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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Heath made the "play" Logan has been demanding

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What a weekend for the Pirates!

Just when we all needed a shot of purple pride we got it this weekend.

Coach Bill Herrion called it a “feel good” deal.

I call it a “feel great” deal, because this athletic program needed a boost like this.

East Carolina hit the weekend trifecta, sandwiching a pair of impressive basketball victories around a football win over nationally-ranked Texas Christian.

It was most certainly a weekend that many of us will long remember.

The strip that changed a game

Coach Steve Logan said Travis Heath’s touchdown was one of the most remarkable plays he has witnessed in a game in which he (Logan) was involved.

“I was 50 or 60 yards away, and I first thought that maybe the play was dead,” said Logan. “Then I looked at the angles that the offensive players had on Travis. The TCU wide receiver actually ran all the way back to almost catch him.”

I have never been around a coach that keeps such an even keel as Logan does. He’s never too high, and never too low. But he said he refused to downplay the importance of that one winning play.

“It’s as dramatic of a play that I’ve ever been a part of," he said. "It certainly turned the game around. With the struggles that we’ve had on defense, we needed a big play. I would say that’s as big as it gets.”

For his efforts, Heath was named Conference USA's Defensive Player of the Week. Heath agreed that the play was a big one, and said it was the highlight of his career.

“I’ve never had a play that was as important in a game as that one was,” Heath explained. “I saw that he was carrying the football in the wrong hand, but I had containment on the play first. When I moved in, I thought I could get my hand in there, and the worst thing is that he would just fall to the ground. I stripped the ball, and then ran it on in.”

It brought to mind a blunt assertion Logan has made time after time since the season began: Somebody has just got to make a play.

Somebody made that play on Saturday, and the Pirates were winners over a the nation's No. 22 team.

Double shot of roundball success

Bill Herrion’s hoopsters broke a 17-game road-losing streak with that win at Middle Tennessee State on Friday night. Then, these Pirates took the war to visiting Ole Miss, and beat the Rebels to go to 2-0 on the season.

Bill Herrion continues to like the look in this team’s eyes.

“They work so hard every day at practice" he said. "We have really challenged them, and so far they’ve responded. It’s a long season, but these were two really good wins."

Normally, the media, myself included, quotes the players and the coaches from a “press conference” type setting.

With that in mind, I don’t know if Erroyl Bing was telling me this on the record or off the record, but I thought I would share it anyway.

After Sunday’s game and after the post game press conference, I shook hands with Erroyl on the court. Bing was all smiles and the very first thing that he said to me was this:

“Can you believe how good these new guys are?” he asked. “They just make us so much better. Man, is this fun or what?!”

Character and maturity are things you just can’t coach. That question speaks volumes about the type of player that Bill Herrion has brought into this program.

Some players see new teammates and wonder how many points that they will lose on their individual stats.

Not Erroyl Bing. All he could think about was just how much better this team was with the new guys in uniform.

Coach Herrion says the members of this team relate to one another well and have good chemistry as a unit.

“This is a team game, and that’s very important," he said. "The guys like to practice together, and they like playing together and that makes a huge difference.”

Erroyl Bing is an outstanding player who will only get better. He’s the kind of leader that you want on your side.

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02/23/2007 01:22:56 AM

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