The athletes of the week for the week of February 23, 2015 are Austin Holloway (Eastside), Dalton Smith (Alcovy) and Malik Wilson (Newton).
Eastside used its deep lineup to put runs on the board against the inexperienced but talented Tigers of Alcovy, defeating them 12-3.
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).
After starting their seasons with a loss over Thanksgiving Break, the boys' and girls' basketball teams of Eastside came back with a vengeance on Tuesday against Riverdale.
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.
Both Newton County playoff teams advance in a wild Friday night of football.
Davonta Jones, Carlos Huggins and Jazztin Jefferson have been named the Newton, Eastside and Alcovy athletes of the week respectively.
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.
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.