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6 The Compass Thursday, September28,2000
The "Wright" Way , . .
Head Coach Gives
Viking 2000 Football
by Clayton Mercer
Head football coach John Wright is
leading the Vikings into the new mil
lennium. Wright, former assistant head
coach at Hampton University, has been
coaching football for approximately 28
years. His experience and will to win
have ECSU supporters dreaming about
the CIAA championship.
Wright had an easy transition from
Hampton to ECSU.
After former head coach George
Moody resigned earlier in the year,
Wright was prepared to step in and
"Coach Moody has done a pretty
good job, " said Wright. "Everyone has
been very cooperative. Chancellor
Bumim, Dr. McLean, Mrs. Griffin, and
the entire campus has been supportive
and 1 am just happy to be here."
Winning is very important and
Wright believes that there are certain
steps that lead to it.
"I think winning is just a bi-product
of the whole thing," Wright said. "I am
more satisfied with guys that are com
petitive, have a don't quit attitude and
have good character. I think winning
comes when you find those ingredi
ents in a guy. Everyone wants to win.
That is why we are here."
Another "bi-product of winning" is
Wright wanted his players to be in
the best shape possible and took steps
toward that goal. The new coach imple
mented an off-season workout sched
ule that he hopes will benefit the team
in the future. Wright says that in order
to become better, a person has to make
"If you want to be a top-notch athlete,
you have to sacrifice," said Wright.
There are times when your friends are
going out, but you can't because you
have to rest, weightlift or exercise. I
think once guys make that sacrifice and
commitment, it leads to winning."
With so many athletes to work with,
Wright looks to his four captains to
help lead the Mighty Vikings to a suc
Michael Forbes, Rayshawn Askew,
Derrick Watkins and Alvin Wilson are
this season's captains.
Many people believe football is a
game of passes and defenses. Wright
believes that rushing is the most im
portant factor when it comes to offense.
"I think that at the college and pro
fessional level, you have to be able to
run the football to win consistently,"
he said. Coach Wright plans to empha
size the run and the short passing game.
"We will be very physical up front and
our backs are bigger and stronger. We
emphasized to the players in the spring
that, offensively, they have to move
the chains because if you move the
chains enough times, the referee will,
probably, throw his hands up for a
But touchdowns have not come easy
because of the Vikings' tough sched
ule, which included a trip to Atlanta to
play Morehouse College and upcom
ing CIAA games against Winston-Sa
lem State University and Virginia
"I think the toughest job as a coach is
trying to mold young boys into young
men," said Wright. "It takes a little
work to keep everyone moving in the
same direction on one accord."
Below, Head Coach John Wright passes out pointers.
Viking Footbali 2000
— Virginia Union
(Home) 7:00 p.m.
— Fayetteviile State
(H) Rocky Mount, NC ... 2:00 p.m.
Down East Classic
Atlanta, GA 1:30 p.m.
— North Carolina Central
Charlotte, NC 1:30 p.m.
— Johnson C. Smith
Charlotte, NC 6:00 p.m.
07 — Virginia State
(Home) 1:30 p.m.
High School Day
14 — Bowie State
Bowie, MD 1:00 p.m.
21 — Livingston
Salisbury, N.C 6:00 p.m.
28 — Benedict
Charlotte, N.C 6:00 p.m.
04 — Winston Salem State
(Home) 2:00 p.m.
11 — CIAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Tough Start for Team
—Photo by Derek Lyons
by Derek Lyons
The start of the 2000 season has been
a challenge for the ECSU Vikings foot
ball team. The team has not been as
triumphant as its competitors.
Nevertheless, Coach Wright, the Vi
kings new head coach, feels that he has
a team that is experienced, particularly
"We have an opportunity to be very
competitive this fall," Wright said.
Wright's goal is to revive ECSU's foot
ball program and regain the support of
the school's fans and administrators.
The defense is led by linebacker,
Alvin Wilson and defensive back. Der
rick Watkins. Both were first team All-
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Asso
The defensive line is in tact and is
led by Terrell Hammer, Rashon Spence,
Shone Steele and Adonis (Lucky) Gray.
In the middle of the defense are the
hard hitting linebackers. Led by All-
American nominee Alvin Wilson,
Adrian (Taco) Richardson, Mike
Campbell and John Joesph, these line
backers focus on defeating offensive
players from opposing teams.
Vikings who have returned to the
team include an All-CIAA player. Der
rick Watkins and sophomore, Lenny
Parker, who started last season as a
freshman. Teyon Pender, a 6’ 2, 200
pound transfer and Kelvin Turner, a
6'2 190 pound transfer from MCI
(Maine Central Institute) are two of
the newest Viking team members.
In addition to the linebackers, the
Vikings also have an athletic quarter
back. Mike Forbes, a junior, leads the
offense into battle this season. Forbes,
when healthy, possesses good strengths
in passing, scrambling and instincts,
and also has enough arm strength to
hit receivers with the deep ball.
The Vikings' running game is a plus
for the offense. They have three ag
gressive running backs in Conan
Stevenson, Rayshawn Askew and Rob
ert Dorlus, who all share time in the
back field. The receivers don't have a
marquee player, but they do have three
who have returned to the team: Jamon
Allensworth, Monterio Hand and Jason
"Hand, a junior with speed and good
hands, is back for another season and
is expected to make big plays," said
"Before we can establish a running
or passing game we have to have a
solid offensive line," Wright said, and
a solid line is what the Vikings have.
Leading the offensive line is center,
Carlos Talavera, a four-year starter,
George Privott, D.J. Morey, Eugene
Hines and Dwayne Leonard.
In addition to the new defensive and
offensive lines, the Viking team has a
new look; players wear blue helmets
instead of white. "This will be a prom
ising season because we are disciplined,
physical and we have a never give up
attitude," said Wright.