Looking ahead to football season

Published 8:12 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

By Staff
KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Yeah, yeah, so the Major League baseball season gets underway in a matter of days.
I guess I'd be more excited about it if I wasn't a Cleveland Indians fan. Now that they've traded Jim Thome and lost a slew of other talent, I'm just not making plans to watch the Tribe in the World Series just yet.
My only excitement with the Tribe these days comes from watching Charlie "Wild Thing" Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berenger and Wesley Snipes help lead the fictitious Indians to the championship in the movie, "Major League," on the TBS network. I think the Tribe's real chances of making any noise this season are, as Bob Uecker would say, "Juuuusssst a bit outside."
So my thoughts have been turning to football. Yes, football.
My interest picked up with thoughts of the East Carolina Pirates beginning their spring practices. I'm anxious to see how new head coach John Thompson, who takes over for Steve Logan, will do in his first season.
One of the more intriguing situations is that every position is up for grabs. That's just going to cause more competition among the Pirates themselves to secure a starting spot, which is only going to make the team better.
Of course I have personal interest in how Washington's Terrance Copper and Williamston's Kevin Roach will do this year. With both catching touchdown passes in the team's first scrimmage, things look promising for the two.
Will the Pirates go with Paul Troth or Desmond Robinson at quarterback? Can the team make a serious run in the Conference USA this season?
We'll find out a bit more about the Pirates during the Purple-Gold game on Saturday, April 12.
Keeping with the college game, I can't wait to see how Damien Linson does his freshman season at Central Michigan University. He's going to an under appreciated but tough conference in the MAC, and I think he can make an immediate impact with the Chippewas. Just get Damien the football, and he's going to make things happen.
I'm looking forward to the pro season as well. Despite being a Cleveland Browns fan, I still have high hopes.
And I'm excited for my friend, Chad Kuhns, who gets another crack with the New York Jets. I watched Chad develop into an exceptional running back at Bellevue High School in Ohio, and he went on to have a solid career at Wisconsin. Not only did he win a pair or Rose Bowl rings, but he was also the lead blocker in the backfield when Ron Dayne set the NCAA rushing record and won the Heisman Trophy.
High school will be equally as intriguing. Can anybody knock off Williamston, or will the Tigers dominate the Four Rivers Conference once again? They'll have some huge shoes to fill in trying to replace quarterback Brad Roach, the Class 1-A Player of the Year.
Roanoke should be exciting once again. Just put Trimaine Goddard in the backfield, and excitement is bound to happen. He's one of the most enjoyable players to watch in an open field.
Of course nobody can, or will, look past Southside this season after the incredible season it had last year. The Seahawks are the 1-A state runners-up, and have Coach of the Year DeWayne Kellum leading the way.
There's rumors he's planning on using his daughter, Carmen, to play quarterback this season. She's quite athletic, as evidenced by the 67 or so straight flips she did during basketball season. And, honestly, would any defensive player be willing to knock down a pretty cheerleader without suffering the serious wrath from the Seahawks, his teammates or, even worse, Carmen's daddy?
I've become a huge fan of the Seahawks and can't wait to see what they do in the fall.
I talked with my friend, Bellevue head football coach Ed Nasonti, a week ago. He said he wished he could go to sleep, wake up and it would be August -- the beginning of the football season.
I'm sure most football coaches feel the same way.