Which is better:
spring break or spring practice?

by Eric Gilmore


Most students last week were cramming for their midterm exams before Spring Break started. Okay, some of them may have been downtown. However, the football team was busy salivating for their first day in pads.

The start of spring practice finally meant that the last two seasons are distant history. The slate is started anew and positions are up in the air. The countdown until April 16 for the Purple/Gold Pigskin Pigout Party has started.

After being left with such a bitter taste in Charlotte, it was refreshing to hear helmets bashing against each other. After such a depressing season, listening to coaches' yell and whistles being blown were more than comforting. It even made me pop in my 1991 "We Believe" tape.

As you fill out your NCAA tournament bracket right now, Skip Holtz is probably reviewing three days of practice tape. It sounds silly, but the first-year coach had never seen his team play football. It was the first time that he had seen them do anything other than the weight room and winter conditioning.

Each team gets a mandated 15 practices by the NCAA in the spring. Holtz has decided to use same schedule for the first two weeks. The team practiced Monday, Wednesday in shorts and went to pads on Thursday. The team is going to take ten days off for Spring Break and then come back on the very same weekdays before the Easter Break.

After the first six practices, Holtz will sit back and evaluate each position. Certain players that performed well will start getting more of the repetitions. He hopes to finish filling out his two-deep depth chart by the end of spring practice.

It has already been publicized that Jamar Flournoy is being moved back to his original position of safety. Travis Williams has been listed as a wide receiver. With a new coach, look for other people in addition to Flournoy to move.

Skip Holtz believes that offensive and defensive linemen are interchangeable. Several of the young defensive linemen will probably move to the other side of the ball to make up for the lack of depth.

It's refreshing to hear the truth out of Holtz. With the last coach, fans had increased expectations because of what he said. Holtz stated in an interview that the offensive line and quarterback are both areas that need revamping.

Robert Tillman is going to surprise some people this year. With him being the only true returning tailback aside from Chris Johnson, he will get many of the repetitions. Tillman got lost in the shuffle trying to get on the field at the wide receiver position. Richard Koonce, Chris Moore and Chris Sellars have impressed Holtz with their leadership.

As I head down south to work on my tan, you might see several football players still in town lurking around the Murphy Center. I guarantee there are some players that are wishing for spring break to be over so they can get back to practicing.


With the dominating sweep of Navy over the weekend, it brings the diamond Pirates record to 11-4. The baseball polls have to heed the Pirate's screams to be ranked. If Will Kimmey and his Baseball America cohorts don't put the Pirates in the top 25, then there is something seriously wrong. They have downed four ranked opponents, three of which they won by a combined score of 30-3.

Kudos to Billy Richardson who hit for the cycle and pitched an inning on the mound in Sunday's 14-0 shellacking. Randy Mazey told a number of students at the Student Pirate Club social that he was planning on pitching Richardson soon.

Richardson was a pitcher at Fresno City College before transferring to ECU. Mazey also stated that it will be awhile until Brody Taylor makes a full recovery. Carter Harrell is in line after Taylor following Tommy John surgery.

Eric Gilmore