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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Strongman event taking on special aura

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Fellow writer Bethany Bradsher did an excellent job of recapping last week’s East Carolina football strongman team competition.

I was also there, and I honestly have never seen anything like it.
Next year they should sell tickets. If they do, it should be a sellout.

The event was well organized and included unbelievable stories of will and strength.

I watched as C.J. Wilson, a player I covered during his high school football career, set a record in the sled push. Wilson almost collapsed when he crossed the finish line, but his effort gave ECU strength and conditioning coach Mike Golden something to hang his hat on for sure.

“This is where we see our evolution of the program more than anything else,” Golden said. “Our first year we had those wooden sleds, and we went the width of the field, 53 yards, and our times for 100 yards this year beat them like 10 seconds.”

That statement speaks volumes as to just how far this program has come under Golden, along with head coach Skip Holtz and his staff.

Golden told me that when the staff arrived, they couldn’t tell the difference between a fifth-year senior, a walk-on or an incoming freshman. Now, there is definitely a degree of separation.

"We just have to keep making it harder and harder,” Golden said, “because the stuff we did before is just getting too easy for them.”

These guys showed that they were not only strong, but that they also in great shape. The various contests tested all aspects of the body.

The other big thing that I noticed was the camaraderie with the different teams.

“We won this thing last year,” said quarterback Patrick Pinkney with a smile. “We’re not doing as well this time, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve got my plaque from last year.”

Offensive lineman Doug Palmer captained the winning team. Diablo’s Fortune came through in the tightest competition in the history of the event. Palmer’s team danced like they had won the lottery when the results were announced. The team was all smiles with Coach Golden in the champion’s picture. (View pictures from the event in Bethany Bradsher's most recent column.)

“The guys really get into this,” said quarterback Rob Kass. “It’s really nice to come out and show off all of the hard work that we’ve gone through over the last couple of months.”

Pinkney enjoyed the event, but he can’t wait for preseason drills to start.

“I wish they’d bring the balls out today,” said Pinkney. “I can’t wait for camp. It’s hard, but it’s worth it to get the season going.”

It certainly won’t be long now. August is just over two weeks away. The heat is on, and football will be in full swing very shortly.


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07/15/2008 01:32:20 AM


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