COVINGTON, Ga. — As the 2021 season has drawn closer for the Eastside Lady Eagles, they have aimed to take advantage of the preparation process.
For their head coach, Heather Wood, this offseason has been the most important to help the team get ready for the season ahead.
“The summer has been crucial for our entire team,” Wood said. “That is when we can really set the tone for our season and the expectations we have. This summer, specifically, was crucial for us to develop of sense of cohesiveness among the girls.”
Wood also said that the Lady Eagles are in a tough softball region, which places even more emphasis on what they’ve done this summer.
Despite the tough region, though, the Lady Eagles are optimistic with their expectations for 2021.
“Our goal every year is to play our best softball toward the end of the season,” Wood said. “We hope the experience of playing last year will help prepare our returning players for the difficult region and a return to the state playoffs. Then, hopefully, we can make a run in Columbus.”
To help make these dreams a reality, Eastside returns a lot of players from last year’s squad.
There are eight seniors and 14 returners from a year ago. Those returners include seniors, freshmen, outfielders and pitchers.
And, even though some of the returners didn’t play on the varsity team last season, Wood said that the vast experience would benefit the team.
“We have a lot of veteran leadership,” Wood said. “I think that is something we’ve tried to capitalize on going into the season.”
Playing in the 5A classification, Wood and her team foresees a lot of high intensity moments this upcoming season. With that, the Lady Eagles have emphasized being mentally and physically prepared.
Eastside feels that, if they can master both preparation processes, their team has the pieces in place to make noise in 2021.
“One thing about this team is we’re so well-rounded,” Wood said. “We have a great group of athletes who will help set us apart from other teams. In the past, our team has maybe only had one or two standouts, but I feel like we’re good across the board.”