Loading...
Bless Wellcome Middle School's heart. They are the best kept secret in the county. Great things are happening there and...

Blackwell: Get rid of the negativity

120218football-13.JPG

East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell looks on from the sideline at N.C. State on Dec. 1, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, December 1, 2018

RALEIGH — Defensive coordinator David Blackwell was joined by senior East Carolina football players Garrett McGhin and Cannon Gibbs during a reflective postgame news conference after ECU’s 58-3 loss at N.C. State on Saturday

Blackwell, who served as head coach for the game after Scottie Montgomery’s ouster on Thursday, had a simple message for all people associated with ECU to cap an emotional week.

“I challenge our fans to get behind whoever the next coach is and get behind this program,” he said. “With our fans and our people, we have to lose the negativity around the university and with our fractured fan base. We have to come back together.”

Blackwell is an ECU alum, and this was his first season as defensive coordinator at his alma mater.

The Pirates’ roller-coaster September included beginning the year with a surprising 28-23 loss in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to North Carolina A&T, then the Pirates upset North Carolina with a 41-19 win.

ECU struggled again in the American Athletic Conference. A factor in Montgomery’s dismissal was his 4-20 AAC record in three seasons.

The season culminated with Saturday’s rout by the Wolfpack that was fueled by the hosts’ 655 total yards. The Pirates will begin their 2019 season at N.C. State.

“This was awful and it was tough, and it’s not the standard here at ECU,” Gibbs, a linebacker and team captain, said. “But I’m definitely excited to see our (younger) guys go out and compete, hopefully with no injuries, and get some revenge. … The guys should see that we can get some growth through this.”

ECU’s major bright spot for this year was freshman quarterback and Greenville native Holton Ahlers’ rise to the starting spot around the midway point of the season. He was hurt and did not play Saturday, finishing with 2,377 total yards this year.

Receiver Tyler Snead, another true freshman, was inactive to preserve his redshirt status in order to be a redshirt freshman next season for a new coaching staff.

Attendance continued to decline at Dowdy-Ficklen this season, which for ECU included wins against only UNC, Old Dominion and Connecticut. Those three teams finished with a combined 7-28 record.

“Get in the stands, and let’s be proud of our university because it is our university and it is my university,” Blackwell said. “When I was at Clemson, the first thing I would do after our game is see how East Carolina did. When I was at Pitt, the first thing I would do is see how East Carolina did. This is my university for the rest of my life, through good and bad.”

Blackwell and the other Pirate coaches now enter uncertain times as ECU continues its search for a new head coach and an athletics director.

“I truly believe (ECU) can win (in the AAC), but with my future and those things, we’ll see what happens,” Blackwell said. “A lot of those things are beyond my control. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be at East Carolina, and I just told those seniors that this is going to be your university for the rest of your life.

“The one thing that we have to do as Pirates and alumni and fans is we have to get behind East Carolina. We have to get rid of some of the negativity around our university.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

February 17, 2019

Facing cold temperatures and an early deficit at Clark-LeClair Stadium, there were times Sunday when things could have gotten away from East Carolina’s baseball team.

The Pirates battled, however, and rallied during the middle and late innings to beat Radford 4-3 and complete an opening…

021619ECUbaseball-14.JPG

February 17, 2019

East Carolina softball’s four-game undefeated run through the Pirate Clash ended Sunday with the Pirates off to their best start to a season since beginning 8-0 in 2006.

After two walk-off wins Friday, Erin Poepping’s 10-strikeout performance from the circle Saturday night guided a…

042618ECUSoftball-5.jpg

February 17, 2019

The East Carolina basketball team in the puzzle-piece printed uniforms on Sunday afternoon showed again it is still missing some pieces.

The Pirates hit just one field goal in the opening eight minutes against Tulsa and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half before storming back and…

020119ECUbasketball-8.JPG

February 17, 2019

East Carolina basketball coaches have been hot on the recruiting trail, including for Boston 7-footer Charles Coleman who also is a target by Wake Forest, Duke and DePaul, as the Pirates have faced difficulties on the court for another season.

A 79-69 loss to Memphis on Wednesday night, a game in…

020719ECUbasketball-5.JPG

February 16, 2019

East Carolina was busy on indoor and outdoor tennis courts this weekend, highlighted by the ECU women winning both of their matches in Greenville for a four-match win streak.

The Pirates (4-2) took a 5-2 victory over James Madison at the River Birch Tennis Center, then swept Campbell at the ECU…

011319basketball-4.JPG

February 16, 2019

After serving as East Carolina baseball’s first starting pitcher of the season and hitting for himself as the designated hitter, Alec Burleson was thinking he would remain at DH or maybe play first base for Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader versus Radford.

Instead, some conversations led…

021619ECUbaseball-7.JPG

February 15, 2019

A total of 21 runs by East Carolina powered the Pirates to a college baseball opening day sweep of Radford at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Friday.

Spencer Brickhouse’s go-ahead, two-run home run keyed a 6-2 win, then ECU used a 16-hit barrage for a 15-9 victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader…

021619ECUbaseball-12.JPG

February 15, 2019

CATCHER

Jake Washer, junior: Washer is back as East Carolina’s starting catcher after receiving Major League Baseball draft interest following his breakout sophomore season. In addition to showing power with six home runs and 40 RBIs a year ago, Washer posted a smooth .287 batting average.…

012619ECUbaseball-8.JPG

February 15, 2019

Equipped with All-American Bryant Packard ready to serve again as East Carolina’s leadoff man in the batting order and a stable of proven pitchers who battled during the preseason for lead rotation spots, ECU is ready to face an opponent and begin a new season.

Radford’s visit to Clark-…

021519ECUbaseball-2

February 15, 2019

WEEKEND ROTATION

FRIDAY

Alec Burleson, sophomore: Burleson will be a frequent player at designated hitter and first base in the lineup, but his main focus in the season opener versus Radford will be on the pitcher’s mound. The left-hander, who was the American Athletic Conference rookie…

021319ECUbaseball-6.JPG
261 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»