COVINGTON, Ga. — Every year, the Eastside Eagles football team divides their year into four quarters: Spring practice, summer workouts, the regular season and, if they qualify, the postseason.
Head coach Jay Cawthon, who’s entering his second year at the helm, highlighted how this year’s spring practice compared to last year.
“I feel more comfortable about being the head guy,” Cawthon said. “We have a great staff and I trust them. We have a lot of experienced, older kids. It’s been an easier spring than last spring. Our coaching staff does a great job of working the players.”
Throughout the spring, the Eagles had over 100 student-athletes from ninth through 12th grade come out to participate. Among that group, Cawthon said there’ve been a lot of kids who have never played football before, too.
However, there is one big goal that Cawthon and his staff sets out to accomplish.
“In the springtime, we want to work on fundamentals,” Cawthon said. “We don’t worry about anybody else, we worry about ourselves. We try and work on our base stuff and get the young guys used to our verbiage. But really, it’s about getting our fundamentals down.”
Last season, the Eagles finished third in Region 8-AAAAA at 8-4 overall and 5-2 in region play. Eastside, then, advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs before its season ended on Nov. 19. But there will be some new faces for the Eagles coaching staff this season.
Jamari Brundage will be cornerbacks coach, Casey Shubert will coach safeties and William Wallace will coach the offensive line group.
Cawthon acknowledged how the team has adjusted to the coaching changes.
“We always try and find the people who fit our culture,” Cawthon said. “And these guys have fit right in. It’s tough for a new coach to come in, but they’ve taken the bull by the horns and ran right in.”
Now, with the conclusion of spring practice, Cawthon and the Eagles will transition to summer workouts.
According to Cawthon, summer workouts, much like spring practice, is just one step toward the ultimate goal.
“I tell our kids all the time, we’re not preparing for the first, second or third quarters,” Cawthon said, “it’s always that fourth quarter. And, in the summer time, we find out who really wants to be out here when no one is watching and it’s just us. And, of course, installing some more just stuff. But, really, it’s just us getting ready for the third quarter.”