As school starts back, region play will come to the forefront of the season and each team will be truly tested to see who's a pretender and who's a contender. Some teams are off to hot starts, while others have come out of the gate slow. We take a look at where each team is and grade them on their current play and tease where they can go in the near future.
The Eastside boys and girls basketball teams have gotten off to slow starts this season. After both teams made waves last year, they were depleted by the departure of key senior players who moved on to college. The Eagles (3-6, 2-3 Region 4-AAAA) and the Lady Eagles (2-7, 2-3 Region 4-AAAA) both got wins over Pike County on Friday night to move them in the right direction at the quarter mark of the season.
It was a crosstown clash Saturday evening as the Tigers of Alcovy traveled 13.6 miles to Eastside High School to take on the Eagles. It was great atmosphere at the game and both schools took home a win.
For the first time this season, Newton and Eastside's basketball teams will face-off, continuing a rivalry that has been a thing since Eastside was established in the mid '90s. The Lady Rams are 4-1 and the boys are undefeated at 5-0. The Eagles haven't played as many games yet, but both the girls and boys are 1-1.
Eastside softball is represented well on the 2014 4-AAAA All-Region team. Caitlin Ray (infield), Madison Hopper (pitcher) and Bailey Stewart (catcher) were all named to the first team. McKenzie Powell (infield) and Brittany Medlin (outfield) were named to the second team. The Lady Eagles finished their season with a record of 16-6.
Sonya Hopper couldn't hold back the tears anymore. Sonya's daughter, Madison Hopper, was signing to attend Emmanuel College on Thursday afternoon and it brought them both to tears as Sonya spoke about Madison's journey in front of a large crowd of family and friends.
Eastside's offense has been prolific all season, but when it was shutout in the first half against Thomson, things looked dreary for the Eagles. The system was working fine. Eagles' receivers were dropping balls, quarterback Austin Holloway missed on a few throws and Eastside kept turning the ball over.
Perennial state power Griffin rolled into Homer Sharp Stadium Friday night. And though Eastside gave them all they could handle, in the end it was too much Malik Miller and too much Bears defense as they defeated the Eagles 48-28 on the first really chilly night of the football season.
Eastside's boys basketball team was probably the best team in the county last year. The Eagles had a 15-game winning streak at one point and finished the season with a 23-4 record before falling flat in the region championship and the first round of state.