GREENVILLE, N.C. - Head coach Skip Holtz officially completed his fourth fall camp at East Carolina as the Pirates wrapped up the NCAA-recognized 20-day preseason period with a two-and-a-half-hour, full-pad workout Tuesday afternoon on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
With the start of classes Wednesday, ECU will return to its in-season schedule which regularly will include daily 4:00 p.m. practices Tuesday through Thursday with an off day each Monday.
“It was the last day of camp and we finally got a little bit of heat," Holtz said. "It wasn’t like it was last year, but at least we got some heat. We came out here at 1 o’clock today and we play the game at noon so it could very easily be this hot outside. I think it took a little bit out of them.
“For the last day of camp, I expected it to be a little bit more lively than it was. But, even when they’re not really emotionally high, they still come out here and work," Holtz continued. "When the ball is snapped they go hard. We’ve gotten a lot out of camp and I’m proud of how hard they’ve worked.”
The Pirates will now focus their attention toward the final scrimmage of the preseason, set for Friday afternoon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. After an off-day Saturday, East Carolina will begin its game-week schedule in earnest with a Sunday night workout in helmets and shorts beginning at 8:30 p.m.
In addition to serving as a dress rehearsal for the opener against Virginia Tech, Holtz indicated that Friday's contest will also afford him and his staff one last opportunity to evaluate personnel on both sides of the ball before releasing his first official game-week depth chart.
“I’m really ready to get into our weekly routines," Holtz added. "I’m ready to have everybody go to class, get adjusted and get acclimated to our weekly schedule. On the other hand, I also wish we had another week of camp. We need it just as long as we can keep the guys healthy. We need to continue to get better and get that extra work in with so many of the young players who are stepping up into back-up roles for us. We’re just going to have to keep pushing and get as good as we can be.”
NOTES: John Williamson, a linebacker who starred for the Pirates in the mid-1980s, delivered a moving motivational message to the team after Tuesday's workout ... Williamson, who currently is an executive for Procter & Gamble in Charlotte, talked about Pirate Pride and emphasized the priceless value of a college education ... The Pirates will conduct walk-on tryouts at the conclusion of Thursday's practice ... ECU's matchup against Virginia Tech is the second contest of a nine-game series between the two programs ... The Hokies will visit Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in 2009 before the two teams play at alternating sites for the remaining six contests ... Season Opener: Aug. 30 vs. Virginia Tech (12 noon) in Charlotte, N.C. (Bank of America Stadium).