Many of East Carolina’s seniors are starting to feel the emotions of their last game inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, as Saturday’s Senior Night inches ever nearer.
“It’s going to be an emotional time, you know, playing here my final time,” said senior Zay Jones. “So just embracing it, taking it all in, cherishing each moment, and cherishing my teammates.”
After Saturday’s loss, the Pirates had to accept the fact this season only has two more games left, and they failed to qualify for a bowl game.
Despite the fact ECU will be facing difficult opponents, Navy (7-2) and Temple (7-3), for its final two games of the season, head coach Scottie Montgomery said the time left is for the seniors and motivating the Pirates to continue working hard.
“We came out and we worked hard, despite feeling the pain that we feel. There’s no question about what we feel,” Montgomery said after practice on Tuesday. “But our team bounced back and came to work today. A lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm.”
Saturday’s game has been long awaited as it was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. Now ECU seniors will step onto Bagwell Field for the last time on Senior Night, for one of the most challenging matchups this season
“It’s going to be mixed emotions. It’s going to be nice being in front of the fans, everyone gets pumped for the blackout game,” said senior offensive guard J.T. Boyd. “It’s the last one here in Dowdy-Ficklen. I’ve had a lot of good memories here, had a lot of good wins here. I’m just looking forward to it, soaking it all in for the last time. Because I know I’m never going to be able to do it again as a player, and we’ll see if tears are shed or what happens.”
As the team runs through their final few practices together and final games on the field, seniors start to pass the torch to the younger players on the team stepping up to fill those roles in seasons to come.
“I’m trying to be more positive than I’ve ever been, just trying to have fun with it,” said Boyd. “Just trying to enjoy it with my teammates. I’m not going to be able to see them much longer because I’ll be gone, I’ve already graduated, and just cherishing everything I can.”
For many of the Pirates, there will be a lot of emotions as their lives change, but they will always cherish their time at ECU.
“I know one thing, I’m going to miss the guys out here and I’m going to miss this school, I love everything about it and I’ll always be a Pirate,” said senior running back James Summers.