Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.349-3280 for flexible options & rates.





From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Ladies get a jump on football season

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

It’s finally here.

Football practice kicks off at East Carolina on Thursday.

Ruffin McNeill likes to remind everyone that this isn’t his first camp. It is, however, his first as a head coach, and I imagine the excitement will build for him personally all this week.

Coach McNeill and the rest of the staff hosted the sixth annual “Pirate Football Women’s Clinic” this past Saturday.

From all indications, it was a huge success as 370 women attended this year’s event, making it the largest in the six years the clinic has been conducted.

I didn’t get a chance to drop by this year’s deal, but I talked to several ladies who did participate. All raved about the clinic.

One participant liked the new quarterback. Another bragged on getting through all of the drills. Everyone I talked to really enjoyed their day.

From the looks at some of the video, some of the ladies look like they could play on Saturday. Many put some great licks on the tackling dummies! Coach Ruff was reportedly checking on the eligibility status of some of the participants.

Linebacker Steve Spence was a popular player at the clinic.

“I do this in my spare time,” said Spence. “They want to be real Pirates and so they are out here doing this.”

Spence and the rest of the squad have put the work in all summer. Now is the time for that work to pay dividends.

After a couple of workouts, the Pirates will host “Media Day” on Saturday. This will be my 26th such event and I have enjoyed each and every one of them.

That first meeting with the media is usually that first weekend, before the practice schedule kicks in. I use it to try and make sure that I meet all of the assistant coaches and any of the players that might make news this season that I hadn’t met before.

Each year, many of us in the media dub one Pirate as “Mr. Sound Bite.” He’s the guy that will give you a great quote every time.

C.J. Wilson was my guy last year. Some of the past guys have included Ellis Dillahunt and B.J. Crane (that’s a little indication on how long I’ve been here).

This year that honor will most likely go to Steve Spence. Spence has a great smile and an infectious personality. He hasn’t yet found a microphone that he doesn’t like.

As for the start of practice, look for things to develop quickly.

With two conference games to start the season, it will be imperative to get the starters the most reps possible in the early going.

I really enjoy covering camp. We don’t get the chance to go out every day, but there certainly is a story every single practice. Jobs are on the line. Playing time is at stake. With so much newness in the program, every second on the practice field will be vital this month.

It’s hard to believe that the season opener is just over a month away.

There are about 370 ladies around town chomping at the bit to get started.

They at least got a taste this past weekend!


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

09/04/2010 02:01 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.