Eastside soccer has chance to host playoffs

COVINGTON - The Eastside soccer teams have all but guaranteed themselves a Class AAA playoff spot, all that needs to be determined is where.

The Lady Eagles have a chance to make a big impression in their return to Class AAA by winning the Area 8-AAA championship.

With two games left, the Eastside girls (4-1 in area play) are a half-game in front of Hart County (3-1) and Oconee County (3-1).

The Lady Eagles have the tiebreaker over Oconee County with their 2-0 win but are behind Hart County after their 2-0 loss.

The one hope, besides winning out, for an area championship is a Hart County loss to Oconee County when the two meet on March 31.

"I truly believe (Oconee County) can win," Lady Eagles coach Libba Willcox said. "My girls just didn't show up for Hart County."

Before they can celebrate winning the area championship or look forward to the win, they will have to get past Stephens County and Elbert County.

While the winless Elbert County should not be a problem, the Lady Indians (2-1) are currently in third place in the area with four games left.

Eastside travels to Toccoa to take on Stephens County at 7 p.m. today and close out area play at 7:30 p.m. on the last day of March.

"We play Stephens County (today) and it's going to be tough because we played on Tuesday and (Wednesday). It's three games in a row against a pretty hard team," Willcox said. "I think the girls are going to be tired, and if they can win that game it's going to say something about where we've come over the last few years."

The boys only have one game left in area play and need help if they hope to host the first round of the Class AAA playoff game.

With losses to first-place Oconee County and third-place Stephens County, the Eagles will need Stephens County to lose two of their four remaining games.

"It's looking like we're going to be in third place after the (2-0) loss to Stephens County," Eastside coach Trent Weiser said. "The only way it might be different is if they lose to Morgan County, who has a very good team, and to Oconee County."

Oconee County has three area games left and is currently unbeaten at 4-0 while Stephens County is 2-1.

Even if Eastside does not get a chance to host a playoff game, just making it is a big accomplishment.

"It feels really good to make it in my first year (as coach)," Weiser said. "I thought it would be a tight race. I'm a little disappointed with a third-place finish, but I'm happy with the team."

Eastside's lone remaining area game is against winless Elbert County.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@