard core baseball fans after losing two of three in the series this weekend with Houston. At the core of the matter, people should remember this is Billy Godwin’s first year at the helm and there are going to be some growing pains.

After taking over as head coach late last year, Godwin was faced with putting a program back together that was in disarray. A divided house often falls as we’ve seen with other programs at East Carolina in recent years. The first year head coach should be given time to pull it together.

It’s too early to declare the 2006 season a bust. With an 18-12 overall record and an early 2-4 league mark, the Pirates still have time to find themselves and have a fine season.

Things will not get much easier in the conference this week after a Wednesday home game with N.C. A & T. The Pirates travel to Central Florida this coming weekend for another three-game series. The Golden Knights lost to Marshall on Sunday 6-5, their first Conference USA loss. They are currently 18-13 overall and 2-1 in the league.

Radio bits and pieces

After some criticism last year, ECU baseball play-by-play announcer Josh Spence has settled in and is doing a very nice job behind the mike this season. His description of the action and his knowledge of the game gets better with every game.

I, for one, feel Josh does a nice job in a thankless role that is more difficult than people imagine.  Doing baseball play-by-play is the most difficult of all sports in that there are a lot of gaps to fill, unlike the continuous action of football and basketball.

Former ECU baseball coach Gary Overton also does a terrific job, when he’s available to work with Josh. Coach O, an assistant athletic director nowadays, knows the players and coaches along with their tendencies. The years spent in the Pirate dugout show through when you listen to him.

Also filling in on the road this year is Malcom Gray from ECU Media Relations, who gives the broadcast a different perspective that is very welcome and fun to listen to.

Compared to other college baseball broadcasts out there, the Pirate Sports Radio Network does an admirable job.

Here’s some great news: Soon ECU baseball broadcasts and all other Talk 1070 programming will blanket the east.

The much anticipated upgrade of our station to 50,000 watts is now imminent after a very long wait. The last of the old towers, built in 1947, came crashing to the ground this past week and everything is now in place to throw the switch.

An engineering team will start to tune the new signal to Federal Communications Commission specs the week of April 10. It is anticipated that Talk 1070 will become the third 50,000-watt AM station in the state (WBT Charlotte and WPTF Raleigh are the others) on or around April 12.

With a brand new high definition transmitter and all new towers in place, the daytime signal is expected to adequately reach everything east of I-95 with a crystal clear signal. The signal will be tuned to be stronger to the east and southeast so we are encouraged that many Pirate fans that have been unable to hear Talk 1070 in the past will soon be on board.

Night time signals in AM are trickier, so we are still not quite sure what we will have when we power down to 8,500 watts as the sun goes down. However, preliminary maps of the day and night coverage have been very encouraging.

Keep your fingers crossed for us that all goes well. It’s been a long wait.

Time to Pigout

The 23rd Annual Great Purple Gold Pigskin Pigout Party is coming to campus this weekend. As usual, the agenda is loaded with opportunities for fun, including the pig cooking contest, carnival rides, bands and re-uniting with friends.

Terry Holland will hold his first Circle of Excellence meeting as well this week. Coach Holland oversaw one of the fastest and biggest fundraising initiatives in the school’s history with this campaign.

Now, the contributors will have a chance to hear from the AD and feed back their feelings on where the program needs to go.

The weekend will be capped off with an opportunity to see the last football scrimmage of the spring practice season. Coach Holtz and company have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on their depth charts. It will be interesting to see who lands where.

Have a great time at the Pigout.

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This page updated 04/21/08 07:02 PM.

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