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PREP SOCCER: Pair of Eagles take flight to next level
Eastside Soccer
Eastside’s Jordan Beam (left photo, second from right) and Anna Shelton (right photo, middle) recently signed their National Letters of Intent to extend their soccer careers to the next level for Division I programs. Beam will be playing for Georgia State, while Shelton is taking her talents to the University of South Carolina-Upstate. - Special to The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — A pair of Eastside soccer stars recently penned their National Letters of Intent to continue their careers at the next level.

Jordan Beam, a member of the Eagles squad, signed with Georgia State University.

The 16th Eagle to play soccer in college, Beam will become just the second player in the 25-year history of Eastside’s varsity team to go on to play in NCAA Division I. He joins 2009 graduate Caleb Kernan, who also played at Georgia State.

Playing center midfield at Eastside, Beam helped lead the Eagles to a three-way tie for first place in Region 4-AAAA and an all-time program record No. 2 ranking in the state during the 2019 campaign. The 2019 Eagles set the record for scoring with 84 goals while recording the second-best regular season record at 12-3-1, and second-best overall record, 12-4-1, in program history.

Eastside head coach Champ Young shared a wonderful memory from 2017 of Beam crushing the Eagles’ difficult fitness test as an eighth grade JV player. Passing all the returning varsity players while smiling, Beam was clapping and laughing as he finished the test as the only player to finish all eight stages under the required time. 

Young said he told his JV coach: “You better not lose a single JV game… I just watched an eighth grader giggle his way through the eight stages!”

Eastside’s Anna Shelton will become the 16th Lady Eagle to go on to play collegiate soccer and the first to sign at the NCAA Division I level in the Lady Eagles’ 25-year varsity program history after signing an NLI with the University of South Carolina - Upstate.

As their goalkeeper, Shelton helped lead the Lady Eagles to a program-best ranking of No. 5 in state during the 2021 season.

The Lady Eagle defense allowed only 1.27 goals per game during the last three seasons, setting an all-time three-year record low for the program. The 2019 squad set numerous program records, finishing 15-4-1 overall, while scoring 104 goals and allowing only 23. They became the first Eastside soccer team, boys or girls, to reach the Elite Eight.

Lady Eagles head coach Joel Singleton praised Shelton: “We’re proud of Anna and excited she has this opportunity for her future. She’s spent a lot of time and hard work on being an excellent player. With her drive and determination she’ll continue to see success on the field at the next level!”