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

Dynamics beyond the sidelines

More Than a Game
Sunday, December 21, 2003
By Ron Cherubini
Staff Feature Writer

More Than a Game - Choo Justice Part 4
Choo Justice's "All Tape
and Bandages" Team

From a remarkably determined kicker who once abducted a football... to a future NFL star with a passion for backgammon, players found their way on Choo's list in unique ways.


Part Three of a Four-Part Series
Part 1, 12.12.03; Part 2, 12.14.03; Part 3, 12.19.03; Part 4, 12.21.03.

There are All-America teams, All-Conference teams, perhaps even All-World teams. But to earn a spot on the "All Tape and Bandages" team, you had to make an impression of a different sort.

A few players stand out in Choo Justice's mind when it comes to naming the special squad. The criteria for making it on the position-by-position list was all-encompassing and didn't necessarily involve either tape or bandages.

Even among a group characterized by cohesion and a sense of oneness, certain individuals had qualities, quirks, tendencies or traits that Justice recalls in detail a couple of decades later.

The final part in a four-part series on life inside the East Carolina football program from Choo's distinctive angle recaps thumbnail quotes about a number of players — some famous, others not — from the perspective of one whose duties included everything from tending injuries to washing jock straps.





Special Teams

Long Snapper

Whitley Wilkerson

“Whitley was one of the littlest guys (he weighed only 160 pounds) on the team, but he could snap the ball with deadly accuracy. He used to win bets by snapping the ball and hitting the crossbars or posts from 20 yards away.”


Chuck Bushbeck

“(Chuck) played in ’81 while undergoing Chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Disease. He was particular about his shoes and the footballs. He always had us sneak his favorite football (which he actually swiped from UNC when we played them) for the plays that he had to kick.”


Jeff Heath

“Jeff was like our little brother. We were always pumping him up. He was a wannabe tough guy, trying to punish opposing players on kickoffs.”


Jeff Bolch

“Jeff was fairly self-sufficient, so he was always looking out for us. We had a lot of respect for Bolch because he earned a scholarship after being a walk-on.”


Running Backs

Ernest Byner

“Byner always had the equipment problems.”


Reggie Branch

“Reggie was the favorite of the managers. He was an honorary manager.”


Jimmy Walden

“Jimmy Walden and Tony Baker were favorites because despite being little, they played hard.”


Tony Baker

“This entire group was notorious for trying to run through people and was known to go out of their way to run over one more defensive player on the way to a touchdown run.”


Greg Stewart

“Greg was always an underdog quarterback, even though he started a lot. Again, he was a player who respected the managers and we always tried to take care of him.”


Larry O’Roark

“Larry was crazy and always a character and just a cool guy, known for shaving his head and occasionally sporting a Mohawk.”


Norwood Vann

“Norwood would walk into the equipment room and his eyes would light up (thinking he was going to get something from us!), so we had a ‘No Norwood in the equipment room’ rule.


Tony Smith

“Tony was a walk-on who we knew from high school so we always looked out for him.”


Henry “Gizmo” Williams

“How can we forget about Henry ‘Humpchest’ Williams (you may know him as ‘Gizmo’). His claim to fame was his speed and his flipping after scoring a touchdown.

Offensive Line

John Wayne Floyd

“I spent a lot of time off the field with them. John Wayne and Tim were centers, so I spent a lot of time with my hand on their butts taking warm-up snaps. Terry was always a favorite. We loved to bug him and loved to aggravate us. Terry would come drag me out of bed in the mornings to play backgammon. I always had to order special equipment to fit Terry. Mac and Chief were Saturday night drinking buddies as well.”


Tim Mitchell


Mac Powers


John “Chief” Robertson


Terry Long


Defensive Line

Hal Stephens

“Hal never gave us any problems and was always appreciative of everything, which made him special.”


Jerry Rogers

“Jerry was always breaking something (usually his hands and fingers), so he always needed something special.”

Defensive Ends

Jody Schulz

“Jody was always tearing up his face masks and needing them replaced.



Jeff Pegeus

“Pegues was a nut, usually doing something like wearing one black shoe and one white shoe. He played extremely hard on every play. He was always a character, sort of like John Belushi in Animal House.”


Kenny Phillips

“Jody and Kenny were good guys who treated us good and we hung out off the field.”


Curtis Wyatt

“Curtis was a guy from California who was always in a happy mood. His attitude was infectious.”


Chris Santa Cruz

“Cruz (aka Cruiser) was a good ole boy from Alabama and talked real slow. He and Twitty were my fishing buddies and were like a comedy team, both notorious for bumming dips of snuff off us.


Amos Twitty


Tyrone Johnson

“Grant and Johnson were our leaders on defense. You would go to war for them.”


Ronald Reed

“I can’t forget Ronald and Donald Reed, the twins. The only way to tell them apart was that Ronald had two gold teeth.”


Donald Reed

Defensive Backs

Calvin Adams

“Calvin was always a favorite because he played rough. He was notorious for continually knocking down opposing receivers.”


Clint Harris

“Clint was a stud and was always particular about his equipment and he was very neat.”


Sam Norris

“Sam, who played one year in ’82 after transferring from a JUCO, was a great guy. He was 6-4 (and he played LB in the USFL), wore a full cage facemask and had the number 9. The singe digit and the full facemask made him look even bigger than he was. It was always fun watching him lineup at corner, towering over the usually smaller receivers.”


Chuck Bishop

“Smokey Norris and Chuck Bishop were buddies we hung out with off the field.”

Send an e-mail message to Ron Cherubini.

Click here to dig into Ron Cherubini's Bonesville archives.



Save up to 80% on music everday!


Special Four-part Series on Charles 'Choo' Justice

Friday, Dec. 12 — PART 1:
Choo Justice Profile — It’s a Great View from the Inside
Sunday, Dec. 14 — PART 2:
Training Day: A Week in the Life of a Pirate Equipment Manager
Friday, Dec. 19 — PART 3:
Telling Tales: A Collection of Stories from Inside the Program
Sunday, Dec. 21 — PART 4:
Choo Justice's "All-Tape & Bandages" Team

Quick hits with Choo Justice


Favorite all-time Pirate uniforms:

“I always will have a spot in my heart for the 1982-83 Pirate uniforms. I actually designed the uniforms we wore in 1986-88, so I like those as well. I never liked the gold pants. White on white was always a favorite combo. Purple pants weren’t bad with white jerseys. I never really liked the all purple look. Without a doubt, I think that the Script Pirate helmet will always symbolize ECU football to many of our fans. I hated it when Coach Lewis switched to the NFL look with all the stripes, but have to admit that this helmets looked sharp.”

Best places to play from a trainer’s perspective:

“Southwest Louisiana always took the best care of us and we had a great relationship with their staff.”

Best and worst part of the training gig:

“The games were the best, especially the travel. We got to meet a lot of good people all over the country. The worst part was spring ball and winter conditioning – 6 a.m. conditioning practices in the middle of winter.”

Favorite Pirate team:

“The 1982 and ’83 Pirates. These were guys that I went through college with and lived with in the dorms. Obviously, our success and the battles we faced created a great bond.”

October 29, 1983 Game Program - ECU
vs. East Tennessee State - Homecoming

Worst Pirate year you can remember:

“1984. Everything fell apart after two great years, a lot of stress, the coaching staff was let go at the end of the year. Bad way to go out in my last year of college.”

The Trainers’ Lexicon:

Jolly Roger: “Described the warm-up part of the practice. You would say something like, ‘I’ll take care of it at the Jolly Roger.’”

The Tower: “The tower on the football field where coach would observe practice, we would film and where we could blow the horn and flip periods.

Periods: “The time increments for practice, usually five minutes long. A two hour practice would be 24 periods. Coaches would plan the practice accordingly. One of the managers would sit in the tower and every five minutes flip cards with number and blow the air horn to signal the start of a new period. Players would offer bribes to you to make the periods shorter. Coach Emory would usually lean over and say, ‘Hold this period until I give you the signal!’”

Red/Green Dots: “Helmets came in two sizes that were adjustable by putting in air or taking it out. Red Dots were the smaller size and Green Dots were the larger. If you wanted to joke about someone’s head, you would make up a color and say their head was so big that they needed a Blue Dot!”

Head gear: Helmets

Cages: Facemasks

Sanitaries: Shorts the players wore under their practice gear.

Shells: Practicing without shoulder pads, only wearing the web pads – foam pads that go under the hard shoulderpads.

Skeleton: Passing drills without linemen. Just receivers, backs, defensive backs, and linebackers. Also known as Skels.


Don't miss Ron Churubini's Pirate Time Machine Series...

Dave Alexander
Daniel Boone
Ken Burnette
Jeff Connors
Luke Fisher

Terry Gallaher
Greg Gardill
Leander Green
Chad Grier

Jim Gudger
Daren Hart
Shane Hubble
Sean McConnell

Mike Myrick
Norman Quick
Jody Schulz
Vinson Smith

Ken Strayhorn
Don Tyson
Zack Valentine
Tabari Wallace
Pat Watkins
George Wheeler
Pete Zophy
Kevin Walker

02/23/2007 02:11:09 PM

©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.