While most of the people of Newton County have locked themselves inside their homes to avoid the cold, baseball and soccer players have been playing outside in the "wonderful" weather. Eastside soccer has started its season 0-2, but the team has yet to be at full health and head coach Champ Young isn't worried about the slow start.
The athletes of the week for the week of February 9, are both the boys and the girls Eastside basketball teams, Imani Broadnax (Newton) and Tierra Hodges (Alcovy). Both Eastside teams put up a valiant effort during this week of region tournament games, but they were unable to get over the hump after it seemed each team had caught fire at the end of the regular season. Broadnax led Newton with 13 points against Lovejoy, helping to lift Newton to a third-straight region championship game against Tucker. Hodges scored 17 of Alcovy's 40 points despite getting in foul trouble ...
The basketball regular season has come to an end, the region tournaments are starting soon, baseball and soccer are beginning, but it's not too early or too late to recognize some of the best basketball players of Newton and Rockdale county. There will be a first and a second all-area team, with the criteria being regular season numbers, level of play, overall impact and of course the "eye test."
Usually when teams announce their starting fives before the game, after each name is called the individual player runs out through a tunnel of teammates and cheerleaders to shake the hands of all three referees and the opposing coach. On Friday – senior night – the Lady Eagles went about announcing their starting five a little differently.
As of January 16, the Eagles were on a three-game losing streak and looked like a team that wouldn't make the playoffs or would be one-and-done. Flash forward to now – the beginning of February – and Eastside basketball has won six-straight games including its latest and most prominent win, a double-digit victory over Walnut Grove (15-9, 7-2 Region 4-AAAA).
Between the boys and the girls game, Eastside celebrated its seniors in the final regular season home game of the season. The seniors didn't disappoint the fans and parents in attendance as both the boys and the girls recorded important region victories over Walnut Grove.
Eastside (10-9, 6-6 Region 4-AAAA) played like something was on the line in the fourth quarter of its matchup with region foe Locust Grove, and probably unbeknownst to the players, they were. With the eventual dominant 69-53 win over the Warriors, Eastside head coach, Gregory Freeman earned the 370th win of his career.
Eastside hosted Locust Grove on Friday night and both the boys and the girls got a victory to improve their region records as the season winds down. The boys improved to 10-9 overall and 6-6 in Region 4-AAAA. The girls improved to 8-12 overall and 7-5 in region 4-AAAA.
Earlier in the week, there was social media uproar from Eastside soccer students because they were told they wouldn't be able to play home games at Sharp Stadium this year. Eastside's soccer field isn't in the condition it needs to be in to allow students to play on it, and Sharp is the only alternative.
Looking at their record (5-10, 4-3 Region 4-AAAA) you would think that the Lady Eagles of Eastside are struggling through this basketball season. But for their sake, they are above .500 where it matters, with a 4-3 record in Region 4-AAAA play. Eastside was able to pick up its fourth region win of the season on Friday night with a 58-50 win over Eagle's Landing. With that win, Eastside has won three straight region games.
Eastside entered the new year on a four-game winning streak after losing four straight games, but head coach Gregory Freeman still has reservations about his team's current level of play.
Eastside's offense came alive in the first half, but Thomson's defensive pressure changed that in the second half. Still, the Eagles came away with a victory to improve their record to 6-6 on the season.
From the beginning, momentum was on the Eagles' side and they rode that wave out to a convincing 78-72 victory over Southwest Atlanta Christian.
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The Lady Eagles of Eastside had led for most of the game, but Chestatee took its first lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter of the region championship. The rest of the story you should already know. A back and forth battle ensued for the rest of the fourth, but Chestatee scored the final points and got the win after Eastside had taken a 50-49 lead with 38 seconds to play.
Playoff positioning was on the line this Friday night for some and others just wanted to end their season on a good note.
On a cold and windy Saturday night at Homer Sharp stadium, there was an amazing high school football game played as Eastside took on Walnut Grove for a chance to play in the region final next week versus Griffin. It was a back and forth affair, and close at the end but Eastside pulled it out defeating Walnut Grove 25-22.
Eastside ran over Hampton on Friday with its 47-14 win. Carlos Huggins ran for two touchdowns and the Eagles' defense was making plays all over the field, including some huge hits against Hampton. The defense also recovered at least four fumbles, and took advantage of Hampton's giveaways.
There were some dominating performances in this week's football matchups.
Eastside (4-2, 2-2) started off its region schedule this year with two tough losses Griffin and Jonesboro. But since then, Eagles' head coach Rick Hurst has gotten his team back on track and focused on making a push for the state playoffs.
Sophomore receiver Josh Sims has been selected as Elite Auto's athlete of the week. Sims came up big in Eatsside's region win vs Locust Grove on Saturday, including catching a 55-yard bomb for a touchdown that helped give the Eagles a lead at the end of the first half.
Here are the Covington News' athletes of the week. Representing for Alcovy is Raven Smith. Smith had a good week on offense including scoring three runs in the Tigers region championship win. For Newton, there are two athletes: Davonta Jones and Deandre Huff. Huff and Jones combined for 12 catches, over 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns against Tucker on Friday. The Eastside Elite Auto athlete of the week is the entire Lady Eagles softball team. Although they lost to Locust Grove on Monday, the Lady Eagles had a stellar season that saw them go 16-6 including a 7-3 record ...
Eastside softball suffered a 7-0 loss to Locust Grove on Monday ending its run in the region tournament and the Lady Eagles' season.
Arthur Holmes has been selected as the Eastside Elite Auto Collision Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 22. Holmes helped lift the Eagles to a 49-21 win a previously undefeated Eagles' Landing team. In the game Holmes recorded two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns.
Eastside quarterback Austin Holloway dropped back and delivered a pass to avoid taking what would've been a sack in practice on Wednesday. The Eagles' defense quickly took down the receiver, something they've struggled with as of late, and head coach Rick Hurst praised his defense, but he also coached up players to what they needed to do right.
Midway through the season, Eastside football sits at a comfortable 2-2. One fumble in overtime might have propelled them to 3-1, but that's something we'll never know. What we do know is, the Eagles have five games left, all against region opponents with a combined record of 12-7.
Thursday's matchup against Walnut Grove (19-2, 10-0 Region 4-AAAA) had huge implications for Eastside (15-4-1, 7-3 Region 4-AAAA). A win would have put them in sole possession of third place in the region behind Walnut Grove and Eagle's Landing. Walnut Grove, however, is one of the best teams in the state and it showed on Thursday in its 8-0 victory over Eastside.
Eastside (2-2, Region 4-AAAA) came into the game against Jonesboro (1-3, Region 4-AAAA) after suffering a humiliating loss to No. 3 ranked Griffin. However, that wasn't all that was ailing the Eagles. Sophomore starting running back Eric Stokes and backup Andrew Henderson were both sidelined with injuries, however Eastside played well and had a chance to win before losing in overtime, 27-21.
Being named the Atlanta Touchdown Club's lineman of the week is an accomplishment in itself, but for Eastside senior defensive end Arthur Holmes it could mean greater things.