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Posted: May 5, 2012 9:06 p.m.

Eastside’s offensive improving quickly

In 2011, Eastside football missed out on the playoffs by one game and is hard at work this spring looking for one more win.

The Eagles started their spring practices Monday continuing work with 2011's team, while bringing along young players and looking for eager newcomers.

"I've been pleased with the effort," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "Right now, it's a learning curve. We have some new kids out that haven't played before."

It's with those new kids that Hurst hopes he can find another player or two.

"During this time of year, you want to find out what kind of diamonds in the rough you can find, if you can find any," Hurst said. "We've been pleasantly surprised by a few."

While looking for those young, new players Hurst is also working the Eagles on adding tweaks to their offense.

"We're a spread team but we want balanced," Hurst said. "But we're going to do what we have to do to win the ball game."

Eastside has been concentrating on the running game, which takes time in its spread offense due to its intricate timing.

It's been so far so good for the Eagles, as the offensive line has stepped up and given Hurst an optimistic outlook for the 2012 season.

"Our offensive line has been a pleasant surprise," Hurst said. "That is one area I thought we really needed to improve on. I really thought we had a good week with a lot of communication, making a lot of checks on the line."

The team has also been working through what has been a hot spring week, with temperatures reaching up near 90 degrees.

That hasn't stopped the Eagles as they have been working steadily since Monday.

"With the way the heat has been I was a little leery of starting but we have to start sometime," Hurst said. "It really hasn't affected us so that's been good. I'm really pleased with the effort and execution."

Eastside finished 5-5 in 2011, including a loss in its final game, 11-7, to Cairo.
After playing in Region 4-AAA, the Eagles will move to Region 8-AAAA in 2012 joining Lanier, Monroe Area and Walnut Grove in subregion A.

"(Last season) was an extreme disappointment for our staff and our kids," Hurst said. "I think our kids are dedicating this year to go out and have a great year."

Eastside will play a scrimmage game Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Eastside.

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