CAIRO — It's the first round of the playoffs and that can only mean one thing, the Cairo Syrupmakers are hosting at West Thomas Stadium on Friday night.

The Cairo Syrupmakers will host New Hampstead in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs. It will mark the 18th straight postseason that the Syrupmakers have hosted a playoff game. It's a streak not lost on head coach Steven Devoursney.

“Eighteen years in a row hosting a playoff game, it's a great streak,” he said. “Not many programs in the state of Georgia can say that. Just to be able to keep that going is awesome for our kids and our program. We didn't want it to end with us and our senior class. Our last two games, there were a couple of times I was going, 'Well, that streak's over.' Fortunately for us, it worked out for us.”

Cairo's run to a No. 2 seed in Region 1 wasn't without its challenges. The Syrupmakers overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat Thomas County Central 14-13. Cairo also erased an 11-point second-half deficit against Dougherty to win 24-21. Those wins preceded Cairo's 48-7 thrashing of Westover last Thursday in the regular season finale.

“Anytime you win and anytime you can host a playoff game, it's a big deal,” Devoursney said. “It's hard to win on the road in the playoffs, no question. Being able to get that first one at home is huge.”

The New Hampstead Phoenix finished as the No. 3 seed out of Region 3. They finished 7-3 but lost their final two games, including last week's 34-28 regular season finale to Jenkins.

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