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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 25, 2008

By Brian Bailey

'Golden' boys mature and motivated

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with the comments of Coach Skip Holtz at the close of preseason camp and an in-studio appearance by Mike Golden. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
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Skip Holtz at the close of preseason camp

Bailey: 'Golden' boys mature and motivated
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Cherubini: One-on-One with Dwayne Harris
Cherubini: One-on-One with Nick Johnson
Batten: Swift defensive end 'Falls' Pirates' way
Bailey: Roller, Harris spurn pros for a year

Mike Golden, as the strength and conditioning coach at East Carolina, spends more time with the Pirate football team then any other coach.

His is a most unique perspective. His fiery personality blended with his tough work ethic chisels out the players that Skip Holtz and his staff need to win on Saturday afternoons.

Golden loves game days. His theory is that players train and condition for an entire month for each game. He reminds them of that fact at every opportunity.

I enjoy interviewing Golden each August on my radio show on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930. He shared this with our audience.

“Here’s what really gets me going on game day,” said Golden. “To see the players after they walk through the Pirate ship, while standing behind Coach Holtz. Their arms are interlocked and they’re rocking back and forth. I take time out to think about all of the hard work, all of the morning workouts, all of the sweat. The team then runs out behind Coach Holtz. That’s really the best.”

Golden, like the rest of the coaches and players, was glad to see preseason camp end on Monday afternoon. He says it was a great camp, but he’ll be glad when it’s time to lace it up and play a real game.

“I really like this team’s maturity,” said Golden. “They have always been a blue collar group. This group came in and took a chance on us, as a new coaching staff. They have turned this program around and have a chance to do something special.”

Golden’s boyish smile and youthful enthusiasm are great indicators as to just how much he loves his position at East Carolina.

Golden is ready to go, for sure.

Heat is on at close of camp

One of the Pirate players joked after Monday’s practice that Coach Holtz must have a magic button.

He said it was cloudy and cooler until Coach pushed the button, separating the clouds and allowing the heat and humidity to bear down on the Pirates for the team’s last day of camp. The sun shone through all afternoon until Holtz ended practice at about 3:30 p.m. That’s when the clouds returned.

Holtz doesn’t have a magic button for the weather. If he did, it would always be hot at practice.

“We certainly need the heat,” said Holtz after practice. “There’s just no way to duplicate it. We had a couple of guys cramp up a little bit. Today should help us continue to condition ourselves for the opener.”

If you know Coach Holtz, you know that he is a stickler for getting his team into a set regimen and keeping them there.

"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 backup roles for us."

Holtz and the Pirates wrapped up the second scrimmage on Monday afternoon because Saturday’s scrimmage was cut short because of thunderstorms. The final scrimmage of the preseason is set for this Friday.

That last scrimmage will solidify the opening week depth chart. That should be an interesting read, with no less then six running backs vying for playing time.

“That situation is a lot different then what we had last year late in the season,” said Holtz. “I think it’s a good problem to have, though.”

As far as breaking camp, wide receiver Alex Taylor had his own take.

“It’ll be good to get back in school and only have a couple of hours of practice each day,” Taylor said. “It’s kind of been like the NFL around here, nothing but football. It’s been good, though.”

Camp ends and the normal routine begins. The Pirates will practice each day this week, scrimmage on Friday, take Monday off and then it will be game week.

The preliminaries are quickly winding down. Finally, we’ll have some football.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

08/25/2009 02:49:03 AM


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