Eastside and Alcovy’s football teams had more in common than just the fact that they both shared a bye week this past Friday.
Both of their coaches were pretty happy about it, even with the unexpected break from school that came, thanks to Tropical Storm Irma.
“We actually got lucky with the storm being on bye week, so it didn’t really change much for us,” said Eastside football coach Troy Hoff. “We lost Tuesday, but came back Wednesday and Thursday to practice. We lost a JV game, but we said we wanted to get a good two or three days in to just work on us.”
The ‘work on us’ theme was emphatically shared by Alcovy coach, Chris Edgar, whose team is coming off a 23-6 win at Henry County the Friday before the bye week.
“It’s absolutely great timing,” he said. “We were pretty clear on this — that the whole point of the bye week was for focusing on us. Not talking about Forest Park too much. We had the chance to work on some things that you’re working on offensively and defensively that you haven’t show yet without having the responsibility of game planning for an opponent.”
Beyond that, both coaches said taking the time to rest and heal would be paramount to success as region play looms in the next two weeks.
Edgar mentioned players like Jalen Banks and Comal Phillips and even quarterback Cameron Anderson whom Edgar said “was a little sore.” Hoff also stated several of his players were nursing minor injuries, while players like sophomore quarterback Noah Cook, who injured his collarbone during the Newton game, has started the journey toward getting back in playing shape.
“He’s in the early stages,” Hoff said. “It’s still week to week with him. We’ll know more about how he progresses and how he feels as we go. There’s not a set time table, but Noah’s happy. He’s kinda out of prison now to where he can run and do some things and be able to throw the ball around.”
For Alcovy, it’s senior offensive lineman, Andruw Binion whom Edgar is monitoring, as far as healing of long term injuries goes. Binion injured his leg a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t played since. But hope is not lost for a return, according to Edgar.
“His spirit is good,” Edgar said. “He’s out for an extended period of time. We’re looking at a four to six week process. But he hopes to be back as we make a playoff push.”
Both teams have one more non-region test before opening up the part of the season that will determine postseason fate. Eastside (3-1) will host Oconee County (2-1) Saturday evening at Sharp Stadium, and Alcovy will welcome winless Forest Park next Friday.
And both coaches have stated that they’re hoping that the bye week and all that it brought in the way of rest and fine tuning will help their respective teams look a little sharper on the back half of the season.
“I like where we’re at, but we have to work to keep getting better,” Hoff said. “Even in last week’s game (against Loganville), we won, but I’m not happy with how we played the whole game. Defensively we were solid. Offensively we need better execution.”
Said Edgar: “All our goals are still intact. Non-region games do nothing to that. Those wins and losses don’t matter. I think if we can continue to develop on the line of scrimmage and other players continue to emerge and we keep getting comfortable in our skin, we’re definitely a playoff caliber team.”