Eastside athletics have thrived since the school dropped down to Class AAA four years ago — especially volleyball and softball. Two players in particular have been around to see it all. Amanda Hawkins and Katie Johnston both arrived on campus in 2008. Over the past four years, they’ve played a pivotal role in the softball and volleyball teams’ success.
Both were recently recognized by their peers and coaches as the best players in their respective leagues. Hawkins, the catcher for the Lady Eagles softball team was named Region 4-AAA Offensive Player of the Year for a second straight year. Johnston, Eastside volleyball’s dominant outside hitter, was named Area 8-AAA Player of the Year, also for a second time in as many seasons.
Hawkins led the Lady Eagles in most offensive categories. She hit .406 with an .823 slugging percentage while reaching base in more than half her plate appearances (.551 on base percentage). She also hit a team-high .500 with runners in scoring position while driving in 30 runs. After belting a school-record 10 home runs in 2010, she led the team with seven big flies this year. Hawkins also led the team in hits (39) doubles (17), runs (36) and walks (27).
On the volleyball court, Johnston has been the Lady Eagles best offensive player each of her four years and capped her career with another stellar season. After notching 303 kills in 2010, Johnston led the team again with 318. That total was good enough for fifth best in the state and her 4.4 kills per game were second to only Southeast Whitfield’s Megan Collins. Her 97 aces — tops on the team, were the third most in Class AAA. But her 1.3 ace per game average was tied with Sandy Creek’s Allie Davenport for best in the state.
Hawkins and Johnston were joined by several teammates in earning All-Region/Area honors. In softball, Taylor Causey, Erin Steele, Bianca Reed and Victoria Reich were named First Team All-Region 4-AAA. Reese Rogers and Megan Hallock were named to the second team. In volleyball, Johnston’s sister Sidney and Tiffany Lo were named Second Team All Area.
Both Hawkins and Katie Johnston will continue their careers in college. Hawkins verbally committed to play at North Georgia University while Johnston is weighing several options.