South Pittsburg Pirates Enjoy Their Own Pirate Ship at Beene Stadium

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South Pittsburg, TN-(WDEF-TV) It’s not often you see a ship docked on a football field, unless you go to South Pittsburg. The Pirates built their own Pirate ship in 2014, complete with fire, smoke, and a cannon that’s fired every time South Pitt scores.

Said Steve Powers, who helped develop the idea for the ship:”After one of our middle school practices, Jeremy, Brent, and myself were all sitting out here on the track talking about how it would be pretty cool to have a ship similar to what Tampa Bay has in their stadium.”
Said ship builder Jamey Creekmore:”Stevie Powers approached me about doing the construction on it. I told him yeah. He asked me if I could come down here and help them. I’d rather just build it myself. I told him to get out of the way.” (laughter)
Said South Pittsburg head coach Vic Grider:”Anybody that comes to South Pittsburg from one of our opponents. First thing they talk about is the ship, and the entrance that our guys make. Of course the things that happen over the course of the game.”
Reporter:”Now tell us where the cannon is? When we hear that things at games, where exactly is the cannon?”
Said Creekmore:”The cannon is on top of the mast.”
Said Grider:”When they first showed it to me when they got the thing. I thought that’s not going to do much. The first time you hear it go off, you completely change your opinion about what it’s able to do.”
Said Creekmore:”It’s pretty loud. (chuckles) It will rattle the valley.”
Reporter:”South Pitt can score a lot of points. I’ve seen some 60-point scores. Are you ever nervous that you would run out of ammunition for the cannon?”
Said Powers:”We actually got down to the last bullet or two a time or two.  We’ve actually gotten in trouble a few times about. On certain humidity nights when the humidity is up, the smoke will hang onto the ground. Of course it doesn’t go away as far as even during the extra point or during the kick-off, it has delayed that a few times. We got a few warnings on that.”
Said Creekmore:”It has got the smoke cannon set up. The cannon. The flags. All of it at night brought together. Everything. It’s pretty cool.”
Said Grider:”We take a lot of pride in playing here at our place. We’ve always felt like us being able to play at home gives us a sizable advantage. We feel like this is a very tough place for opponents to come into and try and win a football game. With the addition of the ship and the cannon a few years ago, I think we probably upped that ante a little bit.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.