While their fellow county rivals take the field this week against one another, the Eastside varsity football team will get a much deserved rest during a bye week.
Eastside practiced early in the week, but head coach Rick Hurst said the Eagles will enjoy their break from the field tonight, giving the team and the coaching staff a litte rest and relaxation midway through the season.
"The kids had a great three practices this week," Hurst said. "They have the opportunity to have Thursday and Friday off and it gives them a chance to go to some other games if they want. Everyone needs a break. We’ve been going at this since July. It’s a well-deserved little break for both the kids and the coaching staff. I know they’ve been looking forward to it."
One of the most important factors during a bye week is getting players healthy, and the Eagles have taken full advantage of the extra time to address some health concerns.
Last week, starting quarterback Demario Terrell was sidelined with an injury, and the extra time this week will give the senior a chance to heal while the Eagles are off the field.
"The only player we really have out right now is Demario. He’s been a huge loss for us, but the bye week came at a good time for him to rest and heal from his injury. We know he’s going to work hard to get back, but it’s important for him to come back completely healthy before he takes the field again.
"The week also gives other players who have little dings and scrapes a chance to heal up and that’s important, as well," he said. "It’s a good time to get the break so we can make sure that we stay healthy."
The week also gives the Eagles a week to mentally recharge.
"The bye week also gives us a chance to regroup and focus on how our game plan will change now that Demario is out," Hurst said. "It won’t change too much, but it gives Austin (Holloway) a little more time to get comfortable under center for us."
Hurst said the Eagles spent the majority of the of the bye week working on specific goals for the players, while also looking ahead to Eastside's next opponent, Lanier.
"We do our bye weeks a little differently than any other week," Hurst said. "We spend this week working on individual things that the players need to focus on. They get the chance to work with their specific position coaches.
"The rest of the week was spent looking at tape of Lanier last year and seeing what they did," he said. "They're a little different, but it helps to look back at what they've done and game plan for the upcoming week. We're prepping for two weeks, but our focus has been working on what we need to do to get better, not the other team this week."
Eastside takes on the Longhorns Friday, Oct. 11, on the road.
Last season, the Eagles defeated Lanier 20-14 at home, winning their second of four consecutive region games. The Eagles are 1-0 all-time against the Longhorns.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lanier High School Football Stadium in Sugar Hill.