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Eastside heads to semifinals for first time

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

COVINGTON -- The Eastside Eagles have made history and may be making more.

For the first time in Newton County history, the Eastside High School varsity football team is heading to the semifinal round of the Class AAA playoffs. This is the first time any football team in Newton County has accomplished this feat.

After a 14-0 win over Jackson last Friday, the team will head to Fort Valley's Peach County High School to take on its Trojans at 8 p.m. Friday.

The school is located at 900 Campus Drive in Fort Valley, which is north of Perry, off Interstate 75.

In order to cheer on the Eagles during their warm ups, the school is encouraging guests to head to the stadium early.

"It is exciting to see hard work rewarded with an opportunity to play in the semifinals for a chance at a state championship," said Jeff Cher, assistant principal and athletic director at EHS. "Over the course of the entire season, the players, cheerleaders, band members, color guard, coaches and parents have devoted themselves towards displaying excellence each Friday night. It has been a truly memorable experience thus far. The entire Eastside family is proud our students and their accomplishments."

Parents and other Eagle supporters are planning a caravan to the game. They plan to meet in the parking lot of the old Wal-Mart on U.S. Highway 278 at 3 p.m. Friday in order to leave by 3:15 p.m.

The game begins at 8 p.m., but they also are allowing for extra time to get to the game. Jackson High School is having a Christmas parade at 6 p.m. Friday in downtown Jackson, which is along the caravan route, so many streets around the Jackson square near Ga. Highway 36 will be blocked off in the early afternoon.

Unlike last week, there are no presale tickets for the game. However, guests can purchase tickets at the gate for $10.

According to Peach County High School, its stadium has a 6,400-seat capacity. Extra seating will be added in the end zones.

Eastside is currently on a 10-game winning streak, the longest in EHS history.

If Eastside wins Friday, it will take on the winner of the Gainesville Red Elephants-Flowery Branch Falcons game in the Georgia Dome at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12.