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Eastside pleased with spring football practice results

COVINGTON -- Eastside's football coaches like what they saw after the team finished their spring practice.

While some things will remain the same, other things are going to change as the Eagles go through a change of personnel on the field.

"Overall, I feel real good about the days we had. We had good, positive leadership and good atmosphere over what we got accomplished. I'd say we got in about 90 percent of what we wanted to do. That's pretty good in a nine-day period. What I wanted to accomplish was to increase our tempo, we did that," said Eastside head coach Rick Hurst. "We didn't change our offense, but we changed how we word everything and call everything. We found out what kind of guys we have because you have guys that didn't play last year. We found some guys that can step in and help us out."

The biggest concern the coaches had before spring practice dealt with the receivers, or lack thereof. However, after practice they felt better with what started as a weak link in their system. The Eagles plan on increasing their ability to catch the ball over the summer while participating in 7-on-7 tournaments. Not only will they get more practice, which will make quarterback Damario Terrell feel more at ease, but receiver coach Frankey Iverson will be there lending a helping hand. Iverson missed a lot of the spring practice attending the Class AAA boys and girls state track meet.

"We have a bunch of kids who can, it's just a matter of doing. This summer is going to be huge for them with all our 7-on-7 stuff," said Hurst.

"Once we're here over the summer and he's able to work with those guys and they're able to get their timing down and understand their routes, we have two or three guys that this is their first time."

One person which rose above the rest as a receiver was last year's starting quarterback Cameron Boyd. Giving Boyd an advantage is that he knows the system. That and the fact that he's an overall good football player to begin with.

Also providing a good and reliable target for Terrell are Bilia Prince and Treyvon Francis. However, they were not the only players impressing the coaches. Giving them reason that they're going to have a very successful season were Chase Chancey at tight end, Bryant Johnson on both sides of the line and Anthony Henderson at running back and linebacker.

"It's just a matter of learning a new position. I thought he caught the ball real well, blocked real well in the spring game. He's definitely our No. 1 receiver right now coming out of spring. It's a learning curve for him. I was really impressed with how quickly he picked it up. But he's a very bright young man," Hurst said of Boyd.

Defensively, the Eagles did not make many changes during spring practice. Hurst plans on implementing some new wrinkles in their coverage during the passing league games over the summer starting on May 29.

"We'll do a passing tournament on the 28th (June) here. I believe Newton is coming and we'll have 10-12 teams from the area. We'll go to Carrollton and have a lineman challenge in Gilmer County," said Hurst.

"It's a big summer, it's two months and it goes by so fast. These guys are dedicated. They know they have to be here in order to play at a high level. That's what we're doing, we want to be in the best possible shape we can be in. It's going to be a summer where we're going to concentrate less on our strength and more on our speed, agility and our conditioning."