CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCT) — When the East Carolina football team takes the field Thursday night for its season opener against Appalachian State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, a familiar face will once again be under center.

This week’s “People & Places” focuses on the homegrown product who will be the starting quarterback again for the Pirates. The hopes for a return to glory for Pirate Nation rides on the left arm of former D.H. Conley High School star Holton Ahlers.

People & Places Extra podcast: ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers

“It’s definitely special for me,” Ahlers said. “Because this could definitely be my last ride here. Everything is extra special for me this year.”

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As a new college football season gets underway, Ahlers says he reflects often on his time so far in the Purple and Gold. The reflection goes back even further to his days in Greenville as a star on the baseball diamond. His single-season record of 27 home runs he hit in 2012 in Greenville Little League still stands.

Ahlers chosen to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Watch List

Tune in to 9OYS News at 5 each Thursday for Ken’s features.