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ECU’s Moore happy for another shot; Wilson still hungry

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Melvin Moore had a dream of playing for the East Carolina Pirates last year.
The Williamston High School graduate, who spent 11 months in Iraq while serving his country before returning to North Carolina in 2005, saw that dream get dashed. Certain NCAA rules prohibited Moore from suiting up for the ECU football team.
Moore refused to let his dream die. He’s back with the Pirates hoping to land a spot on the roster at free safety.
The 6-1, 195-pound Moore competed with the Pirates in Friday’s first spring practice at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex. It was another giant step toward Moore’s ultimate destination.
The experience of practicing with the Pirates last year should benefit Moore this year.
Instead of moping and giving up on his dream after being told he couldn’t play, Moore worked extra hard in the off-season.
Moore is hoping he’ll be able to make the trip to Charlotte when the Pirates open the season Aug. 30 against Virginia Tech at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers.
Moore realizes there is plenty of work to be done before the game. He plans to do all he can this spring.
Though Moore hasn’t played in a competitive football game since his Williamston Tigers lost 58-55 to Perquimans in 2000, his desire to play the game has never weaned.
Moore is anxious to get on the playing field. He’s already excited about the annual Purple-Gold Spring Game, which will be held April 12 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Simply wearing the Pirates’ uniform will make all of Moore’s hard work and persistence pay off.
Wilson wants taste of victory to continue
ECU defensive end believes in hard work
By KEVIN TRAVIS
Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — The Cliff Moore Practice Complex is a far cry from Hawaii. Still, C.J. Wilson didn’t want to be anywhere else.
Wilson, a 6-4, 217-pound junior defensive end, flashed his customary big grin after walking off the practice field on a chilly Friday evening. The affable Wilson, a former standout at Northside High School, was happy to be back with his teammates.
Wilson has played in some big games for the Pirates, including the Hawaii Bowl victory over Boise State. Though he’s used to playing on a big stage, Wilson said it all starts on the practice field.
Wilson is a veteran now. The junior, who had a team-high seven quarterback sacks and 12 hurries last season, is happy to pass on any advice to the younger or first-time players.
Wilson plans to do just that leading up the April 12 Purple-Gold Spring Game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
He’s also anxious to play in ECU’s season opener Aug. 30. The Pirates will play Virginia Tech at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte.
While Wilson wouldn’t mind earning some individual honors next year, he said his biggest concern centers around the team.