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Why Eastside football coach Jay Cawthon called scrimmage a 'job interview'
Coach sees some players step up, shine in bids for positions
Kenai Grier (4) finds open space on the perimeter against Monroe Area’s defense in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday. (Photo by Elijah Bowman)

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — A lot of good and bad was on display during East- side’s scrimmage Wednesday night versus Monroe Area. And, even though no official score was kept during the contest, head coach Jay Cawthon kept thorough notes of his team’s performance.

In fact, Cawthon referred to the scrimmage as if his players were applying for a job.

“Tonight was a big job interview for [our players],” Cawthon said. “We saw some kids step up to have some competition for positions. And there were a couple of kids who showed up tonight and had a great interview.” 

The biggest grievance Cawthon aired concerning his team was the amount of “dreaded penalties” the Eagles committed. After the game was over, Cawthon stressed how, starting next Friday to open the regular season, the penalties will start counting. 

Even so, Cawthon admired Eastside’s bounce- back following each mistake. 

“We stopped ourselves on drives time after time,” Cawthon said. “But what I liked about it is we didn’t get too down. Yeah, we had to punt, but on the next series we got it back going. That’s what we always talk about, if you make a mis- take, move on to the next play.”

Throughout all the mistakes made Wednesday night, Cawthon took note of one major positive: Effort. 

Cawthon praised his team for the amount of passion each player displayed each and every down. 

“I love our effort,” Cawthon said. “We play with a passion, we’re physical and that’s what we’re known for. I know our guys are going to play hard. Are we going to make mistakes? Yes. But we try to play fast and hard.”

All things considered, the Eagles showed signs of what they could be in 2022, Cawthon said.

Right now, though, with a week out from the regular season’s start, Cawthon wants to see his team continuing to compete.

Developing a competitive attitude for the players has been at the forefront of the Eagles’ offseason.

“We try to set up everything we do as a team, individual drills, everything's a com- petition,” Cawthon said.

“And we see who competes and it shows on Friday nights. We got a bunch of guys who want to compete and they’re going to give us a chance.”

Eastside’s 2022 season begins on the road at Luella on Friday, Aug. 19 with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.