Friday Night Lights Are Back!!
by Brian North

High school football is back, and the 2006 season kicks off this Friday night (August 18th). Fans across the state are rejoicing, and it gives Pirate fans something to watch before ECU travels to Navy for their season opener September 2nd. It's also gives East Carolina backers a chance to check out future Pirates.

If you are a Pirate and live in the Jacksonville area, you can watch Southwest Onslow host East Columbus. The Stallions have defensive end Austin Hayes who has committed to ECU. If you are in the northeast part of the state, Northeastern will host Williamston. The Eagles have one of the best running backs in the state, Deronte McNeil, who has also verbally committed to the Pirates. If you live in the Charlotte area, check out Independence quarterback Darryl McFadden. He and his Patriot teammates will travel to West Charlotte. DJ is slated to attend ECU after he graduates next spring.

Pirate fans can also do a little scouting themselves and check out some of the other great talent in North Carolina. Wearing your Pirate gear to games would also be a good way to spread your school's name and continue to help heal any existing wounds between ECU and the high schools after the Friday night fiasco several years ago. It doesn't help that Conference USA moved its championship game to Friday night December 1st which is the same night as the North Carolina Regional Championships (state semi-finals), and if ECU can make that game, I am sure it will be a sore subject once again.

None the less, football season is here. College's get started August 26th, and the Pro's have their first full weekend September 10th. It's a wonderful time of year! And it starts with the Friday Night Lights!
Brian North