GAINESVILLE, Ga. – The Eastside Eagles boys soccer team didn’t waste any time reaching the rigorous part of its schedule.
The Eagles opened its 2017 season Friday night with a 2-0 loss to No. 2 Johnson in Gainesville. And though Eastside ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard in its season opener, coach Champ Young saw plenty to like from his team in game one.
“We gave up two early goals, but shut them down defensively for the rest of the game after we acclimated to the speed of the game,” Young said. “We almost drew one back with a corner, and then had another opportunity with Will Shelton on a breakaway.”
Young said the game could’ve easily turned into a route with the early scores, but second half adjustments “completely shut down their attack.”
For Young, it’s a sign of what can be for a team that’s trying to improve off a 6-4 region record last year that ended with a 4-2 loss to eventual state semifinalist Cairo.
Young called the second half at Johnson a major confidence builder for his team which, in addition to Shelton, also boasts Billy Love who will sign to Point University Tuesday afternoon.
“We have a great mix of talent across all four classes, and they all contributed,” he said. “Everyone of them left that game thinking we had enough within our group to win against some of the top teams in the state.”
Young and company will get back to work on Monday afternoon, practicing to prepare for home matches next week against Clarke Central (Tuesday) and Walnut Grove (Friday). In both of those games, girls action will begin at 5:30 p.m. with boys action to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Make sure to pick up a copy of our Sunday Feb. 19 print edition of The Covington News for more on Eastside soccer in our comprehensive spring sports preview.