COVINGTON, Ga. -- This week’s rain has made it tough for spring sports, as many games and practices have been cancelled or postponed, but Friday’s and Saturday’s forecasts are looking promising, with sunny skies and temps in the 60s, so there shouldn’t be much alteration in the action for the weekend.
Eastside will play a double-header with Druid Hills Friday, with first pitch of Game 1 slated for 3:45 p.m. Meanwhile, the Newton Rams will travel to Flowery Branch Saturday, but will alter the start time from 1 p.m. to 11 a.m. Newton coach Andre Byrd said he made the change so that the team could go support the Newton girls and boys basketball teams which are in the Class AAAAAAA state tournament’s Final Four round to be played at Buford Saturday.
Here’s a look at a summary of the action we were able to get in this past week.
A pair of ties for Eastside soccer
Both the Eastside Eagles soccer teams played to 2-2 ties with Morgan County Tuesday night.
For the girls, freshman Aralyn Everett gave Eastside a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into their match with the Lady Bulldogs with a strike off a well-placed ball from Madison Morvik. The 1-0 score stood at the halftime break.
The Lady Eagles packed it in on defense for the first part of the second half, frequently with as many as nine players helping keep Morgan County from a clean shot on goal.
With 20:32 left in the match Morgan County broke through to tie the match at 1-1. Eastside turned their offense loose after that point.
It took just over two minutes for freshman Kyli Greer to put Eastside back ahead after a Morvik corner kick sailed through the hands of the Lady Bulldogs’ keeper and Greer kicked it into the net in heavy traffic in front of the Morgan goal.
The 2-1 lead would last until only until the 3:28 mark of the game when Morgan County scored the equalizer on a long shot.
The 2-2 tie leaves Eastside with a 1-2-1 record heading into Thursday night’s home match with Luella at Homer Sharp Stadium.
When the boys took the field, it was Morgan County which struck first, hitting a shot from the corner to go up 1-0 early. Eastside would respond with a goal to knot things at 1-1 with 2:15 left in the first half. That score held to halftime.
In the second half, Kade Mote put the Eagles up 2-1 at the 29 minute mark, but Morgan County scored the equalizer after what was apparently a questionable call that led to a free kick for the Bulldogs. The tie score also puts the boys squad with a 1-2-1 record ahead of Tuesday’s matches at region foe Woodward Academy.
Both Eastside teams’ Thursday games against Luella were canceled due to the rain.
Tough sledding ahead for Eastside boys
The Eastside boys soccer team will be hard pressed to find any soft spots on its schedule this season, as currently five Eastside opponents are ranked in their respective classification’s top-10 polls, including Class AAAA No. 2 Woodward Academy.
In addition, Johnson-Gainesville, a team Eastside fell 4-0 to back on February 15, checks in at No. 3 in this week’s Class AAAAA poll, while Whitewater is placed at No. 4. Eastside lost to Whitewater 2-0 the day after the Johnson game.
Eastside has future matches lined up with Class AAAAAA No. 6 Heritage-Conyers (March 13) and Class AAAA No. 1 Chestatee (March 16).
Alcovy girls, Newton boys off to hot starts
The Class AAAAAA girls rankings currently don’t have Alcovy in its top 10, but they may be set to crack the rankings soon if the Lady Tigers keep at their season-opening pace. Alcovy handed Newton its second loss in convincing fashion with a 10-0 shutout of the Lady Rams on Tuesday.
In that game, junior Kaliya Eutsey continued her push to be considered as the county’s top girls player with five goals on eight shots and an assist in the win. Senior Sydney Ziglar chipped in with the hat trick, while Kierstin Sullivan and Destini Kitchens added scores.
In the young season, Eutsey has been super efficient, scoring 15 goals on 17 shots, helping Alcovy to its first 4-0 start to a season. It's the best the Lady Tigers have looked at the beginning of a season since they raced out to a 6-1-1 start during the 2016 campaign. The Tigers will also look to improve to 3-0 in region play as they travel to Greenbrier (2-1) Friday night before coming home to host Lakeside (3-1) on Tuesday.
Speaking of hot starts, despite falling to Alcovy 1-0 on a Conrad Martin penalty kick, the Newton Rams boys are 5-1 which caused third-year coach Marcus Taylor and Newton athletic director Vincent Byams scrambling to find the record books.
“We were joking that we would probably have to dig deep into the archives to see the last time we started off winning the first five games,” Taylor said. It's actually the best start to a season since the Rams went 7-1-3 through their first 11 games to start the 2005 season. That year, Newton finished with an 11-2-4 mark, with two of those four ties coming against Eastside. Newton will open region play Tuesday at Grayson (4-3, 1-0).
Other scores from the week
Rockdale 14, Alcovy 1. The Tigers fall to 2-7 on the season and will travel to Evans Monday at 5 p.m. for a Region 3-AAAAAA matchup.
Social Circle defeated George Walton last Wednesday to improve to 5-2 on the season ahead of a weekend two-game series with Elbert County.
The Social Circle boys lost 3-0 to Walnut Grove last Tuesday while the girls fell 9-0 to Walnut Grove. Both teams will host region matches with Banks County Friday and travel to Monticello Tuesday.