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Eastside made presence felt in postseason

Kevin Mays • May 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a year-in-review series looking at athletic achievements by Southwest Virginia high schools in the 2019-20 school year.

COEBURN — Eastside’s fall and winter sports seasons finished with plenty of postseason appearances across the board, with six teams advancing to regional play.

BOYS BASKETBALL

The Spartan boys advanced to the VHSL Class 1 state tournament again.

Led by Region 1D player of the year and VHSL all-state player Ethan Powers, Eastside won the Cumberland District’s regular-season championship and its sixth straight district tournament title.

The Spartans edged Grundy 43-42 to win their second Region 1D crown in three years before falling to Auburn in the state quarterfinals.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Eastside’s girls had another successful season in the Cumberland District.

The Lady Spartans, led by all-staters Anna Whited, a junior, and Kaylee Yates, a senior, won their fourth straight Cumberland District regular-season championship before claiming their third Cumberland tournament title in the last four years.

Yates, who signed to play basketball at Alice Lloyd next season, averaged 19.6 points per game. Whited averaged 16.5 points per game for the Lady Spartans, who advanced to the Region 1D tournament semifinals.

VOLLEYBALL

Whited was also a key player for the Lady Spartans in volleyball.

The junior recorded more than 400 kills to help Eastside to the Cumberland regular-season championship and the Cumberland District tournament crown.

It was the first time in seven years that Eastside won both the district regular-season and tournament titles.

FOOTBALL

The 2019 gridiron season opened up as a promising one for the Spartans.

However, an injury to Garrett Whited early on hampered Eastside’s chances.

The Spartans finished 4-1 in Cumberland District play and clinched a .500 regular season, as well as a trip to the Region 1D playoffs when Whited returned to the lineup and rushed for almost 150 yards in Eastside’s win over Castlewood in the final game of the regular season.

Senior Evan Bellamy was named to the VHSL all-state team and to the Times News All-Southwest Virginia squad at linebacker.

Grayson Whited, Garrett’s twin brother, was named to the All-Southwest Virginia squad as a kick returner.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Gracie Cress led the Lady Spartans and the Cumberland District’s cross country scene with her second straight district championship.

Cress qualified in the Region 1D championship to advance to the VHSL Class 1 state championships as an individual runner, where she finished 29th in the field.

WRESTLING

Eastside’s wrestling team, led by the third-place finishes of Ethan Marshall in the 132 division and J.T. Collins in the 170 division, and a fourth place Zack Ward in the 220 class, placed sixth in the Region 1D championships.

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