Brent Wren, who has spent the past four years as the head basketball coach at Eastside High School, passed away Friday after a 7-month battle with stomach cancer. He was 46.

Hired in 2015, Wren coached the Eagles from the sidelines through the 2017-18 season before turning over the reigns to interim head coach Michael Gerald this past season to begin his fight with stage four stomach cancer after being diagnosed in October of last year.

The Eagles and the community rallied around the slogan, "Wren Strong" throughout the 2018-19 season with both Newton head basketball coach Rick Rasmussen and Alcovy head basketball coach Mack Hardwick showing their support.

The Eagles' first of two meetings against Newton saw the two teams unite in their support of Wren's battle with both wearing T-shirts with his slogan on them. Rasmussen, Gerald and Wren joined in prayer prior to the start of the game.

Former players and members of the Eastside and Covington community took to Twitter Friday to voice their sadness for the loss of Wren.

"We lost a good one," Eastside athletic director Phil Davidson said. "Everybody liked Coach Wren. He was a great teacher and loved working with kids. He poured his heart and time into his basketball players. And they loved him, played hard for him and just wanted to be around him. We're devastated."

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.