Pirates ready for (long) trip of a lifetime

Published 6:02 pm Sunday, December 16, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — East Carolina’s football players can’t wait to get to Hawaii, especially after going through a cold, rainy practice Saturday afternoon.
What most of the players aren’t looking forward to is the 12-hour plane ride.
The Pirates (7-5) are heading to Hawaii to face No. 24 Boise State (10-2) in the Dec. 23 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Quarterback Rob Kass is excited to play in Aloha Stadium. He plans to stay busy on his way there.
Sophomore defensive end C.J. Wilson, a former standout at Northside High School, said he and some teammates have a game plan.
The Pirates will go to work shortly after they land.
ECU third-year coach Skip Holtz said being focused and comfortable with their surroundings will help his players. That’s a main reason why the Pirates will hit Aloha Stadium, the site of the Dec. 23 Hawaii Bowl, not long after they land in Hawaii on Monday.
Six days after landing, the Pirates will be in the locker room at Aloha Stadium awaiting the 8 p.m. kickoff. Holtz wants his players to be physically and mentally prepared.
The ECU mentor is hoping for a subdued atmosphere leading up to kickoff.
While Holtz said playing the No. 24 Broncos will be a “challenge,” the team relishes the opportunity.
First things first, and that’s getting there.
It’s a long flight, but one the players are more than willing to take.