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ECU fans, players and officials gear up for football season

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Aug 29 2013 06:40:11 PM CDT
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

The ECU Pirates football squad is preparing for their first game this Saturday.

The grounds crew is "painting the field, endzones, midfield, just basically getting ready for the game on Saturday," said grounds crew member Josh Creel.

For the first time since last season, fans are gearing up for game day. "I get goosebumps and everything, every year, no matter what," said Creel. "The crowd starts cheering, gets on their feet, I mean it just basically sends chills up my spine."

Tom Andresky was at the first ECU football game at Dowdy-Ficklen stadium 50 years ago. "It's what this town is about, it's a rallying point, everybody has an opinion," said Andresky. "There's no agendas, it's just come out here and watch football."

Like the players, ECU Police are getting ready for the upcoming season. "We have a game plan that's set up, a playbook if you will," said Lt. Christopher Sutton.

Sutton says the Boston Marathon bombings have prompted campus police to move bomb prevention up their priority list. "We'll have multiple explosives dogs that will be able to work this area. We'll also have a bomb tech unit that will be here at this first game," said Sutton.

"Saturday there will be eight different agencies that will be in this stadium," said Sutton. Amounting to hundreds of law enforcement officials devoted to "protecting the house."

Sutton says with night games, fans tend to pre-game and tailgate longer than for afternoon games. He says stopping impaired fans from entering the stadium will also be a priority.

If you require assistance in the stands, text "ECU" to 94597 and stadium personnel will respond.