COEBURN, Va. (WJHL) – Eastside is coming off a monumental season in which the Spartans earned their first winning record since 2017 with a 4-3 mark and they expect to continue to raise the bar.
The Spartans just need to play like they did in the first three games last season. Eastside went 3-0 during that span in which the trio of contests were held in Coeburn. In that run, the Spartans closest victory was 13 points.
It was a different story when this squad hit the road with Mike Rhodes’ team dropping three out of four to round out the season. Those losses came against teams with all winning records, including Union who made it all the way to the state semifinals. These Spartans are committed to end this season on a higher note.
“I just like how they come to work everyday, they’ve got a great bond, they’re here everyday,” Rhodes said. “They’re here, they’re learning, they’re like sponges, they want to learn, they want to be out here and I got to push them out to get them out of here, so they want to stay and want to keep on going, so it’s a great group to be around.”
This bunch is led by all-state lineman Braedon Hensley, who anchors the trenches on both sides of the ball. His leadership will be huge for this squad that’s ushering in a new quarterback in Jaxsyn Collins. Hensley wasn’t too fond of competing on the gridiron just a couple of months ago, but he knows this squad is ready to make some noise.
“It sucked that we had to play in the spring, we had to go from one season to another like really fast. We’re in, we’re ready,” Hensley said.
Senior defensive end and fullback Blake Jones echoes Hensley’s words.
“I’m excited, ready to go. Got a full season, feel like we got shorted last year, but got what we could, excited about this year,” Jones said. “We’re working together pretty good right now, got some new coaches and a lot of young guys coming up, but I feel like we’re working pretty good together.”