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Eastside Eagles tennis finding success going into the postseason
Eastside tennis 2024
The girls and boys Eastside tennis teams after wins over Winder-Barrow on March 20. - photo by Contributed Photo

Eastside High School tennis is finding success early on in the 2024 season. The Eagles struggled last year but are beginning to turn the corner this year. 

They hold a 4-3 record on the season, a 2-2 record in their region, and the team keeps the message simple as they head toward regionals at the end of March.

“As the season continues, we strive to eliminate mistakes and improve each and every day,” said head coach Lee Shepard. “Our region is full of tough teams, and we want to show up and compete to be our best, that’s our goal at each match.”

The Eagles return every player from last year’s team, except one. They now have players playing together for the third consecutive season which, for a coach, seems to make everything easier.

“These guys already had a level of trust with each other and a commitment to being the best,” Shepard said. “They have great confidence in each other and their abilities to do their part for the team.”

The return of so many players has allowed the Eastside roster to develop their skills over the years. 

Shepard highlighted continuity as a key reason for the success of this year’s group, and the players have echoed that statement.

“Some of the returning guys have improved way more than how they played last year,” said D’Elisson Lamadieu, a returning player for the Eagles. “Even the small things like getting the ball back in the court was something we struggled with last year and we don't see that issue nearly as much anymore.”

Lamadieu also mentioned team chemistry as a difference in this year’s team versus last year.

With so many players returning, the players have now spent plenty of time together, on and off the tennis court, and that time spent together is beginning to show up in matches.

“I think our team brings an energy to games because win, lose, or draw we try our hardest and our teammates always lift each other up and encourage us to be better,” Lamadieu said.

Eastside played one final match at home against Clarke Central on March 19 before heading off to the regional tournament at Victor Lord Park from March 26-27. 

If the Eagles find success in regionals, they will then continue their season at the state tournament in the middle of April.