The defending Class AAA wrestling champions are off to a good start in 2009.
Eastside finished 5-2 at the highly competitive Militia Duals at Riverside Military Academy, reaching the dual tournament's quarterfinal round before losing to Class AAA rival Lafayette. After going 4-1 in pool play (the loss was to Sonoraville), the Eagles defeated Henry County on criteria in the first round.
"Lafayette was tough, man ... they're big," said Eastside coach Brandon Blakeman, whose team held off the Ramblers in February's Class AAA Traditional Tournament team race. "We had an opportunity to win (against Sonoraville, but) we took a lot of young guys this weekend."
Two of those young wrestlers were rising freshman Kevin Thompson, who went 7-0 at 119 pounds, and rising junior Sage Allen, a state runner-up a year ago, went 6-1 at 140 pounds.
"We were really excited about (Thompson)," Blakeman said. "(Allen) picked up right where he left off (in February). He's going to contend for an individual title this year."
The veterans played their part as well. Dalton Bragg (135) went 6-1 and 103-pound Brandon Gatt went 7-0 to help lead the Eagles to wins over Collins Hill's B team, Cleveland (Tenn.) and Starr's Mill.
"Those guys did real well," Blakeman said of the veteran group.
Eastside has summer workouts each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Eagles day camp for sixth-through 12th-graders continues today, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Covington campus. The team will take an extended break before hitting the road for the University of Missouri's camp at Georgia College in Milledgeville, July 19-23.