Eastside boys soccer is entering the state playoffs as the No. 4 seed from Region 4-AAAA. The Eagles have an overall record of 9-6 and a region record of 7-4. The distance between being No. 1 in that region and being No. 4 is slim, but the Eagles edged out four other teams with the same region record in a tough region to advance to the playoffs. We spoke with Eastside head coach about the team’s mindset entering the playoffs and the growth of the team from the beginning of the season until now.
The Covington News: Your team is entering the playoffs as a four seed, but in terms of record and play you don’t seem like the usual No. 4 seed. Is that the team’s mindset right now?
Champ Young: I’ll be honest with you, I think we have more losses on the schedule than I think we should have right now. We dropped a lot of the ones that we shouldn’t have and we played a lot of tough opponents in the beginning of the year to prep us for the state playoffs, but as far as our mentality right now we lost to Jonesboro on Wednesday and we didn’t play very well. We’ve changed up a lot of the stuff the way a lot of is gonna be what we’re going to do next year as well, we’ve already started trying to implement those changes. It’s been helpful so much the last two days of training. There’s a whole sense of focus that has not been there at this level all year which I’m really, really pleased with.
CN: What are your concerns if any heading into Wednesday’s game?
Young: Dealing one with the travel. It’s a four hour trip for one. Just the unknown because they’re so far away we don’t know anything about ‘em and just making sure that we’re mentally tough enough to play the game that we’re supposed to play rather than try to come down there and play the style that we’re not accustomed to playing. Hopefully we can maintain our level like we’ve been working on the last few weeks.
CN: How has the team grown from the beginning of the season to now?
Young: We’re really, really young so a lot of its just kind of a coming of age thing. We have a lot of sophomores, that are putting in a lot of time. Sophomores, freshmen and a couple seniors sprinkled in here or there. A lot of this is a coming of age thing. I’ve rode them hard this year in hopes that they would get it together hopefully here at the end and they’re getting there. I spent a lot more [time] on this year’s sophomore class than I have in year’s past because they have the potential.